Bloomberg Publishes Akin Gump Article on Effective Workplace Cannabis Policies

Bloomberg Law has published the article “Strategies for Effective Workplace Cannabis Policies,” written by Akin Gump labor and employment partner Gary McLaughlin and senior counsel Chris Petersen and health partner Howard Sklamberg and associate Mallory Jones. The article seeks to provide some clarity around the rapidly evolving landscape of laws and policies pertaining to marijuana in the workplace, including the use of cannabis and cannabidiol.

The article begins with a discussion of federal regulation of cannabis. It then outlines some of the actions taken at the state level to legalize it, noting that, “33 states and the District of Columbia have legalized medical marijuana,” with 12 of them legalizing it for recreational use. While federal law trumps state law, keeping marijuana illegal throughout the United States, the authors write that the federal government’s policy “has been to not enforce its laws with respect to the sale and use of marijuana and its derivatives permitted under state law, allowing the state-legalized marijuana industry to flourish.”

In the employment context, the article says, “state legalization of marijuana does not necessarily mean that employees are protected vis à vis their employers should they choose to partake.” In fact, it continues, “there is significant variation in whether employers may prohibit legal use by employees.” With this in mind, the authors outline some steps employers can take to create effective workplace cannabis policies.

To read the complete article, please click here.