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Can I Be Fired for Using CBD?

CBDCBD, which is short for cannabidiol, is derived from the hemp plant and is an essential component in medical marijuana or lab-created. It’s one of main components in marijuana and does not cause a “high” when used alone. There is also no risk of abuse or addiction to CBD.

Despite being relatively risk-free, government entities only recently began legalizing CBD. In the last few years, CBD products have increased in popularity and are available in a variety of forms, including oils, gummy candies, tinctures, and lotions.

CBD products are legal in New York. What should you know about how its use affects your job? Can you be terminated for using CBD?

Here’s what you need to know.

New York is a CBD-Friendly State

New York is one of the CBD-friendliest states in the country. Many different CBD products are for sale throughout the state and residents are free to buy products in-store and online. Keep in mind, not all of the products are equally high in quality. This means it’s important to do your research and buy from reputable retailers.

Despite CBD use being legal in New York, employers might still be able to discipline employees for using these products. This is why it’s so important to understand the CBD market and make informed choices about the products you’re using.

Whether or not employers must not discriminate based on the use of medical marijuana varies from location to location. New York State legalized adult marijuana use, both medical and recreational, in March of this year via The Marijuana Regulation & Taxation Act (MRTA). The use of medical marijuana was already legal in the state.

What about Medical Marijuana?

As of 2020, 19 states including New York have enacted laws prohibiting discrimination against patients for using medical marijuana. This means most employees can’t be fired for using or testing positive for marijuana as long as they are using it for medical purposes.

This doesn’t mean you’re protected against discipline in all cases though when it comes to marijuana use. You can be fired if you use marijuana during work hours or you’re otherwise impaired during work hours by marijuana use.

It might help to think of CBD products as you would alcohol when it comes to workplace use. Like CBD, alcohol is perfectly legal for people over the age of 21 to consume, but if you’re drinking on the job or you come to work under the influence of alcohol, your employer could choose to discipline you.

Also, keep in mind, employers are free to adopt a drug-free work environment. They can refuse to hire someone who fails a drug test due to the use of marijuana or terminate someone using marijuana recreationally. There’s a good chance this will change in the coming years as recreational marijuana use becomes more mainstream. Many want the laws protecting employees from discrimination based on their use of “lawful products” while off duty extended to include marijuana uses and that’s likely to happen first in states like New York.

Your Likelihood of Termination for CBD and Marijuana Use is Lower Than Ever

Chances are, using CBD products isn’t going to cost you your job in New York. But that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t research the products you’re using, nor should you assume your job is automatically safe when using THC-containing products.

The use of CBD products could result in a positive drug test. Employers aren’t screening for cannabidiol, but many screen for THC – the psychoactive ingredient in marijuana.

And while many CBD products do not contain any THC, some do. This is why it’s so important to research CBD distributors and use products that you trust. If you are concerned about your CBD use affecting your employment status, you need to be sure you aren’t using a product that could trigger a positive drug test result. If you ingest THC, knowingly or unknowingly, it could show up on a drug test and it could be grounds for termination.

Did your employer discipline you for CBD use? Do you have questions about the medical or recreational use of marijuana and how it affects your job? We can help. Contact Borrelli & Associates, P.L.L.C. to schedule a free consultation.


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