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September 2022: Minnesota Legalizes THC Products, Germinates New Drug-Free Workplace Issues

30 Aug


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

What happened?
On June 2, 2022, Minnesota Governor Tim Walz signed House File 4065 (HF 4065) into law, allowing Minnesotans at least 21 years old to lawfully purchase and consume edible and drinkable products containing hemp-derived tetrahydrocannabinols (THC), the primary intoxicant found in cannabis plants. The new law requires Minnesota employers to reevaluate their drug-free workplace policies and procedures and raises questions that the state legislature may need to address in the future.

What are the details?

Although 4065 does not contain explicit protections for applicants or employees who consume now-legal THC products and does not directly modify Minnesota’s drug-testing statutes, the new law may affect an employer’s administration of its drug-testing programs. Whereas before, an employer could consider most THC-positive results indicative of illegal drug use (with medical cannabis being one significant exception), the same positive test result might now be explained by the applicant’s or employee’s lawful use of THC products under Minnesota’s law. An employer facing such an explanation will need to consider the specific facts of each situation, including job duties and safety concerns, before taking action based on the test result. This extra consideration would not apply to jobs subject to federal drug-testing requirements because THC remains an illicit controlled substance under federal law.

Below are several links to key information provided by our trusted source, Littler, explaining the full extent of the bill and how it would/could affect employers.

For more information, please see the links below:

House File 4065 (HF 4065)

Article 1Article 2

What do employers need to do?
Employers should review the links provided above, review their drug testing policies, and be on the lookout for any news and updates regarding changes to drug testing policies regarding cannabis. Vensure will continue to monitor any news and provide more communication once new updates have been received.

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

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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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