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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Welcome back to The Week in Weed, your Friday look at legalized marijuana.  And what a week it was!  From California’s legalization of recreational pot to the rescinding of the Cole Memorandum, this has been a roller coaster ride for the industry.

Let’s start with California’s legalization:

LOS ANGELES (AP) — California on Monday becomes the nation’s largest state to offer legal recreational marijuana sales.

For the Bay Area’s cannabis community, legalization means reckoning with capitalism never imagined in Haight-Ashbury’s “turn on, tune in, drop out”  ethos of the late ’60s.


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California employers can still enforce their drug-free workplace policies and discharge employees who test positive for marijuana, despite the recreational marijuana laws that go into effect in January 2018.

On November 8, 2016, California voters enacted the Adult Use of Marijuana Act. Effective January 1, 2018, adults over the age of 21 can smoke marijuana recreationally. Health & Safety Code § 11362.1(a)(4). Marijuana, meanwhile, will remain legal for medical use by patients who have a physician’s recommendation, under California’s Compassionate Use Act of 1996. Health & Safety Code § 11362.5. So how will the new law affect employers?
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