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May 2023: Delaware Legalizes Recreational Cannabis

03 May

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Update Applicable to:
All employers in the state of Delaware.

What happened?
On April 23, 2023, Delaware became the latest state to legalize recreational marijuana on April 23, 2023, when Governor Carney failed to veto two bills that allow for the legalization of marijuana.

What are the details?
Effective immediately, recreational cannabis is legal in Delaware in quantities appropriate for personal use for those 21 and older. The law specifically states that it does not impact or impose any requirements or restrictions on employers concerning terms and conditions of employment.

To that end, employers can continue prohibiting cannabis under their drug policies, with exceptions for medical users, which are covered below. Employers don’t need to let employees use cannabis at work and can still require that most employees or applicants test negative for THC (the active compound in cannabis).

Medical Cannabis
Employers should be aware that Delaware already has a medical cannabis law that protects people who use medical cannabis from employment discrimination. Employers may not refuse to hire an applicant or discipline or terminate an employee who uses medical cannabis—based on a positive drug test result—unless they possessed, used, or were impaired by cannabis at work. There are exceptions for safety-sensitive positions and if the employer would otherwise lose a federal license or federal money.

For more information, please see the links below:

House Bill 1House Bill 2

Governor Carney Statement

Article 1Article 2

What do employers need to do?
Employers should review the above links against their existing drug and alcohol policy and with legal counsel, make any necessary revisions.

Need help understanding how changes to employment laws will affect your business?

Learn more about how Vensure's Delaware PEO services can help you navigate complex employment laws and keep your business compliant.


This communication is intended solely for the purpose of conveying information. The present post might incorporate hyperlinks directing readers to websites managed by third-party entities. The inclusion of any links within this communication is meant to serve as points of reference and could encompass opinion articles from various law firms, articles from HR associations, official websites, news releases, and documents of government agencies, and other relevant third-party sources. Vensure has no authority over these external websites and bears no responsibility for their content. Furthermore, Vensure does not endorse the materials present on these websites. The contents of this communication should not be interpreted as legal advice or as a legal standpoint concerning specific facts or scenarios. Nor should it be deemed an exhaustive compilation of facts potentially pertinent to federal, state, or local laws. It is strongly advised that employers solicit legal guidance from an employment attorney when undertaking actions in response to any legal updates provided. This is due to the possibility of future alterations occurring in federal, state, and local laws, regulations, as well as the directives and guidelines issued by governing agencies. These changes may transpire at any given time, potentially rendering certain portions of the content within this update void or inaccurate.

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