Last November, Florida voters approved an initiative to legalize the use of medical marijuana. On June 23, 2017, Governor Rick Scott signed SB 8-A into law.
As of June 23, 2017, medical marijuana use has been legalized in Florida to treat specific qualifying conditions, such as cancer, epilepsy, glaucoma, or PTSD, among others. The bill contains additional provisions directing how medical marijuana may be used and obtained; for example, smoking of medical marijuana is prohibited, whereas consumption of marijuana, vaping, or use of oils, sprays, or tinctures is permitted.
Importantly, the bill also includes employer-friendly provisions that allow businesses to still enforce a drug-free workplace, such as:
- Employers may establish, or continue to enforce, a drug-free workplace program or policy;
- Employers are not required to permit use of medical marijuana at the place of employment;
- Employers are not required to accommodate the use of medical marijuana in the workplace, or to accommodate any employee working under the influence of marijuana;
- Medical marijuana is not reimbursable under the Florida Workers’ Compensation law; and
- SB 8-A does not create any cause of action against employers for wrongful discharge or discrimination related to use of medical marijuana.
Employers with and without policies addressing substance abuse may are recommended to specifically address the organization’s position on medical marijuana use.