Welcome to our end of the year wrap-up post for The Week in Weed; it’s hard to believe another year has come and (almost) gone, but the calendar doesn’t lie.  In what we are calling an homage to Dave Barry and his always hilarious Year in Review, we’ll organize these stories by month.

Without further ado, here’s a look at the stories that grabbed our attention in 2018. Continue Reading The Week, No Make that the Year, in Weed: 2018

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 Michigan, Missouri, and Utah.

Michigan. Employers can rejoice in that the recreational bill leaves their right to refuse to hire or to discharge an employee intact. The act “does not prohibit an employer from disciplining an employee for violation of a workplace drug policy or for working while under the influence of marijuana. This act does not prevent an employer from refusing to hire, discharging, disciplining, or otherwise taking an adverse employment action against a person with respect to hire, tenure, terms, conditions, or privileges of employment because of that person’s violation of a workplace drug policy or because that person was working while under the influence of marijuana.”

Compared to some of the other recreational bills that have been passed, this one gives employers some leeway in allowing them to refuse to hire, refuse to accommodate, or discharge an employee simply for violating their drug policies. In order to obtain the protections afforded by this bill, employers that operate in Michigan must confirm that they have adequate anti-drug policies prohibiting the use of marijuana in the workplace.

Missouri. Amendment Two passed by a margin of 66 percent to 34 percent. What this means is that qualified patients who have approval from their physicians will receive identification cards from the State that will allow them to consume marijuana.

The bill affords some level of protection to employers. The bill states that a person cannot bring a claim “against any employer, former employer, or prospective employer for wrongful discharge, discrimination or any similar cause of action or remedy” based on the employer “prohibiting the employee, former employee, or prospective employee from being under the influence of marijuana at work … or for attempting to work while under the influence of marijuana.”

While this bill in theory provides employers some protections, the difficulty employers face is testing for intoxication and determining if the employee is under the influence at work. THC accumulates and slowly releases overtime, such that chronic users may test positive even after many days of abstinence. Further, the way the body metabolizes THC makes it possible that the effects of marijuana continue long after the drug ceases to be detectible via blood tests. Thus, employers need to make sure they train their supervisors on how to properly detect cannabis use. Examples include looking for visible signs of cannabis use, such as, slowed productivity, weed odor, and blood shot eyes.

Utah. Interestingly, the Utah Medical Cannabis Act is silent as to what protections employers are afforded. While current law allows employers to drug screen applicants and allows existing employees to engage in drug testing for investigative purposes, the bill seems to imply that it may allow medical card users more protections in the employment context. Under the “Nondiscrimination” section, the bill states that cannabis use does “not constitute an illegal substance.” That section also prevents landlords from refusing to lease or from penalizing a person simply for being a marijuana card holder. Oklahoma had a similar landlord provision, and there, employers could not discriminate against a person in “hiring or termination or from imposing any term or condition of employment or other penalize a person based upon their status as a medical marijuana card holder or the results of a positive drug test.” Thus, it’s likely that Utah may adopt a similar provision. However, until Utah clears the smoke, employers remain in a haze as to what protections they have. Stay tuned for growing developments.

 

Welcome back to The Week in Weed, your Friday look at what’s happening in the world of legalized marijuana.  And what a week it was!

Michigan legalized recreational cannabis, Utah and Missouri voted yes on medical marijuana, and several pro-legalization candidates were elected as governors.  Meanwhile, North Dakota voted against legalization and Rep. Dana Rohrabacher (sponsor of the legislation to prevent the DOJ from enforcing federal law against medical marijuana dispensaries) lost his seat.

And Attorney General Jeff Sessions, who made no secret of his opposition to cannabis for any purpose, was forced out of the administration.  So yeah, a lot’s been going on.

For our round-up of marijuana-related election results, see yesterday’s post.  For more analysis, see articles from the National Cannabis Industry Association, Ganjapreneur, and Marijuana Business Daily.

For Sessions news, see here, here and here.

But, has anything else important happened lately?  I’m glad you asked, because the answer is yes.

It’s not just Canada that’s legalized marijuana.  The Mexican Supreme Court has just ruled that the nation’s ban on cannabis is unconstitutional.

Speaking of Canada, they’ve got a pot shortage.  Apparently, you need to stock up more than you think when you legalize.  Mexico: take note.

Back in the U.S., the first cannabis-based drug approved by the FDA is now available by prescription.

See you again next Friday!

Welcome back to The Week in Weed, your Friday look at what’s happening in the world of legalized marijuana.

Could legal recreational marijuana be in Michigan’s future?  A referendum may be on the November ballot.

Associated Press and Gongwer News Service – Michigan’s elections board said organizers collected enough signatures, but the measure will first go to the Republican-led Legislature, which could enact it or let it proceed to a statewide vote.

In other state news, Missouri is moving towards legal medical marijuana.  The state House has voted in favor of a bill to give access to terminal patients.

Missouri’s House has passed a medical cannabis measure that would allow individuals with terminal illness and 11 other conditions to access the program, the Columbia Missourian reports.

When marijuana becomes legal in a jurisdiction, what happens to all those old arrests?  Seattle is going to expunge them.

Seattle’s mayor says it will help “right the wrongs of the failed War on Drugs.”

And in what is becoming a continuing series, another politician is speaking out in favor of legal marijuana.  This time, it’s Democrat Dianne Feinstein.

The California senator, a longtime opponent of legalization, says she’s come around.

Finally, have you wondered when the craft beer industry would jump on the marijuana bandwagon?  The answer is this fall.

Keith Villa, the man who created the recipe for the popular Blue Moon beer, has a new project: a marijuana-infused beer made by his new brewing company.

 

Welcome back to The Week in Weed, your Friday look at what’s happening in the world of legalized marijuana.

New Gallup Poll Finds Record Support for Marijuana Legalization.

Medical marijuana companies in Massachusetts could see a hike in business once regulators implement several improvements to the state’s MMJ program.

A St. Louis bill allowing the use and growth of marijuana aims to reduce disproportionate penalties for existing violations and free up time and resources for police.

Something we missed that everyone needs to know?  Give us a shout in the comments.

Welcome back to The Week in Weed, your Friday look at what’s happening in the world of legalized marijuana.

West Virginia’s House voted Tuesday to legalize doctor-prescribed marijuana to treat certain medical conditions following Senate passage of a similar measure last week.

Voters in Kansas City voted overwhelmingly on Tuesday to eliminate the possibility of jail time for people caught with small amounts of marijuana or related paraphernalia.

A marijuana-themed exchange traded fund touted as the world’s first launched on the Toronto Stock Exchange Wednesday morning, giving investors a new way to bet on legal marijuana stocks.

Something we missed that everyone needs to know?  Give us a shout in the comments.

Welcome back to The Week in Weed, your Friday look at what’s happening in the world of legalized marijuana.

 

Ohio’s Supreme Court affirmed that lawyers in the state will be allowed to serve medical cannabis business clients, much to the relief of hopeful cannabis entrepreneurs.

 

Until he was released from the Baltimore Ravens this year, Eugene Monroe was the NFL’s foremost advocate for allowing players to use medical marijuana. Now he’s a partner in a company suing Maryland regulators for rejecting its application to grow the drug.

 

Gov. Rick Snyder has signed into law new marijuana regulations that he says clarify Michigan’s 8-year-old voter-approved initiative that legalized the drug for medical use.

 

A proposal to allow medical marijuana in Missouri won’t go to voters this year because of an insufficient number of valid signatures, a judge has ruled.

 

Anything we missed that everyone needs to know?  Give us a shout in the comments.