New York State on March 31 with one stroke of the governor’s pen ended the prohibition of leisure marijuana for adults. It additionally opened the door to questions on what employers can and might’t do.
The new regulation, which limits authorized possession to as much as 3 ounces of cannabis and 24 grams of cannabis focus, outlines basic items which might be off limits, though the specifics aren’t but set.
“Unlawful discrimination will be prohibited and workplace safety protections will be implemented,” the regulation says in a piece addressing employers.
The laws stated that due to “broken, unjust, and outdated“ policies, “New York has become the marijuana arrest capital of the country, with nearly 800,000 marijuana arrests and summonses.” About 60 million Americans lived in states the place adult-use cannabis is authorized, earlier than the laws handed.
The regulation lifts the state’s ban on leisure marijuana for these 21 and older, establishes the Office of Cannabis Management, expands the state’s current medical marijuana program and establishes a licensing system for producers, distributors, and retailers.
It additionally creates a program “encouraging individuals disproportionately impacted by cannabis enforcement” to take part within the business, aiming for half of licenses to go to minority or woman-owned companies, small farms dealing with difficulties, and disabled veterans.
Gov. Andrew Cuomo known as the principles “comprehensive reforms” that will “address and balance the social equity, safety and economic impacts of legal adult-use cannabis.” But if marijuana is authorized for adults, what’s authorized for employers to do?
“There are numerous employment-related implications to the law, starting from pre-employment drug testing,” stated Avrohom Gefen, a accomplice at Vishnick McGovern Milizio LLP’s Employment Law, Commercial Litigation, and Alternative Dispute Resolution Practices. “If you’re going to administer pre-employment drug tests, you’ll likely get tripped up.”
New York City’s Human Rights regulation already bans pre-employment marijuana testing, and the brand new regulation is predicted to primarily lengthen that prohibition.
“Many handbooks have a drug-testing policy,” Gefen stated. “A typical panel of drugs would include cannabis. We’re advising employers to revise that.”
He added that corporations can prohibit staff from utilizing marijuana within the workplace and coming to work underneath the affect.
Marijuana use stays prohibited underneath federal regulation, a coverage which may come into play in some methods. State regulation says employers can’t be penalized for following federal pointers, corresponding to these for pilots, truck drivers, practice operators, first responders and cops.
“You can test them even without observing any articulable symptoms pre-employment and during employment,” Gefen stated.
Cities, cities, and villages can decide out of permitting “adult-use cannabis retail dispensaries or on-site consumption licenses,” however can not “opt out of adult-use legalization.”
The state Department of Health has been instructed to review detection of cannabis-impaired driving and is predicted to “approve and certify a test for the presence of cannabis in drivers.” You’re nonetheless not allowed to make use of marijuana whereas driving.
“With alcohol, there are bright-line rules,” Gefen stated, noting the necessity for requirements. “If you’re over a certain legal limit, you’re considered intoxicated.”
The state plans to arrange a program for homegrown marijuana that may permit as much as three mature vegetation and three immature vegetation for adults over 21 and 6 mature vegetation and 6 immature vegetation most per family.
And it created “automatic expungement or resentencing” for anybody with a earlier marijuana conviction that will “now be legal under the law.”
“I don’t think there’s a strong movement to legalize pot at the federal level,” Gefen stated. “You have individual states taking action. And the federal government is not taking strong action against it.”
The Shinnecock Indian Nation plans to domesticate marijuana on its reservation in Southampton now that leisure use is authorized, as the brand new guidelines create some jobs.
“Ultimately, you’ll have big money behind it,” Gefen stated of an business that might make use of 1000’s within the state legally. “As it becomes more acceptable and prevalent, you’re going to see institutional money behind businesses.”
Legalization would deliver taxation, projected to succeed in $350 million yearly, and probably create 30,000 to 60,000 jobs.
“The governor sees tax dollars running to other states, such as New Jersey, which legalized it previous to this,” Gefen stated. “They see people crossing over the border to buy marijuana legally. They would lose out on hundreds of millions of dollars in tax revenue each year.”
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