Key Points for Employers Regarding Legalized Marijuana in Ohio

November 15, 2023

Ohio voters recently approved a ballot measure legalizing marijuana for recreational use by adults 21 and over. The Ohio Department of Commerce has prepared some frequently asked questions regarding licensing, the implementation timeline and permitted uses.

The statute includes several key points that apply to employers:

  • Employers have the right to establish, continue and enforce drug-free workplace policies, including drug testing and zero-tolerance
  • Hiring, firing and discipline decisions can be taken against employees for use, possession and distribution, even if such actions are done within the bounds of the new law. To ensure decisions follow just cause rules, companies should have a clearly outlined policy, procedure or program regarding cannabis use.

Because Issue 2 is a state law and not a constitutional amendment, the legislature may make changes before it goes into effect, which is why we recommend employers stay informed before adjusting or clarifying company policy. As it stands today, the statute will not go into effect until 30 days after the election (December 7).

Our HR consulting team will continue to follow developments carefully and keep our clients informed. If you have questions or need assistance in the meantime, please reach out to Vicki Boroff or Alli Thurman.