The Pennsylvania Department of Health officially launched its medical marijuana patient and caregiver registry last week, allowing patients with specific medical conditions to sign up for a state-issued certification card. The medication is expected to be available in Pennsylvania to certified users by May 1, 2018.
The Medical Marijuana Act (SB 3) went into effect in 2016 and legalized medical marijuana for use by patients who suffer from qualifying conditions and who register with the state. Medical marijuana will only be available legally in certain forms and must be prescribed by a physician specifically licensed by the state. More than 100 physicians in Pennsylvania have been approved to participate in the medical marijuana program, and nearly 200 more are scheduled to take the required training.
The Medical Marijuana Act includes an employment non-discrimination provision preventing employers from taking adverse action against an individual solely on the basis of their status as a certified user of marijuana. However, it does not give employees the right to show up at work under the influence or otherwise fall below expected performance standards. Governing regulations hopefully will clarify employer obligations in this context.
You can find the patient registry here and the list of approved physicians is published here.
Barley Snyder will continue to monitor developments in this area. If you have questions regarding how to deal with medical marijuana in the workplace, please do not hesitate to contact me or one of the attorneys in our Employment Law Practice Group.