On July 29, 2019, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo (D) signed state legislation that further decriminalizes the possession of cannabis. The bill, sponsored by Senator Jamaal Bailey (D-Bronx), was passed by the New York State Assembly just over a month before it was signed, receiving 39 to 20 votes in the State Senate and 94

Illinois Governor J.B. Pritzker is expected to sign a comprehensive recreational cannabis bill.  While the “Cannabis Regulation and Tax Act” contains extensive provisions preserving an employer’s right to ban cannabis and otherwise have a “zero tolerance” substance abuse policy, there are potential traps for the unwary and, thus, employers should carefully consider how the new law will impact their existing substance abuse and drug testing policies and procedures. 
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Texas is joining the states weighing whether to expand legalized uses of marijuana, with state legislators filing almost a dozen bills related to marijuana use in advance of the legislative session, which began on January 8.  (In Texas, the state legislature meets biannually for a 140-day session.)  Texas first established a limited compassionate use program

Michigan becomes the tenth state to legalize cannabis on a recreational level, and Missouri and Utah now join thirty-one other states who have legalized medical marijuana. But what’s next and how will this affect employers?

Here is a quick summary of some of the major issues employers may face now that cannabis is legal in

Just two years ago, North Dakota voters passed medical marijuana legalization with 64 percent support. Now, North Dakota could join a number of sanctuary states legalizing recreational marijuana.

Through an effort called Legalize ND, proponents of recreational marijuana submitted more than the required 13,452 valid petition signatures to get a measure on the November

On November 8, 2016, Maine voters approved “Question 1 – An Act to Legalize Marijuana,” and joined a handful of other states, including California, to have legalized the recreational use, retail sale and taxation of marijuana. The voter-approved law would have allowed persons 21 years of age or older to use or possess up to 2½ ounces of marijuana, consume marijuana in nonpublic places (including a private residence), and grow, at the person’s residence, up to 6 flowering marijuana plants (and up to 12 immature plants). It also would have legalized the purchase of marijuana or marijuana seedlings or plants from retail marijuana stores and cultivation facilities.

The law was to become fully effective on January 30, 2017. However, on January 27, 2017, the legislature approved a moratorium on implementing parts of the law regarding retail sales and taxation until at least February 2018, giving time to resolve issues and promulgate rules. However, on November 3, 2017, Governor Paul R. LePage vetoed legislation designed to set up a retail market for cannabis. On November 6, 2017, the Maine legislature sustained the Governor’s veto.
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On January 22, 2018, Vermont Governor Phil Scott signed H. 511, allowing adults to possess recreational marijuana, making Vermont the first state in the nation to pass such a law in the legislature rather than at the ballot box. Vermont joins eight other states that have legalized recreational marijuana, as well as Washington D.C.  Nearly 30 states, including Vermont and Washington D.C., also have medical marijuana laws on the books. Polls show that most Americans favor legalizing marijuana at the national and local levels. An October 2017 Gallup poll found national support for legalization at the federal level to be at almost 64%.
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On November 8, 2016, Maine voters approved “Question 1 – An Act to Legalize Marijuana” (“Act”), and joined a handful of other states, including California, to have legalized the recreational use, retail sale and taxation of marijuana. As approved, the Act would have allowed persons 21 years of age or older to use or possess up to 2½ ounces of marijuana, consume marijuana in nonpublic places (including a private residence), and grow, at the person’s residence, up to 6 flowering marijuana plants (and up to 12 immature plants). The Act also would have legalized the purchase of marijuana or marijuana seedlings or plants from retail marijuana stores and cultivation facilities. Importantly for employers, the Act was the first law of its kind in the nation establishing express anti-discrimination protections for recreational marijuana users.

The Act was to become fully effective on January 30, 2017. However, on January 27, 2017, the legislature approved a moratorium on implementing parts of the law regarding retail sales and taxation until at least February 2018, giving time to resolve issues and promulgate rules.


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