Archives: Medical Marijuana

Subscribe to Medical Marijuana RSS Feed

Alabama Enacts Medical Marijuana Law

Alabama Governor Kay Ivey signed legislation legalizing medical cannabis on May 17, 2021. Known as the Darren Wesley “Ato” Hall Compassion Act, the law permits the use of medical cannabis to treat certain medical conditions including Crohn’s disease, depression, epilepsy, HIV/AIDs, panic disorder, Parkinson’s disease, persistent nausea, post-traumatic stress disorder, chronic or intractable pain, among … Continue Reading

Loss Of Congressional District Dooms Mississippi’s Medical Marijuana Initiative

The Mississippi Supreme Court held on May 14, 2021 that a citizen initiative to legalize medical marijuana violated the Mississippi Constitution.  The decision turned on the loss of a congressional district due to the 2000 Census.  Butler v. Watson, Case No. 2020-IA-01199-SCT (May 14, 2021). Background The Mississippi Constitution allows amendments in two different ways: … Continue Reading

California Court Upholds Employer’s Refusal To Hire Applicant Who Failed Pre-Employment Drug Test Due To Medical Marijuana Use

A federal court in California dismissed the disability discrimination claims of a job applicant who failed a pre-employment drug test due to medical marijuana use, holding that he did not sufficiently prove that he was disabled.  More specifically, the court concluded that the applicant’s “subjective belief” that he suffered from “chronic back pain” was insufficient … Continue Reading

Medical Marijuana Expenses Held Reimbursable In New Jersey Workers’ Compensation Case

The New Jersey Supreme Court ruled that an employer and its workers’ compensation carrier must reimburse an injured worker for his medical marijuana expenses.  Hager v. M&K Construction, 2021 N.J. LEXIS 332 (N.J. April 13, 2021). Hager suffered a back injury in a work-related accident in 2001.  He underwent surgeries and used opioid medications for … Continue Reading

New Marijuana Laws in New Mexico and Virginia

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. … Continue Reading

New York Legalizes Recreational Marijuana

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo signed legislation legalizing recreational marijuana on March 31, 2021. The legalized use of marijuana is effective immediately, even though retail sales of marijuana are not expected to begin until mid-2022. This change potentially immediately impacts a New York employer’s ability to take adverse actions against applicants and employees based on … Continue Reading

Connecticut Medical Marijuana User Could Not Proceed With ADA Claims

The District Court of Connecticut dismissed employment discrimination claims asserted under the Americans with Disabilities Act (“ADA”) with regard to state authorized medical marijuana use.  Eccleston v. City of Waterbury, No. 3:19-cv-1614, 2021 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 52835 (D. Conn. Mar. 22, 2021). The employee was employed as a firefighter by the City.  His employment was … Continue Reading

Pennsylvania Medical Marijuana User May Proceed With Disability Discrimination And Retaliation Claims

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 on … Continue Reading

Pennsylvania Court Affirms Unemployment Benefits for Medical Marijuana User

A Pennsylvania Appeals Court affirmed an order granting unemployment benefits to a medical marijuana user who was terminated by his employer for a positive drug test.  The Pittsburgh Water and Sewer Auth. v. Unemployment Comp. Bd. of Review, Case No. 228 C.D. 2020 (Commw. Ct. Pa. Nov. 18, 2020). The employee was employed as a … Continue Reading

Voters in Five States Approve Marijuana Ballot Initiatives on Election Day

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 Mississippi – Mississippi Ballot Measure 1 passed, … Continue Reading

Federal Court Holds Pennsylvania Medical Marijuana Act Provides Private Right of Action

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 analysis … Continue Reading

Delaware Court Upholds Denial of Workers’ Compensation Benefits for Medical Marijuana Costs

The compensability of medical marijuana costs for a workers’ compensation claim turns on an individualized inquiry of whether such treatment is reasonable and necessary, and not whether the use of medical marijuana is permissible under state law, according to the Delaware Superior Court.  Nobles-Roark v. Back Burner, Case No. N19A-11-001 ALR (Del. Superior Ct. July … Continue Reading

New York City Commission on Human Rights Issues Final Rule Regarding Exceptions to Ban on Pre-Employment Marijuana Tests

As discussed in our previous blog post, effective May 10, 2020, covered New York City employers are not permitted to test job candidates for marijuana or tetrahydrocannabinols (THC) as a condition of employment. The law, however, contains exceptions to this general prohibition on preemployment testing and an employer may require testing for job applicants applying … Continue Reading

