May 29, 2024

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Medical Marijuana and the Construction Job Site | Jackson Lewis P.C.

5 min read
Medical Marijuana and the Construction Job Site | Jackson Lewis P.C.

The changing legal landscape relating to cannabis use indicates that companies, primarily all those with protection delicate positions or who are subject matter to federally mandated compliance prerequisites, need to have to critique their present procedures and ways to positive drug tests reflecting cannabis usage to assure they abide by applicable federal, condition, and neighborhood guidelines concerning marijuana in the workplace.

Around 38 states have legalized the use of health care cannabis, 19 states have legalized the use of leisure marijuana, and close to 18 states have legalized the health-related use of CBD solutions for therapy of wellness difficulties. Additionally, there is a new trend where by some states and towns are starting to prohibit drug testing for marijuana beneath particular circumstances.

Companies can no more time take care of cannabis the way they did 20 many years ago.

Federal Legislation

The federal authorities nevertheless classifies cannabis, all varieties, as a Managed Substances Act Routine I drug, that means that there is no at the moment approved health care use for marijuana and a significant probable for abuse. On the other hand, the federal governing administration has not enforced that law in a long time and equally houses of Congress have released bills to legalize cannabis at the federal level.

Meanwhile, federal authorities contractor employers, as effectively as these employing positions issue to federal agency licensure or compliance, this kind of as the Federal Section of Transportation (FDOT), have supplemental concerns to grapple with. For illustration, FDOT prohibits all cannabis use in its regulated industries and does not authorize health care marijuana as a valid clinical justification for a beneficial drug exam for a CDL accredited driver and clinical critique officers are prohibited from verifying a favourable cannabis drug take a look at outcome as negative. Businesses who have federal contracts need to evaluate these contracts to determine whether they are required to carry out drug tests for marijuana. Getting a federal contractor that is matter to the federal Drug-Totally free Workplace Act, by alone, does not call for an employer to exam for cannabis and acquire adverse actions towards persons who check optimistic. The federal Drug-Cost-free Workplace Act does not need any drug tests and does not allow companies to control employees’ off-responsibility use. For these explanations, quite a few courts have rejected employers’ arguments that they could not use a medical cannabis person owing to the employer’s federal contractor position.

State, Regional Legislation

Where compliance with federal law is not indicated, businesses ought to comply with state and neighborhood laws about health care cannabis, recreational cannabis, and drug testing for cannabis. For example, drug tests for marijuana is prohibited (for any explanation) in New York and Rhode Island, and it is really restricted in New Jersey and Montana. The Town of Philadelphia prohibits pre-work cannabis drug testing even though in Nevada, pre-work cannabis drug screening is permitted, but the employer can refuse to use only if the position is safety delicate.

In addition, there are somewhere around 22 condition regulations exactly where lawful or prescription use of health-related marijuana is shielded from discriminatory and retaliatory actions by companies (e.g., Connecticut, Massachusetts, Illinois, Minnesota, New Jersey, New York, and Virginia). Additionally, there are states wherever, when there are no statutory protections, there is scenario legislation keeping that companies may perhaps not discriminate or retaliate versus staff who use healthcare marijuana.

Employers can no extended count on marijuana’s unlawful standing below federal regulation when there are so numerous point out and regional protections for marijuana use and the federal government has not interfered with states’ steps to move these guidelines.


Assume about health-related marijuana like other prescription remedies taken for actual physical or mental health and fitness situations. An employer requirements to make sure it is conducting individualized assessments, participating in interactive dialogue with the worker, conducting safety and direct menace analyses beforehand, as perfectly as searching at no matter whether there will be noncompliance problems with point out or federal legal guidelines or other demands if use is authorized.

A wholistic, individualized evaluate requires to come about just before an employer “knee-jerks” and denies an lodging to professional medical cannabis use. An employer ought to not instantly assume the use is “just much too dangerous” or believe other stereotypes related to marijuana use. Likewise, steer apparent of building a checklist of careers that are “too dangerous” or picket procedures that it can under no circumstances be applied by basic safety sensitive employees. To stand on a direct danger argument, an employer desires to be capable to show, which includes for safety sensitive positions, that there is a considerable chance of significant harm to the health or safety of the person or other people that are unable to be eliminated or lowered by acceptable accommodation. This possible will need supplemental info from the applicant/employee’s physician. Realistic accommodations could include things like waiver of a constructive drug check outcome, primarily if related to pre-employment or random testing, exceptions to policies, modification to operate schedules, go away of absence, or reassignment.

Revisit your guidelines. Make confident they address expected situations. All states presently let an employer to prohibit use and possession of cannabis at work, as very well as getting impaired at work. Need staff members, especially individuals in security delicate positions, to disclose medicines that may influence their means to perform the career safely, which includes side consequences and warnings, in advance of reporting to do the job beneath the impact, including from clinical cannabis. The moment disclosed, follow individualized assessment policies. If the employee is not in a basic safety sensitive purpose, the analysis may shift toward a aim on career responsibilities where effectiveness problems can be dealt with if the worker is impaired at work.

Converse to your professional medical overview officers (MRO) and drug testing corporations in advance. Companies really should ensure they are on the exact same webpage as their MROs relating to reporting an applicant/employee’s assertion that they are using healthcare cannabis when they examination positive and are interviewed by the MRO. This will allow the employer to evaluate upcoming techniques, which includes acquiring a copy of the health care marijuana card or authorization, examining possibility at the point out degree no matter if the task is safety sensitive, asking the applicant/staff for added facts from the health care service provider, and conducting suitable analyses.

Businesses need to address the use of medicinal cannabis and recreational marijuana in the workplace to be certain their procedures comply with all relevant guidelines and that proper techniques can be taken when confronted with optimistic cannabis drug examination effects.

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