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Legal News: NJ's Cannabis Legalization and Employment

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On November 3, 2020, New Jersey citizens voted to amend the New Jersey Constitution to legalize cannabis for recreational use by adults who are 21 years of age or older. The amendment takes effect on January 1, 2021.

The Legislature must still propose, introduce, and pass a bill effectuating the legalization. One such proposed bill introduced November 6 prevents an employer from refusal to hire an applicant because they test positive for marijuana. However, an exception exists if the employer has “a rational basis for doing so which is reasonably related to the employment, including the responsibilities of the employee or prospective employee.” Further, employers are permitted to continue to maintain a drug and alcohol free workplace.

Employers are not required to permit employees to use, consume, possess, transfer, display, transport, sell, or grow cannabis in the workplace. Employers may prohibit the use of cannabis by employees “during work hours.” While individuals under the age of 21 are not permitted to use cannabis, individuals over the age of 18 but under the age of 21 may work in cannabis-related employment.

For the full proposed bill please see here.

A separate proposed bill aims to address the expected time lag between the effective date of the amendment, the adoption of enabling legislation, implementation of regulations, and start of legal sales. It would permit existing medical marijuana dispensaries to sell to recreational consumers and would decriminalize possession of cannabis. 

For the full proposed bill please see here.

For any questions or concerns, please contact the Attorneys at Fazzio Law, we are in your corner!

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