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Ohio Legalizes Recreational Marijuana 

On November 7, 2023, Ohio legalized the adult use of recreational marijuana. The law took effect on December 7, 2023, but it will take months to establish regulations that clearly define the law’s requirements. The law will permit individuals aged 21 and older to possess and use marijuana in Ohio. However, the details of the law are yet to be further defined by Ohio’s legislative and regulatory processes. The law does not yet contain anti-discrimination or employment protection provisions related to adult marijuana use. 

Next Steps 

Employers can continue to prohibit cannabis under their drug policies, including banning its use at work and drug testing for THC. Employers should remind employees of their policy about cannabis use. 

Employers should also remember that Ohio already has a medical cannabis law, though it does not protect medical cannabis use or require employers to accommodate an employee’s medical cannabis use, the underlying medical condition for which the cannabis was prescribed may be protected, so employers should be cautious when taking any adverse employment action against applicants or employees whose use marijuana for medical reasons. 

HR Works, headquartered in Upstate New York, is a human resource management outsourcing and consulting firm serving clients throughout the United States for over thirty years. HR Works provides scalable strategic human resource management and consulting services, including: affirmative action programs; benefits administration outsourcing; HRIS self-service technology; full-time, part-time and interim on-site HR managers; HR audits; legally reviewed employee handbooks and supervisor manuals; talent management and recruiting services; and training of managers and HR professionals.