Louisiana Expands Access to Medical Marijuana

Louisiana’s governor signed into law on June 11, 2020 a measure amending the state’s medical marijuana law to make it easier for patients to obtain medical marijuana. The current version of Louisiana’s medical marijuana law permits use of medical marijuana to treat only certain specified illnesses. The new law provides that any licensed physician in … Continue Reading

Rhode Island Court Upholds “Reasonable Grounds” Drug Testing Even Where There Is Another Possible Explanation For Employee’s Behaviors

The Rhode Island Supreme Court affirmed the dismissal of a lawsuit against an employer who terminated an employee for refusing to submit to a reasonable suspicion drug test, even though the employee’s odd behaviors could have been attributable to pain or other things. Colpitts v. W.B. Mason Co., Inc., No. 2018-337-Appeal (R.I. May 29, 2020). … Continue Reading

New York Employers: Engage In The Interactive Dialogue With Medical Marijuana Users

A New York state court denied summary judgment to an employer that terminated an employee for testing positive for marijuana, when the employee obtained a medical marijuana certification prior to the termination decision. Gordon v. Consolidated Edison, Inc., Index No. 152944/2019 (Sup. Ct. NY County Apr. 21, 2020). Kathleen Gordon was subjected to a random … Continue Reading

New York City Commission On Human Rights Proposes Exceptions To Prohibitions On Pre-Employment Marijuana Testing

The New York City Commission on Human Rights announced a notice of public hearing and opportunity to comment on a proposed rule providing exceptions to the prohibition on pre-employment marijuana testing that will take effect in the City on May 10, 2020.   Comments on the proposed rule may be submitted in writing by April 16, … Continue Reading

New Jersey Medical Marijuana User May Proceed With Discrimination Claim

The New Jersey Supreme Court affirmed an appellate court ruling allowing a medical marijuana user to proceed with his disability discrimination claim under the New Jersey Law Against Discrimination (“LAD”).  Wild v. Carriage Funeral Holdings, Inc., No. 082836 (Mar. 10, 2020). The plaintiff, a cancer patient and lawful user of medical marijuana, was involved in … Continue Reading

Pennsylvania Court Holds Employees May Sue Under Medical Marijuana Act

A Pennsylvania state court held that the state’s Medical Marijuana Act creates a private right of action for medical marijuana users to sue their employers. Pamela Palmiter v. Commonwealth Health Systems, Inc., Civ. Action No. 19 CV 1315 (Pa. Ct. C.P. Lackawanna County, Nov. 22, 2019). The employee, Pamela Palmiter, was employed as a medical … Continue Reading

New Jersey Court Orders Employer to Reimburse Worker for Medical Marijuana Expenses in Workers’ Compensation Case

In a case of first impression, the New Jersey Appellate Division held that it was appropriate for a workers’ compensation judge to order an employer to reimburse its employee for his medical marijuana expenses as part of his workers’ compensation case. Vincent Hager v. M&K Construction, Docket No. A-0102-18T3 (N.J. App. Div. January 13, 2020). … Continue Reading

National Safety Council States That “No Level of Cannabis Use Is Safe Or Acceptable” For Safety-Sensitive Positions

The National Safety Council, a nonprofit organization whose stated mission is to eliminate preventable deaths at work, in homes and communities through leadership, research, education and advocacy, published a Position/Policy Statement on October 21, 2019 addressing cannabis (marijuana) impairment in safety-sensitive positions. NSC stated that “it is clear that cannabis impacts psychomotor skills and cognitive … Continue Reading

New Jersey’s Amended Medical Marijuana Law Provides Job Protections And Includes Drug Testing Procedures

New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy signed into law on July 2, 2019 the Jake Honig Compassionate Use Medical Cannabis Act (“CUMCA”) to expand patient access to medical marijuana and to reform the State’s medical marijuana program. The law amends the New Jersey Compassionate Use Medical Marijuana Act, N.J.S.A. 24:61-2 et seq., (and changes its name … Continue Reading

Update: New York City’s Ban On Pre-Employment Marijuana Testing Will Take Effect on May 10, 2020

We previously blogged about the law passed by the New York City Council on April 9, 2019 that will prohibit employers from conducting pre-employment drug testing for marijuana. Because the law was not signed or vetoed by Mayor de Blasio within 30 days of passage, it became law on May 10, 2019. The law provides … Continue Reading

New Mexico Amends Medical Marijuana Law To Provide Employment Protections

The New Mexico medical marijuana law has been amended to provide employment protections to employees and applicants. The amendments were signed into law by the governor on April 4, 2019. The law now provides that “unless a failure to do so would cause the employer to lose a monetary or licensing-related benefit under federal law … Continue Reading
LexBlog