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Maine Department of Labor Provides No Guidance Concerning the Impact of the State’s Recreational Marijuana Law on Workplace Drug Testing

Effective February 1, 2018, a provision in Maine’s recreational marijuana law impacts workplace drug testing. As we previously blogged here, the law prohibits employers from taking adverse employment actions for off-premises marijuana use, as of February 1, 2018. On its face, this law effectively prevents Maine employers from testing for marijuana for pre-employment purposes, and has other impacts as well.

Maine Recreational Marijuana Law Limits Workplace Drug Testing As Well As Disciplinary Consequences Imposed By Employers

A provision of Maine’s recreational marijuana law prohibits employers from taking adverse employment actions for off-premises marijuana use, as of February 1, 2018. This law effectively prevents Maine employers from testing for marijuana for pre-employment purposes. The law also affects employers who employ employees subject to federal drug and alcohol testing regulations as well as those employers who are exempt from complying with Maine’s drug testing law.

Maine Recreational Marijuana Law Limits Drug Testing, Disciplinary Consequences Imposed by Employers

A provision of Maine’s recreational marijuana law prohibits employers from taking adverse employment actions for off-premises marijuana use, as of February 1, 2018. This law effectively prevents Maine employers from testing for marijuana for pre-employment purposes. The law also affects employers who employ employees subject to federal drug and alcohol testing regulations, as well as those employers who are exempt from complying with Maine’s drug testing law.

Maine Employers Must Ignore Off-Work Marijuana Use, Cease Testing Applicants

On February 1, 2018, Maine will become the first jurisdiction in the nation to protect workers from adverse employment action based on their use of marijuana and marijuana products, provided the use occurs away from the workplace. In preparation for this change, the Maine Department of Labor has removed marijuana from the list of drugs for which an employer may test in its “model” applicant drug-testing policy. Although wrangling between the state legislature and Governor Paul LePage has delayed the retail sale of marijuana, the remaining provisions of Maine’s “Question 1 – An Act to Legalize Marijuana” (“the Act”), are slated to move forward despite fears doing so will hurt business in the state.

Maine’s Governor Vetoes Bill to Regulate Commercial Sales of Marijuana

On November 3, 2017, Maine Governor Paul LePage announced that he had vetoed a bill sent to his desk with tepid support that would have taxed and regulated the commercial sale of recreational marijuana. The veto prolongs a somewhat odd state of affairs in Maine in which Mainers may legally possess and cultivate recreational marijuana for personal use, but the commercial sale of recreational pot has yet to be authorized. Accordingly, so-called “pot shops” have not been allowed to open in the state. In November of 2016, Maine voters approved a recreational marijuana ballot initiative that legalized the possession of up to 2.5 ounces of recreational marijuana by residents 21 years of age or older, as well as the cultivation of up to six adult marijuana plants for personal use. The ballot initiative also approved the commercial sale of recreational marijuana, but Maine’s legislature has yet to allow that to happen.

The Fight for 15: Montgomery County, Maryland, Raises the Bar

Montgomery County, Maryland, has approved Bill 28-17, which increases the countywide minimum wage from $11.50 to $15.00. The nine-member Montgomery County Council voted unanimously in support of the bill on November 7, 2017, and County Executive Isiah Leggett signed the measure into law on November 13, 2017.

Maine Recreational Marijuana Sales Get Snuffed Out

The Maine House of Representatives has upheld Governor Paul LePage's veto of a bill to legalize recreational marijuana sales in the state. Maine was one of four states to approve a marijuana law via the ballot box in November 2016. But emergency legislation delayed implementation of the law until 2018 so the state licensing authority could implement regulations governing retail marijuana sales.

Governor’s Veto of Recreational Marijuana Law Upheld by Maine House

The Maine House of Representative upheld November 6, 2017 Governor Paul R. LePage’s veto of a bill to legalize and regulate recreational marijuana. The 74-62 vote fell 17 votes short of the two-thirds margin required to override the Governor’s veto. The bill had been drafted by a special committee that was supposed to implement a law after Maine voters approved recreational marijuana in November 2016.

Maine Delays Implementation of Certain Provisions of Recreational Marijuana Law

Last November, Maine was one of four states in which voters approved a new recreational marijuana law. Maine’s law took effect on January 30, 2017; however, emergency legislation passed on January 27, 2017 delayed the implementation of certain provisions of the law.

Maine Delays Effective Date of Anti-Discrimination Provisions of Recreational Marijuana Law

On November 8, 2016, Maine voters approved “Question 1”—An Act To Legalize Marijuana (“ALM” or “the Act”). “Emergency” legislation since passed by the Maine legislature and signed by Governor Paul LePage now provides employers with operations in Maine a temporary reprieve from complying with the anti-discrimination provisions of the ALM until February 1, 2018.