What should employers know about Ohio’s medical marijuana law and what should they do?

Patients with one of 21 specified medical conditions may obtain a doctor’s recommendation for marijuana use in the forms of edibles, oils, patches or vaporizers. The conditions are: AIDS, ALS, Alzheimer’s disease, cancer, chronic traumatic encephalopathy, Crohn’s disease, epilepsy or another seizure disorder, fibromyalgia, glaucoma, hepatitis C, inflammatory bowel disease, multiple sclerosis, pain that is either chronic and severe or intractable, Parkinson’s disease, positive status for HIV, post-traumatic stress disorder, sickle cell anemia, spinal cord disease or injury, Tourett’s syndrome, traumatic brain injury, and ulcerative colitis.

November 1, 2018 to December 31, 2018 is the first submission period for petitions to add a qualifying medical condition to the Medical Marijuana Control Program. Employers may, but are not required to accommodate or permit medical marijuana use at work. Employers who do not wish to accommodate or permit use at work can enforce drug testing, a drug free workplace or a zero tolerance policy. There is no actionable claim against employers for retaliation for medical marijuana use or possession. If an employer fires an employee under a workplace policy that prohibits marijuana use, the employee will not receive unemployment benefits. Employees will not be eligible for workers’ compensation if their injury was a result of being under the influence of medical marijuana.

Employment policies addressing medical marijuana should be clear and should be communicated to employees. Emphasize that any medical marijuana use that compromises workplace safety will not be tolerated. Managers and HR employees should be trained to identify and document employee impairment.

Comments are closed.