Recreational Marijuana

Earlier this month, plaintiff Bright Side, LLC dba Herbal Edibles, a manufacturer of cannabis edibles, filed a lawsuit in New Mexico state court to enforce a 3-year non-compete and enjoin the misappropriation of its trade secret cannabis recipes by one its former bakers, Christina Johnson.

Based on the complaint, Ms. Johnson had been employed by Herbal Edibles as a baker for less than one year when she was terminated. Ms. Johnson allegedly started her own competing business, selling cannabis edibles such as “psychedelic sugar cookies” through Instagram and an open air market.

According to Herbal Edibles, Ms. Johnson’s competing business is based on the use of Herbal Edibles’ recipes. Herbal Edibles sued Ms. Johnson for both breach of a Confidentiality Agreement – Non-Compete Agreement, as well as misappropriation of trade secrets under the New Mexico Uniform Trade Secrets Act.


Continue Reading Cannabis Baker’s Plans of Own Business Potentially Put On Backburner

Seyfarth Synopsis: In the first six months of 2021, several states legalized marijuana for recreational and medicinal purposes, including New York, New Jersey, Virginia, and New Mexico.  States show no signs of slowing down.  On June 22, 2021, Connecticut Governor Ned Lamont signed a bill that legalized recreational marijuana use by adults 21 years and older.  Although provisions relating to possession are effective now (as of July 1, 2021), the employment-related provisions are not effective until July 1, 2022.  Because the new law will prohibit many employers from taking certain actions in the absence of clear policies addressing marijuana use or evidence of impairment, Connecticut employers that do not have written drug and alcohol testing policies should consider developing them in the near future and those companies that have policies in place should review and, if necessary, revise their current drug and alcohol testing policies.  In addition, all employers should consider training their managers on making reasonable suspicion determinations.

Can employers still maintain a drug and alcohol-free workplace?

Yes.  Employers do not have to tolerate employees being under the influence of marijuana while they are working and they may prohibit employees from using and possessing marijuana during work hours and while performing their job duties or on company premises.  However, employers still must be mindful of the state law protections currently available to medical marijuana users including, among other things, not taking adverse action or otherwise discriminating against someone based solely on their status as a qualifying medical marijuana patient or their possession of medical marijuana.


Continue Reading Connecticut Becomes the 20th Jurisdiction to Legalize Recreational Marijuana

TBT readers are invited to join Seyfarth Shaw LLP’s upcoming webinar, “High Times in NJ: New Recreational Marijuana Law Limits Employers’ Options to Prevent Impairment.”

Register here

There is no cost to attend, but registration is required.

Thursday, April 8, 2021
1:00 p.m. to 2:00 p.m. Eastern
12:00 p.m. to 1:00 p.m. Central
11:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. Mountain
10:00
Continue Reading Upcoming Webinar: High Times in NJ: New Recreational Marijuana Law Limits Employers’ Options to Prevent Impairment

Earlier this month, Governor Pritzker signed into law SB 1557, revising the Recreational Cannabis Law to expand permissible marijuana testing and related adverse action.

The Original Legalization Bill As Enacted

The Illinois Cannabis Regulation and Tax Act (410 ILCS 705) (the “Legalization Act”) legalizes recreational cannabis for Illinois adults starting January 1, 2020. The Legalization Act specifically allows Illinois employers to enforce “reasonable zero tolerance or drug free workplace policies, or employment policies concerning drug testing, smoking, consumption, storage, or use of cannabis in the workplace or while on call provided that the policy is applied in a nondiscriminatory manner.” The Act also permits employers to prohibit employees from being under the influence of or using cannabis in the employer’s workplace or while on call. Further, the Act (i) allows employers to discipline or terminate an employee who violates the employer’s workplace drug policy, and (ii) specifically insulates employers from liability for disciplining or terminating employees based on the employer’s good faith belief that the employee was either impaired at work (as a result of using cannabis) or under the influence of cannabis while at work.
Continue Reading Illinois Amends Recreational Cannabis Law To Protect Drug Testing By Employers

On June 14, 2018, the Vermont Attorney General released its “Guide to Vermont’s Laws on Marijuana in the Workplace,” which can be found here. The Guide is aimed at assisting Vermont employers in navigating the state’s new recreational marijuana law, although it also addresses the state’s medical marijuana law, disability discrimination law, and drug testing law.
Continue Reading Vermont Attorney General Releases “Marijuana in the Workplace” Guidance

As previously reported here, on November 8, 2016, Maine voters approved “Question 1 – An Act to Legalize Marijuana” (“the Act”), which allows for, among other things, the recreational use of marijuana. The Act became the first law of its kind in the nation to protect employees and applicants from adverse employment action based on their use of off-duty and off-site marijuana.

Simply stated, the Act prohibits employers from refusing to employ or otherwise taking any adverse action against any person age 21 or older based on that individual’s off-premises marijuana use. However, the Act permits employers to bar the on-premises use and possession of marijuana and to discipline employees for being under the influence of marijuana in the workplace. Employers may no longer test job applicants for marijuana. Moreover, according to the Maine Department of Labor, for purposes of a reasonable suspicion drug test, an employee’s positive drug test, by itself, will not be sufficient to prove that the employee is “under the influence” of marijuana.


Continue Reading Maine Employers Receive Little Guidance From Department of Labor on New Recreational Marijuana Law

On March 9, 2018, the Massachusetts Cannabis Control Commission (“CCC”) filed its much anticipated recreational marijuana Regulations with the Massachusetts Secretary of State.  According to the CCC, the Regulations are on track to be published in the Massachusetts Register on March 23, 2018.  The Regulations will become effective upon publication.  While the Regulations are comprehensive in many ways, for most employers the Regulations are most notable for what they lack, namely guidance regarding employer-employee rights and responsibilities.
Continue Reading Massachusetts Recreational Pot Regulations Offer Little Guidance To Employers

On November 8, 2016, Maine voters approved “Question 1 – An Act to Legalize Marijuana” (“the Act”), which allows for, among other things, the recreational use of marijuana. The Act contains within it an anti-discrimination in employment provision, which is effective today, February 1, 2018, making it the first law of its kind in the nation because it protects employees and applicants from adverse employment action based on their use of off-duty and off-site marijuana.

Continue Reading Maine Employees Now Protected From Repercussions of Off-Duty Marijuana Use

With only a week until Election Day, we continue our coverage of state ballot initiatives proposing to legalize recreational marijuana use:

MASSACHUSETTS:  Massachusetts’ Question 4 would permit people 21 and over to possess up to an ounce of marijuana in public and up to 10 ounces at home. Massachusetts residents would be able to grow up to six plants and
Continue Reading RE[e]FERENDUMS: 2016 Marijuana State Ballot Initiatives, Part 3

With only a month to Election Day, The Blunt Truth turns its attention to the ballot measures in nine states that would expand legal access to marijuana.  This week we look at two of the five states— Arizona, California, Maine, Massachusetts and Nevada —with ballot measures proposing to legalize recreational marijuana use for anyone 21 and over:
Continue Reading RE[e]FERENDUMS: 2016 Marijuana State Ballot Initiatives