ISSUE 2: It passed. Now what?
Issue 2, Ohio’s ballot initiative to legalize the adult use of marijuana, passed yesterday with approximately 57 percent of voters approving the measure. Now employers may be wondering, “Where do we go from here?”
As a recap, Ohioans voted to allow adults 21 and older to buy, possess, and grow marijuana, and to permit the state to impose a 10% sales tax on products purchased at a licensed dispensary.
Technically, initiated statues like Issue 2 take effect 30 days after they pass. But because this is a state law versus an amendment to the state’s constitution, the legislature has the authority to modify and refine the law. In addition, the state’s newly formed Division of Cannabis Control has nine months to hammer out the details – including the strength of the marijuana sold in dispensaries, and how vendors that grow and sell it will become licensed.
As it stands now, the law supports employers’ efforts to maintain a drug-free workplace. For example,
- Employers do not have to allow employees to use, possess or distribute cannabis;
- They are allowed to create or maintain their drug testing policy, drug-free workplace policy, or zero tolerance drug policy;
- They are allowed to hire, discharge, discipline, and take “adverse employment action” against employees who use or possess the drug; and
- An employee who is discharged from employment because of their use of cannabis will be considered to have been discharged for “just cause.”
Because the law will not take effect immediately, employers are encouraged to review their current policies related to marijuana – including CBD and medical marijuana – in order to respond to the final ruling.
As a leader in drug-free policies and operations, Working Partners® will continue to release updates as new details emerge. For more information, call 614.337.8200 or contact us via email Info@WorkingPartners.com