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September 2022: California Governor Signs Marijuana Protection Bill into Law

27 Sep

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

What happened?
In our previous communication, we notified you that Assembly Bill 2188 (AB 2188) was sent to Governor Newsom and is awaiting signature. This is an update to that communication.

What are the details?
On September 18, 2022, Governor Newsom signed AB 2188 into law, which makes it unlawful for an employer to discriminate against a person in hiring, termination, or any term or condition of employment based upon:

  1. A person’s use of cannabis off the job and away from the workplace, except for pre-employment drug screenings; or
  2. An employer-required drug screening test found the person has non-psychoactive cannabis metabolites in their hair, blood, urine, or bodily fluids.

An employer can still refuse to hire an applicant based on a scientifically valid pre-employment drug screening conducted through methods that do not screen for non-psychoactive cannabis metabolites.

The bill does not permit an employee to possess, be impaired, or use cannabis on the job, nor does it affect the rights or obligations of an employer to maintain a drug- and alcohol-free workplace. The bill does not pre-empt state or federal laws requiring applicants or employees to be tested for controlled substances as a condition of employment, receiving federal funding or federal licensing-related benefits, or entering into a federal contract.

The bill also exempts certain applicants and employees from the provisions, including employees in the building and construction trades and applicants and employees in positions requiring a federal background investigation or clearance.

AB 2188 takes effect on January 1, 2024.

For more information, please see the links below:

Assembly Bill 2188 (AB 2188)

Previous Vensure Article (9/14/2022)

Article 1Article 2  

What do employers need to do?
Employers should review the links provided above and adjust their drug testing policies to comply with the law.

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

Learn more about how Vensure's California 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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