WFJ Presents: Minnesota’s Medical Marijuana Law and Its Impact on Employment Law

Minnesota recently passed legislation becoming the 22nd state to allow the use of marijuana for medical purposed. Minnesota’s law is one of the strictest in the country. The law creates a patient registry that controls who may obtain the drug. While much of the law is aimed at the criminal and health side of things, the law also has some provisions that affect employers in Minnesota.

Specifically, the law provides that “an employer may not discriminate against a person in hiring, termination, or any term or condition of employment, or otherwise penalize a person, if the discrimination is based upon… the person’s status as a patient enrolled in the registry …or … a patient’s positive drug test for cannabis components or metabolites, unless the patient used, possessed, or was impaired by medical cannabis on the premises of the place of employment or during the hours of employment.” It also states that an employee can present verification of enrollment in the patient registry to explain a positive test result.

This law has consequences ranging from revising employee handbooks to employers who have drivers that must comply with Federal Department of Transportation drug testing rules to the use and possession of the drug on company property. Should you have questions about how this new law affects your business, please contact us for a consultation.

Attorney Andrew W.R. Nielsen