Archives: Recreational Marijuana

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Montana Will Protect Off-Duty Use of Marijuana Next Year

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 … 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

How New Jersey’s Recreational Marijuana Law Significantly Affects Workplace Drug Testing

New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy signed into law three marijuana reform bills on February 22, 2021. The first, New Jersey Cannabis Regulatory, Enforcement Assistance, and Marketplace Modernization Act (A21), legalizes and regulates cannabis use and possession for adults who are 21 and older. Two other laws decriminalize marijuana and hashish possession (A1897) and clarify marijuana … 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

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

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

DEA’s National Drug Threat Assessment Shows Marijuana Potency and Demand Increasing; Black Market Operations Thriving

The U.S. Department of Justice’s Drug Enforcement Administration published its 2019 National Drug Threat Assessment on January 30, 2020. The DEA’s annual report is a comprehensive strategic assessment of the threat posed to the United States by domestic and international drug trafficking and the abuse of drugs. It compiles data from many sources, including drug … Continue Reading

Illinois Legislature Clarifies Cannabis Act to Protect Employers Engaged in Workplace Marijuana Testing

Marijuana will become legal recreationally in the State of Illinois on January 1, 2020. The Cannabis Regulation and Tax Act, enacted last June, raised questions on the scope of marijuana drug testing that may be conducted by employers. On December 4, 2019, Governor J.B. Pritzker signed amendments to clarify workplace drug testing and other issues, … Continue Reading

Drug and Alcohol Testing Policy Check-Up – Are You Ready for 2020?

2020 is on the horizon, and employers must be ready to comply with many new developments in the world of workplace drug and alcohol testing. Here is a summary of significant laws that will take effect in 2020 (and some that have already taken effect): Illinois Recreational Marijuana Law – The Cannabis Regulation and Tax … 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

Illinois Legalizes Recreational Marijuana, Posing Challenges For Employers

The Illinois General Assembly passed the Cannabis Regulation and Tax Act (“the Act”) (HB 1438) on May 31, 2019, legalizing marijuana for recreational purposes. Governor J.B. Pritzker has stated he will sign the bill and it will take effect on January 1, 2020.  The Act will allow anyone over the age of 21 to possess, use, or … Continue Reading

Nevada Will Ban Pre-Employment Marijuana Testing On January 1, 2020

Beginning on January 1, 2020, it will be illegal to conduct pre-employment drug testing for marijuana in the state of Nevada. Assembly Bill No. 132 was signed into law by the governor on June 5, 2019. This makes Nevada the first state to enact such a law (although New York City became the first city … 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 York City Will Ban Pre-Employment Marijuana Testing in 2020

The New York City Council passed a law on April 9, 2019 that will prohibit employers from conducting pre-employment drug testing for marijuana. The law is expected to be signed by the mayor and will take effect one year later. This law is the first of its kind in the United States. The new law … Continue Reading

Voters in Three States Approve Marijuana Laws on Election Day

Three states approved new marijuana laws on Election Day 2018. Voters approved medical marijuana laws in Missouri and Utah, while Michigan voters approved a recreational marijuana law. Michigan: Recreational Marijuana Michigan Proposal 1 was passed by a majority (approximately 55% “Yes” and 45% “No”). Proposal 1, the Michigan Regulation and Taxation of Marijuana Act, legalizes … Continue Reading

Vermont Attorney General Publishes Guide to Marijuana in the Workplace

Vermont’s recreational marijuana law will take effect on July 1, 2018. (Click here for our previous blog summarizing this law and its impact on employers).  On June 14, 2018, the Vermont Office of the Attorney General published the Guide to Vermont’s Laws on Marijuana in the Workplace. The Guide provides employers with an overview of … Continue Reading

Maine’s New Recreational Marijuana Law Permits Employers to Enforce Policies Restricting Use

Maine’s new recreational marijuana law permits employers to enforce workplace policies restricting the use of marijuana and to take disciplinary action in accordance with those workplace policies. The new law, which took effect on May 2, 2018, replaced one that had been the subject of controversy, particularly with regard to certain employer-related provisions. Background Certain … Continue Reading

FDA Seeks Comments on Potential Marijuana Reclassification Under International Drug Control Treaty

The Food and Drug Administration requested comments in a notice published in the Federal Register on April 9, 2018 concerning the “abuse potential, actual abuse, medical usefulness, trafficking, and impact of scheduling changes on availability for medical use” of five marijuana-related substances: cannabis plant and resin; extracts and tinctures of cannabis; delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC); stereoisomers of … Continue Reading

Maine Department of Labor Provides No Guidance Concerning the Impact of the State’s Recreational Marijuana Law on Workplace Drug Testing

Effective February 1, 2018, a provision in Maine’s recreational marijuana law impacts workplace drug testing. As we previously blogged here, the law prohibits employers from taking adverse employment actions for off-premises marijuana use, as of February 1, 2018. On its face, this law effectively prevents Maine employers from testing for marijuana for pre-employment purposes, and … Continue Reading

Federal Court Rejects Constitutional Challenge To Marijuana’s Classification As Schedule I Drug

A federal district court in the Southern District of New York rejected a constitutional challenge to marijuana’s classification as a Schedule I drug under the federal Controlled Substances Act (“CSA”). Washington, et al. v. Jefferson Beauregard Sessions, III, et. al., 17 Civ. 5625 (AKH) (S.D.N.Y. Feb. 26, 2018). Plaintiffs consisted of a group of individual … Continue Reading

Maine Recreational Marijuana Law Limits Workplace Drug Testing As Well As Disciplinary Consequences Imposed By Employers

A provision of Maine’s recreational marijuana law prohibits employers from taking adverse employment actions for off-premises marijuana use, as of February 1, 2018. This law effectively prevents Maine employers from testing for marijuana for pre-employment purposes.  The law also affects employers who employ employees subject to federal drug and alcohol testing regulations as well as … Continue Reading

U.S. Department of Justice Ends Obama-Era Marijuana Policy

Three days after retail sales of marijuana became legal in California, U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions announced today a new marijuana enforcement policy which rescinds long-standing policy set by the Obama Administration. In a one-page memorandum, Mr. Sessions stated that marijuana is an illegal and dangerous drug, and directed all U.S. Attorneys to enforce the … Continue Reading
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