Employer Prep for Recreational Cannabis Legalization During Covid-19

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In 1996, California became the first state in the country to legalize cannabis use when voters approved the formation of a medical cannabis program. By May 2020, only two states permit no cannabis use at all. With the advent of Covid-19, documented use of cannabis has risen, necessitating employers to focus even more on how these laws affect their employees. Detecting whether or not cannabis use affects a remote workforce and deciding how to handle these issues within the parameters of the law is even more relevant.

In order to comply with new laws relating to cannabis usage, human resources departments and employers must take proactive measures to adequately explain new guidelines to their employees and prevent future legal problems. Because many new state laws do not offer clear guidance to employers and HR executives about how to navigate the impact recreational use might have on the workplace, managers across the country are seeking legal counsel to help them refine existing policies and craft new policies to address the issues unique to their companies.

Originally published in Bloomberg Law - May 2020.

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DISCLAIMER: Because of the generality of this update, the information provided herein may not be applicable in all situations and should not be acted upon without specific legal advice based on particular situations.

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