Minnesota has joined the growing ranks of states that are passing new, or updating existing, drug testing laws around cannabis. Minnesota has provided applicants and employees protections for the legal use of cannabis for medicinal purposes since 2014. Starting August 1, 2023, Minnesota will now provide protections to individuals who use cannabis off-duty for recreational purposes as well.
This shift rides on the back of the new state law allowing adults 21 and over to use cannabis recreationally. The new law amends the Consumable Products Act (CPA) to protect cannabis use off-duty. It also amends the Minnesota Drug and Alcohol Testing in the Workplace Act (DATWA) by excluding cannabis from the definition of “drug” and creates two different workplace drug testing structures based on whether positions are exempt from the cannabis testing prohibitions.
There are some exemptions, including safety-sensitive positions, peace officers, firefighters, positions interacting with vulnerable populations, CDL drivers, positions funded by a federal grant, and positions where pre-employment cannabis testing is required under federal law.
Minnesota employers take heed, the expansion of the CPA makes it unlawful for employers to withdraw an offer or terminate employment based on off duty, off premise use of cannabis products. The right to discipline or terminate an employee who uses, possesses, sells, transfers or is impaired by cannabis products during work hours, on premise, or when operating an employer’s vehicles, machinery, or equipment is still intact.
Minnesota also requires employers to have a drug testing policy that defines who will be tested, when they will be tested, the right of refusal to be tested, consequences of a positive test, the right to explain a positive test, and available appeals processes.
We strongly recommend Minnesota employers review the new and amended laws prior to the August 1, 2023, date. This update is a brief summary and does not include all of the nuances and details of the new laws. It is critical you review the laws in their entirety in relation to your drug testing program to ensure compliance.
If you require updated drug testing panels, it can take a couple of weeks to set up, so please reach out to Customer Service early to ensure you have everything in place prior to August 1st.
Frasco® Profiles is NOT a law firm. The information contained in this post is for general informational purposes only. We are not providing legal advice and strongly recommend consulting with your legal resources before taking any action.
If you have any questions, please feel free to contact our Customer Service team.