MARIJUANA ARTICLE INDEX FOR 2020 FROM THE BACKGROUND BUZZ (55)
January |Colorado: A bill has been introduced in Colorado that would prohibit companies from firing employees in the state simply because they legally use marijuana while not at work.
January | National: Illinois’ Cannabis Regulation and Tax Act legalizes the use and possession of marijuana for adults age 21 and older and other states are expected to adopt marijuana protections.
January |National: Some workplaces now prohibit employers from screening new hires for marijuana or refusing to hire applicants based on a failed pre-employment marijuana screening.
January |Pennsylvania: 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.
January |Illinois: Illinois has legalized the sale and use of marijuana for personal and recreational use, leaving employers to wonder what sort of testing will be allowed.
January |National: Employers across the country are struggling to address the new hazards of widespread use of recreational cannabis and its risks to the workplace.
January |New Jersey: An Appellate Division ruling in New Jersey offered another layer of protection for employees using medical marijuana.
January |Illinois: Amendments to the Illinois Cannabis Regulation and Tax Act don’t eliminate the protections afforded to employees under the Illinois’ Compassionate Use of Medical Cannabis Program Act.
January |Pennsylvania: A former city worker filed a complaint against the authority alleging a claim for unlawful termination in violation of public policy following a positive drug test.
February | National: As marijuana laws continue to increase in numbers across the nation, employers should be aware of significant ways medical marijuana affects the workplace.
February | New Jersey: New Jersey lawmakers advanced a bill that would require workers’ compensation to cover medical marijuana.
February | Pennsylvania: A PA state court has held that employees can bring lawsuits against their employers asserting claims under the state’s Medical Marijuana Act (MMA).
February | Florida: Both private and public sector employees soon could be awarded sweeping rights regarding medical marijuana.
March | Kentucky: Kentucky Senate Bill 92 created an appeals process for public employees who are found to have violated the state’s marijuana drug policy.
March |California: A bill has been introduced in California that would prohibit employers from refusing to hire or employ a person because of their medical cannabis status.
March | New Jersey: The New Jersey Supreme Court’s decision in a CUMMA/LAD case reminds employers to ensure company policies regarding medical marijuana requirements.
March | New Jersey: The New Jersey Supreme Court affirmed the reinstatement of a disability discrimination lawsuit filed by a medical cannabis cardholder against his employer.
March | Utah: Senate Bill 121 was enacted by the Utah State Legislature, amending and clarifying various provisions of Utah’s medical cannabis laws.
March | Florida: Chambers of the Florida Legislature are considering proposed bills aimed at extending certain protections to Florida employees who are legal medical marijuana users.
March | New Jersey: The governor of New Jersey signed into law the Honig Act, making it unlawful to take any adverse action against an employee who is registered as a qualifying medical marijuana patient.
March | National: Wilson Eiser’s 2020 review provides a comprehensive, state-by-state review of current laws and resulting trends around the nation.
April | New Jersey: The NJ Supreme Court ruled in a case that an employee may pursue discrimination claims relating to CUMMA against his former employer.
April | California: AB2355, introduced in California, would make medical marijuana cannabis users a protected class in California.
April | New York: New rules were proposed that address exceptions recognized under the city’s ordinance generally prohibiting pre-employment testing for marijuana and THC.
May | District of Columbia: Lawmakers passed emergency legislation that extends a policy that protects government employees from workplace discrimination due to medical marijuana use.
May | Virgin Islands: A revised medical marijuana legislation bill would make significant changes to existing policy, with an emphasis on tax revenue from legal cannabis sales.
May | Virginia: The governor of Virginia approved House Bill 972, decriminalizing simple possession of marijuana.
June | National: In its first monthly report, the FMCSA Drug and Alcohol Clearinghouse revealed that positive tests for marijuana far outpaced those for other drugs.
June | Rhode Island: The Rhode Island Supreme Court has ruled that an employer may terminate an employee for refusing to submit to a drug test based on reasonable suspicion.
