What to do with an employee who tested positive for marijuana used to be an easy decision.  That is not necessarily the case anymore.

Thirteen states have legalized the use of marijuana for medical purposes.  Some of these states require employers to accommodate the medical use of marijuana.  Although use of marijuana remains illegal under the federal Controlled Substances Act regardless of whether it is medically prescribed, the U.S. Department of Justice announced in October 2009 that federal agents will target users and distributors of marijuana only when they violate both federal and state laws.  In addition, employers may have to consider whether they must allow employees to use medical marijuana as a reasonable accommodation pursuant to the federal Americans With Disabilities Act (ADA).  These developments have caused employers to re-examine their “zero tolerance” policies with regard to drug use by employees.

Continue Reading Medical Marijuana Leaves Employers In A Haze

In the first four months of 2021, Virginia, New Mexico, New York and New Jersey passed laws legalizing or decriminalizing, in some form, recreational marijuana.  Exactly how these laws will affect employers in these states is still an open question, but for now, employers should understand the nuances of the laws so they can prepare for the emerging reality that is legal marijuana.

Continue Reading The Trend Towards Legal Recreational Cannabis: Considerations for Employers

On March 25, 2021, Virginia Governor Ralph Northam signed into law new protections for employees related to the medicinal use of cannabis oil.  Effective July 1, 2021, the newly enacted § 40.1-27.4 will prohibit employers from disciplining, discharging, or discriminating against an employee for his or her lawful use of cannabis oil so long as the use is pursuant to a valid written certification issued by a health care practitioner for the treatment of the employee’s diagnosed condition or disease.

Continue Reading Virginia Enacts Employment Protections For Medical Use of Cannabis Oil