Connecticut - Considerations for Marijuana in the Workplace

Marijuana Law:

Marijuana Law:

Employer Concerns – Significant to Review

  • Caution: Drug testing and fitness for duty evaluations of employees/applicants permitted. A drug test of an employee
    /applicant, (other than those exempted positions), that yields a positive result solely for THC/THC-A shall not form the sole basis for refusal to hire, termination of employment or other adverse action.
  • June 22, 2021 -Connecticut Legalizes Recreational Marijuana, see details from the Drug and Alcohol Testing Law Advisor
  • A written drug free workplace policy is required to take any adverse action on a marijuana positive drug test.
  • Nothing restricts the employer’s ability to prohibit use or being under the influence during work hours.


  • To conduct drug testing, reasonable suspicion must accompany any application other than random.
  • Random testing only permitted if mandated per federal law, the employee is in a safety-sensitive position that is authorized by the state’s approval process, or if it is part of an Employee Assistance Program (EAP) in which the employee willingly participates.


  • Cannot rescind an employment offer based on status as a qualifying marijuana patient or a positive marijuana test result (Noffsinger v. SCC Niantic Operating Co.).
  • Cannot refuse to hire, discharge or threaten action on an employee based on status as a qualifying marijuana patient.


  • An employer may discipline for employee being under the influence of marijuana at work.
  • Adverse action permitted only if test was confirmed by GC/MS or other method approved by the state. For marijuana positive, employer must have a written drug free policy.


  • A patient has legal protection if they have a valid registration and if the medical marijuana was obtained from the specific dispensary where the patient is registered.
  • Smoking is a permissible form of ingestion.
  • Consumption only in private spaces and not in presence of anyone younger than 18 or if it would endanger health/well-being of another person.
  • Connecticut does not permit manufacturing of edibles

Other Impacting Laws

(e.g., drug testing, workers’ compensation, unemployment)
  • If an employer is going to do employee or applicant drug testing, there are specific drug testing mandatory requirements. 
  • Connecticut has unemployment compensation voluntary laws with many details about drug testing. Although not required, these statutes provide greater latitude to deny unemployment compensation claims. 


(e.g., Bill Number, Authority)
  • Connecticut Gen. Stat. 21a-408 – Medical marijuana law
  • Connecticut’s Palliative Use of Marijuana Act (PUMA)
  • Noffsinger v. SCC Niantic Operating Co., No. 3-16-cv-01938, 2018 WL 4334075, at *1 (D. Conn. Sept. 5, 2018) – Court decision
  • Connecticut Gen. Stat. 31-236 – Unemployment law related
  • General Statutes 31-275 – Workers’ compensation related law
  • Connecticut Gen. Stat. 31-51t to 51aa – Drug testing related
  • Drug and Alcohol Testing Law Advisor

This resource is designed to provide accurate information regarding the subject matter covered. It is provided with the understanding that those involved in the resource are not engaged in rendering legal counsel. If legal advice is required, the services of a competent professional should be sought.


Where there are quotation marks, the language is directly from published law. This information is only a summary of some issues and it will benefit the reader to review the information in context (go to the law) and in relation to other laws (e.g. workers compensation, unemployment law).

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Drug Testing Laws for Connecticut

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