Medical Marijuana — Handling Drug Testing & Accommodation Requests in Texas

Employers in Frisco and throughout Texas routinely interview, hire, and employ workers who are either currently eligible to use medical marijuana or who may be eligible to use medical marijuana in the future. As an employer in Texas, you may be wondering about your rights and responsibilities concerning medical marijuana. For example, can you require drug testing for your employees, and can you take adverse action against employees who test positive for marijuana, even if they are lawfully permitted to use medical marijuana in Texas? Or, for instance, are you required to grant accommodations to employees who qualify for medical marijuana?

These are complicated questions, and in general, Texas law does not provide very many protections for employees concerning medical marijuana use. However, it is important to be sure you do not have employment policies in place that violate workers’ rights. To ensure that you are in compliance with state and federal law concerning your medical marijuana practices, seek advice from a Frisco employment law attorney. Below we provide an overview on what you can and cannot require from employees when it comes to the use of medical marijuana.

Texas Has No Employee Protections for Medical Marijuana Use in the Workplace

Under Texas law and the Compassionate Use Program (CUP), patients with certain conditions can be eligible to purchase and use small amounts of low-THC cannabis with a valid prescription. When the CUP was established in 2015, it included a small number of conditions that would allow individuals to qualify for medical marijuana prescriptions. In 2021, that list was updated to include a longer list of qualifying conditions.

However, the CUP does not have any employment protections. Accordingly, even if a patient is permitted to possess and use medical marijuana, that patient does not have any protections when it comes to employment. The CUP and other Texas laws do not permit employees to request workplace accommodations for medical marijuana use. Further, since marijuana is still illegal at the federal level, employees cannot request accommodations under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). As an employer, you may choose to grant accommodations to workers who have valid prescriptions for medical marijuana, but you are not required to do so by law. At the same time, you should pay close attention to any changes to federal law. If marijuana becomes legal at the federal level, you will need to consider ADA accommodations.

You Can Require Drug Testing

Since there are no employment protections in Texas for employees who use medical marijuana lawfully, you can require drug testing. If an employee tests positive for marijuana, even if they have a valid prescription under the CUP, you can take action against the employee based on your workplace policy.

It is important to ensure that any workplace policies concerning marijuana use are neutral and do not target specific employees and that any consequences for a positive drug test are also applied neutrally to all workers.

Contact Our Frisco Employment Lawyers Today for Assistance

Do you have questions about medical marijuana and your responsibilities as an employer? Whether you have questions about your company’s drug testing policy, and employee requests for accommodations, or any other matter related to medical marijuana, our experienced Frisco employment law attorneys are here to assist you.

Texas employers can currently limit drugs in the workplace now, including medical marijuana use for employees using THC-containing products outside work, yet that could change if marijuana becomes lawful at the federal level. Contact Simon Paschal PLLC for more information about how we can assist your business with concerns related to drug testing, disability accommodations, and medical marijuana.

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