The controversial, partial legalization of cannabis in Germany on April 1st presents companies in Germany with new administrative challenges. Will smoking weed be allowed at work in the future? The German Press Agency asked several DAX companies how the handling of addictive substances such as alcohol in the workplace is fundamentally regulated and what will change with cannabis legalization. The answers summarized:


At the automotive supplier Continental, the handling of alcohol and other intoxicants is clearly regulated within the framework of local company agreements, as the company announced. As a rule, there is an absolute ban on alcohol and intoxicants at the locations in Germany; no distinction is made between alcohol, cannabis and other intoxicants. As part of company events, event-related agreements are made.


According to a spokeswoman at the consumer goods group Beiersdorf, a safe and healthy working environment for employees is a top priority. In principle, the consumption of all intoxicating substances in the workplace is prohibited in the company. This regulation also includes alcohol and will therefore be extended to products that are affected by the partial legalization of cannabis. At special company events at the headquarters in Hamburg, alcohol consumption is permitted within certain limits and as an exception. However, there are no plans to extend this exemption to the consumption of products containing THC.


The car manufacturer BMW announced that it is currently examining the effects of the legal changes on the working environment and company regulations. There are discussions with the social partners to conclude a separate company agreement on this topic. As a general rule, “performing any work under the influence of intoxicating substances is prohibited.”

Daimler Truck

The consumption of alcohol or other intoxicating substances during working hours is prohibited at the commercial vehicle manufacturer Daimler Truck. “At Daimler Truck, smoking weed during working hours is prohibited,” said a spokesman.


Legal or illegal psychoactive substances and their consumption, which can lead to behavioral changes or reduced ability to react, generally have no place in the workplace, said the logistics group DHL Group.


For the consumer goods group Henkel, cannabis is an intoxicant and for this reason, like alcohol and other substances, is not allowed to be consumed at work.


The energy supplier Eon refers to a company agreement that states: “According to the concept of point sobriety, alcohol and other addictive substances should be consistently avoided in the workplace.” Anyone who is under the influence of addictive substances is no longer able to carry out their work without danger and is therefore not allowed to continue doing so. The relevant manager is obliged to intervene.

Deutsche Telekom

Dealing with addictions is part of company health management, said Deutsche Telekom. There are company agreements on dealing with addictive substances, which are now being reviewed with a view to making any necessary adjustments.


The chip manufacturer Infineon also referred to a company agreement. Accordingly, all employees are obliged to ensure health and safety at work to the best of their knowledge and belief. Employees should not put themselves in a state that could endanger themselves or others by consuming alcohol, drugs or other intoxicating substances.