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Minnesota’s New Law on Recreational Cannabis and Workplace Drug Testing

19 Jul


Update applicable to:

All employers with workers in Minnesota

What happened?

Starting August 1, 2023, Minnesota Governor Tim Walz signed a state law allowing adults 21 and older to use recreational cannabis, providing protections to individuals who use cannabis for recreational purposes. The law amends the state’s Consumable Products Act and Drug and Alcohol Testing in the Workplace Act (DATWA).

What are the details?

Protection of Off-Duty Use

  • Minnesota’s new law makes it unlawful for employers to take action against individuals for off-duty cannabis use.
  • The Consumable Products Act (CPA) is amended to include cannabis in the definition of “lawful consumable product.”
  • Employers cannot withdraw job offers or terminate employment based on off-premises, off-duty cannabis use, unless it violates federal or state laws or regulations.

Workplace Drug Testing Amendments

  • The new law amends Minnesota’s DATWA, which regulates workplace drug testing, by excluding cannabis from the definition of “drug” unless exceptions apply.
  • Pre-employment testing for cannabis is generally prohibited, except for specific positions such as safety-sensitive roles, peace officers, or positions requiring commercial driving.
  • Random, reasonable suspicion, post-accident, and treatment program testing for cannabis are still allowed under certain circumstances.

Prohibiting Use and Possession at Work

  • Employers are not required to allow or accommodate cannabis use, possession, impairment, transfer, or sale during work or on their premises.
  • Employment action can be taken if an employee’s consumption of cannabis affects their intellect, self-control, or if cannabis testing confirms its presence.
  • Employers must have a drug or cannabis testing policy that outlines the circumstances for testing, employee rights, disciplinary actions, and appeal procedures.

For more information, please see the links below:

Handout with Bill Information

Official Bill Page

H.F. No.100

Law Firm Summary; Article 2

What do employers need to do?

Employers should review and potentially modify their drug testing policies to align with the new law’s amendments. Policies should specify the circumstances under which cannabis testing may occur and any rules related to cannabis use, possession, or impairment at work or on employer property.

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

Learn more about how Vensure's Minnesota 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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