To date 29 states and the District of Columbia have legalized marijuana for medicinal purposes.  Some states (i.e., California) have been grappling with the implications of medicinal marijuana use for several years, while others (i.e., Pennsylvania) are just beginning to explore the complicated world of medicinal cannabis and its many tentacles. As a labor and employment law attorney, when it comes to medical marijuana, the question I am most asked is “what does medical marijuana mean for our workplace and/or our drug-testing policies?”

Given the dearth of state regulations and case law on the topic, answering this question is not easy. Generally, the answer to this question turns on two things: the medical marijuana legislation in the state(s) in which the company does business; and the company’s overall temperament for medical marijuana usage. However, further clouding the answer is federal law. While a majority of states have jumped on the medical marijuana bandwagon, and nine have legalized recreational marijuana use, the federal government continues to classify marijuana as a highly controlled, Schedule I drug.

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