June | Virginia: The governor of Virginia has signed legislation that decriminalizes simple marijuana possession and prohibits employers from requiring applicants to disclose information related to past criminal charges for possession.
June | National: The first monthly report related to the FMCSA Clearinghouse indicates more positive tests for marijuana than other reported drugs.
June | Louisiana: A law was signed in Louisiana that amends the state’s medical marijuana laws to make it easier for patients to obtain medical marijuana.
July | New York: A final rule was issued in New York City that clarifies the exception for positions for which marijuana or THC tests are permitted.
July |Virginia: State lawmakers passed new legislation prohibiting prior marijuana convictions from barring employment, sealing records with a few exceptions.
August | National: Although marijuana remains illegal under federal law, many states have decriminalized it for recreational or medical purposes and those laws will continue to change.
August | New York: New York City laws regarding testing for marijuana and THC have been amended to exclude certain positions, such as those in safety-sensitive positions and others.
August | Delaware: The Delaware Superior Court ruled that an employer did not err by denying an employee’s claim for medical marijuana costs.
September | National: The November elections serve as an opportunity to vote on marijuana legislation for both recreational and medical use, while removing it from Schedule 1 of the Controlled Substances Act.
September | National: The SAMHSA, DHHS, proposed Mandatory Guidelines for Federal Workplace Drug Testing Programs Using Hair (HMG) in the Federal Register.
September | Iowa: Employers in Iowa must follow strict guidelines when it comes to drug testing policies, even if an employer requests to be tested, to avoid severe penalties.
October | Michigan: A strong odor of marijuana was sufficient to constitute reasonable suspicion to test, and a positive drug test result constituted just cause for a 10-day suspension.
October | Pennsylvania: Claims of violations of PA’s MMA, presented by an employee, were dismissed by the court for failure to exhaust her administrative remedies.
October | Tennessee: A lawsuit in which the plaintiff claimed her employer should have changed its drug policy to allow CBD use has been dismissed.
October | National: Protections for employees who use cannabis under a doctor’s supervision differ widely by state, even with the Americans with Disabilities Act in place.
November | National: Voters in five states approved laws to legalize marijuana for either medicinal or recreational use.
November | New Jersey: A ballot question regarding the legalization of marijuana, along with its cultivation, processing, and sale, passed by an overwhelming margin.
Comprehensive Written Job Descriptions Have Never Before Played a More Critical Role in Employment Drug Screening Compliance Than They Do Today — A Trend That Will Likely Continue in the Foreseeable Future
November | National: It is important for employers to ensure job descriptions are comprehensive and updated in response to the nation’s changing marijuana laws.
November | Pennsylvania: It has been determined that the PHRA nor the PFEOA require colleges and universities to accommodate medical marijuana use and that pre-employment testing for marijuana in Philadelphia will be restricted, except for certain positions.
November | National: Changing marijuana laws have led to a significant amount of questions from employers who should update their workplace drug use and screening policies.
November | Arizona: The Smart and Safe Arizona Act has been adopted by Arizona voters, legalizing the possession and use of marijuana by adults age 21 and older for recreational or non-medicinal use.
November | New Jersey: NJ citizens voted to amend the New Jersey Constitution to legalize cannabis for recreational use by adults older than 21 years of age.
December | Wisconsin: An ordinance was passed in Madison, Wisc., decriminalizing the possession and use of small amounts of cannabis or cannabis derivatives within city limits.
December | Pennsylvania: The PA Commonwealth Court held that PA’s MMA did not require a nursing school to accommodate a student’s use of medical marijuana.
December | Pennsylvania: Two legal developments in Pennsylvania offer a bit of insight into the changing medical and recreational marijuana legislation.
December | National: A memo to federal drug program coordinators and federal medical review officers reminds them that the federal government’s Drug-Free Workplace Program has not changed, despite the legalization of marijuana in some states.