Mississippi

Medical
Marijuana Law:

Recreational
Marijuana Law:

No Broad Laws
Legalizing Marijuana*:

Employer Concerns – Significant to Review

  • There is a current argument in Mississippi’s Supreme Court whether to strike down the constitutional law per Mississippi’s Initiative 65. The court’s decision is expected to be handed down by late May 2021. In lieu of that, the Mississippi Department of Health is proceeding with plans to launch the state’s medical marijuana program in July and begin issuing licenses by August 15, 2021.
    Thus far it appears that Initiative 65 (as is) will not require employers to permit onsite use, to accommodate the use of marijuana in employment, or to alter any existing drug testing laws, regulations or rules.
    As is, Initiative 65

    • prohibits use or impairment when operating any motor vehicle, aircraft, train, or boat.
    • does not require any insurance provider, government agency or authority to reimburse for expenses related to the use of medical marijuana.
    • does not override any public laws, ordinances, regulations, provisions, or public or private rules related to smoking in or on public /private places.
    • does not affect any existing drug testing laws, regulations, or rules.

    Initiative 65 does not contain any specific protections for applicants or employees, however with all the newness and controversy, employers should be cautious when implementing policies or when handling issues regarding medical marijuana use by their employees.

  • Cannabis extract, oil, or resin that contains more than 15% CBD and less than 0.5% THC, obtained from specific establishments within the University of Mississippi and the University of Mississippi Medical Center for specifically defined, qualified patients is legal.
  • Mississippi has a voluntary drug testing law that, although not required, if an employer elects to comply, they will qualify for limited legal protections. There is also a workers’ compensation premium discount available if the employer follows the allowable guidelines of their insurer.1

Testing

  • Mississippi has a voluntary drug testing law that, although not required, if an employer elects to comply, they will qualify for limited legal protections.

Hiring/Termination

Discipline

Use/Possession

  • See Significant above.
  • As is, Initiative 65
    • qualifies 22 debilitating medical conditions.
    • allows for smoking, vaping, edible marijuana and other products.

Other Impacting Laws

(e.g., drug testing, workers’ compensation, unemployment)
  • Mississippi has a voluntary drug testing law that, although not required, if an employer elects to comply, they will qualify for limited legal protections. There is also a workers’ compensation premium discount available if the employer follows the allowable guidelines of their insurer.
  • (Mississippi SB 2569), it is against the law for an individual to sell, distribute, manufacture, market or give away human or synthetic urine for the purpose of adulterating a drug test specimen.
  • An employee will be disqualified for unemployment benefits if he or she is discharged based on willful misconduct due to a confirmed positive drug test result.
  • The employee will be disqualified from workers’ compensation benefits if he or she refuses a post-accident drug test or if a drug test is positive for any illegally used drug, use of a valid prescription medication taken contrary to the prescriber’s instructions and/or contrary to label warnings.
  • 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)
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).