Beginning January 1, 2020, the recreational use of marijuana will be permitted by law. Governor J.B. Pritzker signed legislation on June 25, 2019, making Illinois the eleventh state to approve marijuana for recreational use. The Illinois Cannabis Regulation and Tax Act permits employers to adopt “reasonable” zero-tolerance or drug-free workplace policies, so long as such policies are applied in a nondiscriminatory manner.
When the Act was initially passed, employers expressed concern that they might have to prove an employee was under the influence of cannabis when an employee failed a drug test, and whether they could conduct random drug tests. To address these issues, the Illinois General Assembly amended the Act during the fall legislative session. Gov. Pritzker then signed the legislation into law and changes took effect with the governor’s signature.
The amendments clarify an employer’s ability to conduct pre-employment and random drug test, and to take action due to failure of drug test. Despite the new amendments, workplace drug policies still must be both reasonable and nondiscriminatory.
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