Two Bills Regarding Marijuana Regulations Take Effect in Delaware

Governor John Carney announced that two bills governing the legalization of marijuana would become law without his signature.

House Bill 1 became effective April 23, 2023 and "removes all penalties for use or possession of a personal use quantity of marijuana and marijuana accessories." Individuals 21 and older may possess, use, display, purchase or transport accessories and personal use quantities (one ounce or less of leaf; equivalent amounts of other product forms) of marijuana without penalty. This bill renders Delaware the 22nd state to legalize recreational marijuana.

House Bill 2 implements House Bill 1 and became effective April 27, 2023. This bill contains specific implications that are important to employers. The bill states that these new laws are not intended to "impact or impose any requirement or restriction . . . with respect to terms and conditions of employment." Employers are not required to tolerate marijuana use and are within their rights to discipline employees for marijuana-related infractions and positive drug tests. However, this stipulation does not apply to employees who possess medical marijuana cards.

Employers are encouraged to review the terms of both bills to determine if there is any impact to internal hiring and employee management practices and protocols.

Posted: June 7, 2023

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