Ohio Medical Marijuana Law Addresses Employment

Law Effective September 6, 2016

A new law in Ohio allows a patient to use medical marijuana if certain conditions are met. Key provisions of the law that affect employers are highlighted below.
Medical Marijuana and the Workplace
Among other things, the law does not:
• Require an employer to permit or accommodate an employee’s use, possession, or distribution of medical marijuana;
• Prohibit 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 use, possession, or distribution of medical marijuana;
• Prohibit an employer from establishing and enforcing a drug testing policy, drug-free workplace policy, or zero-tolerance drug policy;
• Interfere with any federal restrictions on employment (e.g., the regulations adopted by the United States Department of Transportation); or
• Affect the authority of the administrator of workers’ compensation to grant rebates or discounts on premium rates to employers that participate in a drug-free workplace program established in accordance with rules adopted under state workers’ compensation law.
Note: A person who is discharged from employment because of that person’s use of medical marijuana is considered to have been discharged for just cause for purposes of state unemployment law—if the person’s use of medical marijuana was in violation of an employer’s drug-free workplace policy, zero-tolerance policy, or other formal program or policy regulating the use of medical marijuana.

The measure goes into effect on September 6, 2016. Additional provisions affecting employment are available in the text of the law.