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.

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