New Jersey’s November 2020 election ballot included a referendum on the legalization of recreational marijuana for adult use. New Jersey voters approved the referendum by a 67% majority. To that end, on Feb. 22, 2021, Governor Philip Murphy signed into law the “Cannabis Regulatory Enforcement Assistance and Marketplace Modernization Act,” or “CREAMMA.” While CREAMMA legalizes and regulates marijuana use and possession for adults aged 21 and over, it also expressly prohibits an employer from subjecting an employee or applicant to any adverse action solely due to an individual’s positive drug test for marijuana.
At the same time, the federal government still prohibits the use of marijuana. So what does all this mean for employers? Just months after this substantial shift in the law, businesses are still struggling to figure out how this impacts them and the people they employ.
Among the issues that will be reviewed are:
- Since federal law still prohibits marijuana use, does federal or state law take precedence?
- Can employers fire employees for cannabis consumption?
- Can employers still require employees to undergo drug tests? What are their limitations?
- Can you legally discipline an employee for having cannabis or being under the influence of marijuana at work?
- Must you provide accommodation for use of medical marijuana in the workplace?
- Can you maintain a drug-free workplace? What should your policies say?
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