New Jersey just became the fourteenth state to legalize off-duty, recreational marijuana use. Gov. Phil Murphy signed the New Jersey Cannabis Regulatory, Enforcement Assistance and Marketplace Modernization Act (NJCREAMMA) into law, which broadly prohibits employers from taking adverse action against individuals for off-duty, recreational marijuana use.
The law includes many protections for employers that are concerned about employee marijuana use. Employers may still maintain drug- and alcohol-free workplaces. Moreover, employers are not required to permit or accommodate employees who use, consume, possess, transfer, display, transport, sell or grow marijuana in the workplace. Employers are freely permitted to maintain policies prohibiting employees from being under the influence or using marijuana during work hours. Finally, the law permits employers to drug test for marijuana under certain circumstances.
Employers that operate in New Jersey should ensure that any handbook provisions or policies pertaining to marijuana use are in compliance with the new law. Employers should also be mindful that state laws governing marijuana use vary from state to state. Some states, like Ohio, have minimal protections for employees while other states, like New Jersey, have robust protections. As always, reach out to employment counsel if you are unsure about whether your business is impacted by NJCREAMMA or any other state law governing marijuana use.