Lawyers urge Missouri businesses to review marijuana policy

With the legalization of recreational marijuana in Missouri, legal experts recommend that companies review their employment policies and procedures and advise people to be aware of common misconceptions.

Lauren Sobaskylabor and employment attorney at Fisher Phillips LLP in Kansas City, has talked to employers who think they currently have no rights to recreational marijuana, but that’s not true.

Drug testing for cannabis use is still allowed, but special considerations must be made.

“Employment-related protections have been added for medical marijuana users that were previously absent in the 2018 law (which legalized medical marijuana in Missouri),” Sobaski said.

“There are certain actions you are prohibited from taking as an employer related to a positive drug test for someone with a valid qualifying patient card. One of them is making employment decisions about medical marijuana users. Employers don’t want to be caught denying employment to someone with a card patients who qualify and receive positions where they break the law.

There are still exceptions to that rule, however, for medical marijuana users. For example, an employer may refuse to hire a medical marijuana card holder if the business will be financially harmed by the employee testing positive for marijuana use.

Examples include restrictions in federal contracts or contained in Department of Transportation requirements or other states that require a drug-free workplace by law.

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