Marijuana is legal for medical use in 33 U.S. states1 and is used to treat a range of conditions, particularly chronic pain.2 However, due to a patchwork of laws and regulations, as well as continually emerging information on the potential benefits and drawbacks of marijuana as a medical treatment, its use can pose special challenges and risks for businesses, employees, healthcare providers, and workers compensation professionals.
You can help your staff and protect your business by staying informed, treating employees fairly, and meeting compliance requirements. Here are four steps to help you manage this issue in the workplace:
Laws and regulations for medical marijuana vary widely across jurisdictions—and they are changing rapidly. Even where marijuana is a legal medical treatment, workplace regulations and safety concerns may make its use by employees inadvisable, but employers may also be under legal and regulatory obligations to accommodate medical marijuana use.
As there remains significant regulatory and medical uncertainty about the uses of medical marijuana and new research is still emerging, it’s important to stay as informed as possible on new developments and consult as needed with legal and medical experts who specialize in medical marijuana.
1 National Conference of State Legislatures, State Medical Marijuana Laws
2 Qualifying Conditions Of Medical Cannabis License Holders In The United States, Health Affairs, February 2019
3 Legalization of Marijuana – Implications for Workplace Safety, American College of Occupational and Environmental Medicine
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