US – What New Jersey’s new medical marijuana law means for employers

By Keya C. Denner and Mark A. Saloman

Firm:  FordHarrison

With the signature of legislation expanding the legal use of medical cannabis in New Jersey, this article provides guidance for employers wondering how to deal with employee cannabis use.

On 2 July 2019, New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy signed a much-anticipated bill into effect that expands and revises the state’s existing medical cannabis programme, the Compassionate Use of Medical Marijuana Act (CUMMA). For employers faced with employees and job applicants who use cannabis, New Jersey Assembly Bill A20 provides certain job protections for medical cannabis users. This is a significant change for employees and employers, since previously CUMMA did not explicitly contain such protections, and guidance from courts was inconclusive and slow-developing. These changes are summarised below.

The CUMMA Amendment

Breaking with the previous version of CUMMA, Assembly Bill A20 now contains a non-discrimination provision which provides that an employer cannot take an adverse employment action against

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