Amendment 2 has passed – it’s no longer a pipedream (no more puns, I promise). So now what for employers? Will it gut employers’ drug-free workplace policies? Will employers be required to grant accommodations to prescription card carrying users (e.g. provide a location for such employees to light up during the work day?). Will employees be able to successfully sue employers who terminate them for failing a drug test due to a positive test for medical marijuana use? There are sure to be other questions and issues arise, some of which may take court cases to fully answer, but let’s take a look at what we know:
- A Constitutional Amendment takes effect the first Tuesday after the first Monday in January. That would be an effective date of January 3, 2017;
- The Florida Department of Health will then have six months to pass implementing regulations;
- The Department must begin issuing patient and caregiver identification cards, and registering MMTC’s (Medical Marijuana Treatment Centers) a/k/a/ “dispensaries”, within nine months from that effective date.
While the infrastructure and implementing regulations are ramping up for the new law and the industry it will spawn, employers may be well served to use the time now to survey their approach to the law. Consider these facts:
- The Amendment specifically states that it shall not require accommodation in a place of employment.
- It specifically states that it does not purport to give immunity under federal law.