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DSHRM HR Learn: "Marijuana - Your Workplace Questions Answered"
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Sponsored by Ultimate Software

When: Wednesday, July 10, 2019
5:00pm - 8:00pm
Where: Sindbad's
100 St. Clair Street
Detroit, Michigan  48214
United States
Presenter: John Mackewich, Kent Sharkey and Raul Villarreal
Contact: Detroit SHRM
(248) 478-6498

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"Marijuana – Your Workplace Questions Answered"

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Recreational marijuana became legal in Michigan in December 2018. Business leaders and their employees have questions about what the legalization of marijuana means for places of employment. Human Resources professionals are tasked with reviewing existing policies and practices and, as needed, establishing new policy to address business-specific needs. Some organizations will make changes in applicant screening processes, random drug testing policies and fitness for duty assessments.  

Clarifying individual businesses’ needs will be important.  Even more essential will be communicating policy expectations to employees as well as educating them about marijuana and the possible impact on work performance. Our panel will review relevant laws and provide information for application within individual workplaces.  


Participants at this HR Learn event will be able to:

  • Identify the marijuana and employment laws that apply to their businesses overall as well as to specific roles within their organizations
    What are the expectations for federal employers and contractors?  What are the expectations for roles such as drivers, healthcare professionals?
  • Identify applicant screening processes that meet the needs of their organizations;
  • Develop random drug testing and fitness for duty policies and provide guidelines for their fair and legal application by supervisors and managers
  • Select relevant content and strategies for educating the workforce about marijuana policies and marijuana usage;
  • Identify employee assistance strategies designed to positively impact finances related to performance, absenteeism, employee turnover, etc.; and
  • Apply the information provided to audit policies, and as needed, make revisions to policies and practices in their organizations..


5:00 – 5:30 PM                       Networking & Registration

5:30 – 6:30 PM                       Hors d'oeuvre Stations & Announcements

6:30 – 8:00 PM                       Presentation


HRCI - Pre-Approved for 1.5 General Credits 

SHRM - Pre-approved for 1.5 Credits




Detroit SHRM Professional Members - $50.00
Detroit SHRM Student Members - $35.00

Non-Members - $75.00


Detroit SHRM Professional Members - $60.00
Detroit SHRM Student Members - $45.00

Non-Members - $85.00



Cancellations must be received in writing to by July 3, 2019. Refunds cannot be issued for cancellations received after this date; however, substitutions for another person to attend in your place are gladly accepted (please note that members substituting a non-member may result in a higher registration fee).


Consent to Use Photographic Images: Registration and attendance at, or participation in, Detroit SHRM meetings and other activities constitutes an agreement by the registrant to the use and distribution of the registrant's or attendee's image or voice in photographs, videotapes, electronic reproductions and audiotapes of such events and activities by Detroit SHRM and Meeting Coordinators, Inc.




John Mackewich is a corporate and employment attorney at Dinsmore & Shohl LLP out of their Detroit and Ann Arbor offices. Dinsmore & Shohl LLP is an AmLaw 200 law firm with more than 650 attorneys practicing throughout the country.


John has been serving the needs of businesses in the marijuana and industrial hemp sector on employment, licensing, real estate and corporate financing and other services for emerging and established businesses since 2012. As a member of Cannabis practice group, John guides business through these new and evolving complexities to ensure compliance across all legal aspects of the business. In addition, John represent numerous public and private employers in matters throughout the country in all phases of labor and employment law.

John is a regular speaker on the changing legal and business issues facing the marijuana and industrial hemp industries throughout the United States.


Kent Sharkey, President, Chief Executive Officer, and Founder of Ulliance, Inc. oversees strategic operations of the international service company that provides human resources services including employee assistance programs (EAP), wellness programs, training programs, organizational and leadership development, career transition services, professional health monitoring, and crisis management.
In the company’s 25 + year history, Kent has been instrumental in growing the company to serve more than 260 organizations throughout the U.S., Canada, Mexico, Brazil, and Europe providing health and wellness programs to nearly one million people. Under his leadership and driven pursuit of excellence, the Ulliance team has assisted organizations of various sizes including many Fortune 500 companies to greatly reduce behavioral healthcare costs, resulting in saving millions of dollars for the organizations and improving the lives of their employees.

Through his experience as a licensed psychotherapist and business professional, Kent is able to discuss behavioral healthcare issues and its impact on businesses. Kent has shared his thoughts and expertise in emotional wellness strategy, performance management, and workplace crisis management in various print and broadcast media outlets including Crain’s Detroit Business, DBusiness, The Detroit Free Press, The Detroit News, MLive, WJBK Fox 2, News/Talk 760 WJR, and WWJ-AM. Kent was named a finalist for EY Entrepreneur of the Year Michigan and Northwest Ohio award.


Kent holds a Bachelor of Arts in psychology and a Master of Social Work, both from the University of Michigan. Kent is a board member of the Michigan Labor Management Association (MLMA), Michigan Wellness Council, and previously with the Troy Chamber of Commerce.


Raul Villarreal is the President of Business Development and Safety and Compliance for First Choice Medical Group and OccMed Connect. In this role, Raul manages all new business as well as current clientele for First Choice Medical Group and directs the safety and compliance side for occupational health.

Raul is knowledgeable with the business side of occupational health having spent the last 15 years as a coordinator and director of marketing and business development for national organizations such as Concentra, Henry Ford and Midwest Medical Group. He has helped grow the occupational health departments for those companies in Wayne, Oakland and Macomb counties. He has also managed the safety and compliance for employers and Municipalities such as Dearborn, Dearborn Heights, Inkster and Wayne, including school systems and local manufacturers and companies. 
Raul is a certified drug and alcohol tester for federal and non- federal employees and works with companies to train and educate them on the process and procedures of different types of drug screen collections in the workplace. He is an advocate for keeping companies compliant with federal and state regulations on the drug screen process and mandatory federal training for companies.


Raul’s varied but strategic background in occupational health, safety and compliance provides the perfect foundation for helping companies, local chambers and communities with their drug and alcohol trainings, collections and written policies and procedures. He’s passionate about helping his clients, especially the youths of his community, as he has donated to school athletic and other scholastic departments, going onsite to perform school physicals and immunizations as a way of giving back. He has also set up health fairs and OSHA walkthroughs as a way to be pro-active in the workplace.

To contact Raul Villarreal please email or visit or Raul Villarreal can be available for private consultations by phone at 313-467-0001 or 734-718-1969.

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