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Minnesota Legalizes Edibles Containing THC

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In a somewhat surprising move, the Minnesota State Legislature took arguably one step forward toward legalizing recreational marijuana by passing HF 4065. This bill legalizes “edible cannabinoid product(s)” containing certified hemp-derived THC at limited amounts.

While the bill includes several provisions regulating these products, it does not address any employer-related provisions. With more individuals likely to consume edibles, and consequently test positive for marijuana, employers should review their workplace policies, including how they use drug test results in employment decisions.

Minnesota has a long-standing drug testing law in place—the Drug and Alcohol Testing in the Workplace Act (DATWA) and provided further protections to qualifying patients who use medical marijuana under the state’s Medical Cannabis Act.

The DATWA provisions are onerous for employers, affording the individual many protections during the drug and alcohol testing process. Testing can only be performed pursuant to a written drug and alcohol testing policy after a conditional offer has been extended. DATWA also regulates random and reasonable suspicion testing programs. Further, DATWA requires specific notices in the event of a positive drug test and allow an individual to request a confirmatory retest (at their own expense).

Closing Thoughts

Given the potential complications related to this new Minnesota law, we recommend employers consult with qualified legal counsel to review their workplace and drug testing policies to determine if any changes may be needed.

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