Beginning December 7, 2023, recreational cannabis became legal in Ohio for adults 21 and older. The new law allows the sale, purchase, and possession of cannabis in specific quantities by state residents. Like the state’s medical cannabis program, the new law provides broad protections for employers. Employers with employees in Ohio:
- Do not have to permit or accommodate an employee’s use, possession, or distribution of cannabis at the workplace;
- Are permitted to refuse to hire, discharge, discipline, or otherwise take adverse employment action against an individual because of their use, possession, or distribution of cannabis in the workplace; and
- Are permitted to establish and enforce a drug testing policy, drug-free workplace policy, or zero-tolerance drug policy.
Additionally, if an employer discharges an employee due to cannabis use in violation of the employer’s policy, the employee will be considered to have been discharged for just cause. The state’s medical cannabis program remains in effect and unchanged by the new law