Medical Marijuana & Your Business: What Employers Need to Know

The legalization of medical marijuana for numerous states means employers must be cognizant in terms of balancing employee rights, disability and privacy laws, and the safety of their workplace. As medical marijuana is recognized as medically necessary for some individuals, the employer is responsible for deciding what is best for their company.


The first step is reviewing and updating policies as necessary, and communicating these changes or updates to employees. As there is no blanket legal guidance in this situation, employers must do their due diligence to understand their requirements or restrictions in terms of accommodating an employee’s use of medical marijuana.


Next, the employer must decide their stance on no-tolerance. If a no-tolerance policy is decided, written policies should specify that use of marijuana, even for medicinal purposes, is unacceptable. Regardless of the business’ stance on medical marijuana, it is important to oversee the creation and execution of a clear, well-communicated policy.


Finally, it is very unlikely that healthcare plans at this stage in legalization would be covered under the plan. Employees will likely be paying out of pocket for their medicinal purchases. Understand where your health plan provider’s coverage limits are for medical marijuana and ensure employees understand the self-pay portion of the plan and policy.


The safety and protection of your employees is always the top focus for Human Capital. While drug policies and new laws can be complicated to communicate to employees, there is always a solution. Let Human Capital help you protect your employees while updating and effectively communicating updated policies.

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