As of December 7, 2023, recreational cannabis is legal in Ohio for those 21 and older. The law specifically states that it doesn’t impact or impose any requirements or restrictions on employers with respect to terms and conditions of employment, including hiring, disciplining, and discharging employees. To that end, employers can continue to prohibit cannabis under their drug policies, including banning its use at work and drug testing for THC.

However, if a positive THC result is currently grounds for discipline, termination, or a decision not to hire, you may want to consider whether that provision continues to be in your best interest. Keeping this kind of policy may force you to discipline or terminate top performers or pass on exceptional applicants who use cannabis on their personal time (and there might be more of those people now).

Whether or not you change your established drug testing policies, now is a good time to remind your employees where you stand on cannabis use and under what circumstances, if any, they could be tested, disciplined, or terminated for a positive test result.

Medical Cannabis
Employers should be aware that Ohio already has a medical cannabis law, though it doesn’t require employers to accommodate an employee’s medical cannabis use. While medical cannabis use is not protected, the underlying medical condition might be, so employers should tread (and document) carefully when taking any adverse employment action against applicants or employees whose use is for medical reasons.