Forum for Employers in an Era of Recreational Marijuana

April 10, 2019
I had the honor of addressing a large group for the Livonia Chamber of Commerce event, “Forum for Employers in an Era of Recreational Marijuana.” As an added bonus, WWJ Radio did an exclusive interview with the panelists, which aired shortly after the event.

Some points of discussion worth noting:

  • Even though recreational marijuana has been decriminalized, every employer has the right to maintain a drug free workplace.
  • Recreational marijuana users can still be disciplined, discharged, etc. for failing to comply with a workplace drug policy or for working under the influence of marijuana.
  • Even though an employee might be a legitimate medical marijuana patient, there’s no duty for a private employer to accommodate marijuana use.
  • When an employee tests positive for medical marijuana, an employer will usually not be able to deny unemployment benefits, unless the employer is able to show that the employee was under the influence at work.
  • Drug testing and policy enforcement.


This is a developing area of law. We know what the law says, but we don’t know how the courts will apply it. It’s important to take a strategic approach and coordinate with legal counsel, HR professionals, and business leaders to develop a policy that makes sense for the individualized needs of your business.

If you have questions about building positive workplace practices and policies or about structuring business transactions in an era of recreational and medical marijuana, please let me know.

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