The short answer is yes, within certain circumstances. Although medical marijuana is legal in Oklahoma, there are limitations to the time and location at which patient is allowed to use it. The use is limited when the patient uses it during work hours or at the place of employment.

May an Oklahoma employer conduct drug and alcohol testing?

Oklahoma employers may conduct drug and alcohol testing under the Standards for Workplace Drug and Alcohol Testing Act. However, an employer that requests or requires an applicant or employee to undergo drug or alcohol testing must first adopt a written policy setting forth the specifics of its drug or alcohol testing program. You must have written drug & alcohol test policies in place before you conduct the testing. It’s a good employment practice to draft an employee handbook and list the testing details to ensure the new hire reads and is aware of the policies. This simple practice can save you time, money, and a lot of grief in the future.

What is State Question 788?

State Question 788, the Oklahoma Marijuana Legalization Initiative, was a 2018 ballot measure to legalize medical marijuana – which the Oklahoma voters passed with 56.86% “yes” votes. Under State Question 788, employers may not take action against the holder of a medical marijuana license solely based upon the status of an employee as a medical marijuana license holder or the result of a positive drug test for marijuana.

What is Oklahoma Medical Marijuana and Patient Protection Act?

In 2019 Governor Stitt signed the Medical Marijuana and Patient Protection Act, more commonly called the Unity Bill, adding clarity to the Oklahoma medical marijuana industry. The Act clarifies that employers cannot refuse to hire or take adverse action against an applicant or employee solely because that individual possesses a valid medical marijuana license. Similarly, employers may not refuse to hire or take adverse action against an employee solely because that individual tested positive for marijuana use unless the job involves a position with “safety sensitive” job duties. A non-exclusive list of “safety sensitive” job duties includes working with hazardous materials, operating vehicles or machinery, maintenance of equipment, working with utilities, preparing or handling food or medicine, carrying a firearm, patient care, child care, and others.

Conclusion

The Oklahoma Medical Marijuana and Patient Protection Act made it clear that employers could still punish the use or possession of marijuana during work hours or at a place of employment. Therefore you may take disciplinary action against employees for being “under the influence” of marijuana at work, regardless of whether the individual possesses a valid license.

Niroula Law is here to assist small business owners like you solve employment-related problems. If you have questions or concerns about discrimination, harassment, wrongful termination, or any marijuana-related employment issues, call us today at (405) 456-9250 or contact us online.