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Desperate to hire, more businesses open door to pot smokers

(Christopher Furlong/Getty Images)

WASHINGTON, D.C. — FPI Management, a property company in California, wants to hire dozens of people. Factories from New Hampshire to Michigan need workers. Hotels in Las Vegas are desperate to fill jobs.

Those employers and many others are quietly taking what once would have been a radical step: They’re dropping marijuana from the drug tests they require of prospective employees.

Marijuana testing — a fixture at large American employers for at least 30 years — excludes too many potential workers, experts say, at a time when filling jobs is more challenging.

“It has come out of nowhere,” said Michael Clarkson, head of the drug testing practice at Ogletree Deakins, a law firm. “I have heard from lots of clients things like, ‘I can’t staff the third shift and test for marijuana.'”