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Catherine A. Cano is a principal in the Omaha, Nebraska office of Jackson Lewis P.C.

The Pennsylvania Superior Court has found, as a matter of first impression, that medical marijuana users may maintain a private action under the Pennsylvania Medical Marijuana Act (MMA), including a wrongful discharge action.  See Scranton Quincy Clinic Company, LLC, et al. v. Pamela Palmiter, Case No. 498 MDA 2020 (Pa. Super. Ct. Aug. 5,

An employer’s failure to notify an employee of the cost of a confirmatory re-test of his original drug test specimen is a violation of the Iowa drug testing law.  Woods v. Charles Gabus Ford, Inc., Case No. 19-0002 (Iowa June 25, 2021).

The Iowa drug testing statute imposes many requirements on employers, including an

Montana Governor Greg Gianforte signed legislation on May 18, 2021 that will provide protections for off-duty use of marijuana starting on January 1, 2022.

Montana citizens voted to legalize recreational marijuana in November 2020. The ballot initiative did not provide employment-related protections and focused on employer restrictions of on-duty use of the drug.  The newly-signed

2021 has brought a flurry of activity surrounding marijuana laws, particularly recreational marijuana use. The number of states approving recreational marijuana continues to grow.

New Mexico

On April 12, 2021, New Mexico Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham signed the state’s recreational marijuana bill. The New Mexico recreational marijuana law will take effect in late June 2021.

A Missouri-based manufacturer of animal pharmaceuticals had just cause to terminate a 37-year employee who tested positive for marijuana despite the union’s argument that the employee’s personal use of CBD oil and marijuana did not cause impairment at work.  Virbac Corporation and International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers, Local 1, (January 10, 2020) (Horn, Arb.)

A federal court in Pennsylvania held that a medical marijuana user’s claims for disability discrimination and retaliation were sufficiently alleged to survive the employer’s motion to dismiss.   Hudnell v. Jefferson University Hospitals, Inc., Civil Action No. 20-01621 (E.D. Pa. Jan. 7, 2021).

The employer terminated the employee’s employment after she tested positive for marijuana

Voters in Arizona, Mississippi, Montana, New Jersey, and South Dakota approved laws to legalize marijuana on Election Day 2020. Recreational marijuana was approved in Arizona, Montana, and New Jersey, while Mississippi voters approved medical marijuana. South Dakota voters approved both medical and recreational marijuana ballot initiatives.

Medical Marijuana

  1. Mississippi – Mississippi Ballot Measure 1 passed,

A Washington appellate court upheld a jury’s verdict that an employer’s drug testing protocol requiring direct observation of urine collections did not invade an employee’s privacy and did not constitute a constructive discharge.  Ritchey v. Sound Recovery Centers, LLC, No. 53303-1-II (Wash. Ct. App. Oct. 20, 2020).

The employee, a licensed chemical dependency counselor,

A Pennsylvania federal court refused to dismiss an employee’s claim for violation of the Pennsylvania Medical Marijuana Act (MMA), reasoning that the Pennsylvania Supreme Court is likely to recognize a private cause of action under the MMA.  Hudnell v. Jefferson University Hospitals, Inc., Civil Action No. 20-01621 (E.D. Pa. Sept. 25, 2020). The court’s

The U.S. Department of Transportation’s (“DOT”) Office of Drug and Alcohol Policy Compliance (“ODAPC”) has again extended its April 4, 2020 Statement of Enforcement Discretion for Substance Abuse Professionals and Service Agents, effective September 22, 2020. The Statement of Enforcement Discretion previously was extended in June and will now remain in place until December 31,