Medical Marijuana: A Potentially Growing Problem for Pennsylvania Employers

By Karen L. Corliss and Pamela J. Zimlin, Royer Cooper Cohen Braunfeld LLC

On April 17, 2016, Pennsylvania governor Tom Wolf signed Senate Bill 3, Pennsylvania’s Medical Marijuana Act (the “MMA”).  In doing so, Pennsylvania became the 24th state to legalize the use of marijuana for medicinal purposes.  The MMA allows patients with certain qualifying serious medical conditions to use marijuana for medical purposes. At this time, it is expected to take up to eighteen to twenty-four months for medical marijuana to become available in certain forms (including pills, oils, topical gels, creams and ointments but not smoking) to eligible patients in Pennsylvania.

So what does the MMA mean for the workplace and, more specifically, for employers? Pennsylvania employers should be prepared to navigate some murky waters when it comes to handling employees who have been prescribed marijuana for medical purposes. At the moment, there are more questions than answers. For instance, how should employers reconcile the passage of the MMA with the fact that marijuana remains illegal under federal law? May an employer terminate an employee for violating the company’s antidrug-use policies if the employee is using marijuana for medical purposes?  How will federal and state laws affect employers’ ability to continue their policies of drug testing employees? Does the Americans with Disabilities Act (the “ADA”) require employers to offer reasonable accommodations to employees who are prescribed medical marijuana?

Click here to read the full article.


©2016 PACT All Rights Reserved