The Ohio Medical Marijuana Act makes medical marijuana a schedule II controlled substance, like other medications. However, the Act does not require an employer to permit or accommodate an employee’s use, possession, or distribution of medical marijuana.

It also does not prohibit an employer from refusing to hire, firing, disciplining, or otherwise taking an adverse employment action against a person because of that person’s use, possession, or distribution of medical marijuana.

However, Ohio’s Medical Marijuana Control Program is still relatively new, so this hasn’t had time to be tested in Ohio courts yet. Therefore, we can look to Michigan as an example of how such a situation may play out.

In Eplee v. City of Lansing, an applicant’s conditional job offer from the city was rescinded after a positive drug test. The court held that Michigan’s medical marijuana program did not make users a protected class and did not “provide an independent right protecting the medical use of marijuana in all circumstances.” The applicant also did not have a right to employment with the city.

As these instances become more common, and they will in Ohio, we will see more clarification. But so far, the best answer is still to consult your counsel on developing and when and how to apply drug testing policies and procedures.

2019 Managing Labor + Employee Relations Seminar

Our Annual Managing Labor + Employee Relations seminar takes place in March 5 and covers a variety of Labor + Employment topics. 

View Our Event

Arbitration Agreements + Class Action Waivers Presentation

Following the recent Supreme Court's decision, Brendan Feheley offered insights into the use of arbitration agreements with employees. 

View Our Presentation

The Impact of Legalized Marijuana

Our Medical Marijuana and Hemp team speaks regularly about Ohio’s Medical Marijuana program and its impacts. 

View Our Presentation