Marijuana Products and New Employer Protections
On May 18, 2021, Montana Governor Greg Gianforte signed legislation (HB 701) amending the Montana Marijuana Regulation and Taxation Act by adding marijuana products to the law. For instance, under the act:
- Smoking marijuana or marijuana products in hotel or motel rooms, anywhere smoking is prohibited, or in a public place is prohibited;
- Employers may discipline an employee for violating a workplace drug policy or for working while intoxicated by marijuana or marijuana products;
- Employers may choose to not hire, terminate, or discipline an individual who violated a known workplace drug policy or who was intoxicated by marijuana or a marijuana product while working.
The law also added the following to the act:
- Employers may include a provision prohibiting marijuana use for a debilitating medical condition in any contract.
- A wrongful discharge or discrimination lawsuit against an employer for the legal actions they take under the act is not permitted.
- The state’s law prohibiting discrimination for the use of a lawful product during nonworking hours was revised by adding marijuana to the definition of protected lawful products. This means that employers cannot refuse to employ, or discriminate against in any employment terms or conditions, because an individual legally uses marijuana off the employer’s premises during nonworking hours.
The law is effective January 1, 2022.