Iowa - Considerations for Marijuana in the Workplace

Medical
Marijuana Law:

Recreational
Marijuana Law:

No Broad Laws
Legalizing Marijuana*:

*Marijuana is either totally illegal, or there may be laws decriminalizing possession, or use of marijuana, or, the state may have a CBD law legalizing THC at a level constituting marijuana-derived CBD.

Employer Concerns – Significant to Review

  • Iowa has a low-THC oils law denoting a THC cap of 3% and legal protection for registrants, if they obtain a card from the state. Allowable forms include oral, topical, nebulized inhalable, and rectal or vaginal suppositories.
  • (Iowa’s Medical Cannabidiol Act 124E-21) states that in the interest of health and safety, an employer may restrict use of marijuana and can establish and enforce a zero-tolerance drug-free workplace.
  • If an employer does drug testing in this state there are some restrictions (i.e., marijuana is included in the drug testing panel, safety-sensitive employees can be in only one random testing pool, test results need to be sent to the donor (applicant or employee).

Testing

  • If an employer does drug testing in this state there are some restrictions (i.e., marijuana is included in the drug testing panel, safety-sensitive employees can be in only one random testing pool, test results need to be sent to the donor (applicant or employee).

Hiring/Termination

Discipline

Use/Possession

  • Smoking of CBD is not permitted.

Other Impacting Laws

(e.g., drug testing, workers’ compensation, unemployment)
  • Impaired driving has zero-tolerance for THC.

  • Iowa’s HF 283 makes attempts to defraud a drug or alcohol test a criminal offense with specified penalties and specifically charges that the entity with knowledge of such an attempt (the employer), may report such information to law enforcement.

  • There is a rebuttable presumption of intoxication if an employee has a positive post-injury test and the employee does not qualify for workers’ compensation benefits.

  • Apply the Checklist of Impacting Issues to Research provided by NDS for additional state laws and issues that can relate to and/or impact your operations regarding employee use of marijuana. 

Sources

(e.g., Bill Number, Authority)
  • Iowa SF 2360 – Medical Cannabidiol Act
  • Iowa HB 524 – CBD related
  • Iowa 124E.21 – Medical Cannabidiol Act reference to marijuana
  • Iowa’s Office of Medical Cannabidiol – http://idph.iowa.gov/omc
  • Iowa Code Ann. 730.5 – Drug testing related
  • Iowa Admin. Code 641-12.1 to 12.21 – Drug testing related
  • Sims v. NCI Holding Company (2009) Supreme Court of Iowa No. 07-1468 – Case decision related to drug testing
  • Dix v. Casey’s General Stores, Inc. No. 18-1464 (Iowa Ct. 2019) – Case decision related to drug testing related
  • Iowa HF 283 – Drug test related
  • Iowa Code Ann. 96.5(2) – Unemployment related • Iowa Code Ann. 85.16 – Workers’ compensation related
  • Iowa Code Ann. 85.16 – Workers’ compensation related
Disclaimer

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.

Caution

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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