Ohio Voters Approve Measure Legalizing Recreational Marijuana

What does this law do?

How will this affect employers in Ohio?

Firstly, this appears that it will not dramatically affect current employment practices of Ohio employers.

Employers are

  1. NOT required to “permit or accommodate an employee’s use, possession, or distribution of adult use cannabis”, and
  2. NOT prohibited from “refusing to hire, discharging, disciplining, or otherwise taking an adverse employment action against an individual … because of that individual’s use, possession, or distribution of cannabis.”
  3. NOT prohibited from refuse to hire, discipline, or discharge an employee if that employee tests positive for marijuana, even if the positive test was the result of lawful, off-duty use.


NOTE: This legalization has NO affect on companies or employees regulated by the Department of Transportation (DOT).

What about finding employees or workers?

Companies in Ohio were already struggling to find workers, and this legal change may make that even more difficult. Employers who take a hard line on marijuana “off-duty” use may find it even more difficult to find workers in the current tight labor market in Ohio where the unemployment rate was about 3.4% in August which is only slightly above the all-time low of 3.3% hit in July. This is made even more challenging as there is still no clear method for testing for marijuana impairment or for determining off-duty use. Not sure if changes are needed for your drug-free workplace policy? Contact National Drug Screening for assistance updating your policy and your testing program.

More updates will be coming as this moves toward implementation and if any legal challenges arise.

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