new york cannabis

New York Employers Have Been Prohibited from Testing Workers for Cannabis

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As per the latest regulations released by the state Department of Labor, employers in New York State will no longer be allowed to test employees for cannabis. This move makes New York the first state to announce a ban on testing both prospective and current workers for marijuana.

In states where marijuana has been legalized, there are stringent laws that prevent employers from penalizing workers who test positive. However, this is the first time regulation has been passed explicitly prohibiting testing for cannabis at New York workplaces altogether.

Also Read: As per Report, Marijuana Legalization in States Led to Fewer Illegal Cannabis Samples

Derrick Hogan, a partner at Tully Rinckey PLLC shared, “Whether it’s an employee or employer, they’re just going to have to get adjusted to this”. He further added that as the law gains momentum in New York, one will be able to purchase and possess marijuana legally.

This will make people understand more about cannabis laws and use. Hogan is optimistic that people would soon understand that using cannabis is like alcohol which you cannot use at work and there is a fine line.

Despite the new regulation, there are a few exceptions to these rules. For instance, if an employee is evidently impaired at work or is found possessing marijuana on the job, then an employer has the authority to conduct a test and penalize a worker.

Observable signs of use do not in any manner indicate impairment as the new Department of Labor regulations. However, symptoms that provide noticeable signs that the employee’s performance of essential tasks and duties are impacted may be cited.

As marijuana is still considered illegal on the federal level, employees such as commercial vehicle drivers, post office workers, and others could still be tested for cannabis use.

Hogan explained that the employers will need to get adjusted to the new laws and must be able to determine whether or not it is necessary to test their employees.

Furthermore, employees also need to understand that just because marijuana is legal now doesn’t imply that they have the right to smoke on office premises. They shouldn’t misuse their freedom by coming to work high.

Also Read: Luxembourg Becomes the First in Europe to Legalize the Cultivation and Use of Cannabis

The Cannabis Control Board has met twice before announcing reforms in their regulations. They have also issued a new draft that allows medical marijuana patients to grow cannabis plants at home. Each patient can grow a maximum of 6 plants.

However, there cannot be more than 12 plants per household. The elected caregivers have also been given the right to grow plants on behalf of their patients if they are either disabled or are under 21.

The Cannabis Control Board unanimously voted to approve the draft regulations. However, they will have to wait for the 60-day public comment period to finally approve it. The board has announced about 203,000 marijuana-related changes recently as a part of the new marijuana bill passed in March this year.

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