HR Alert

North Dakota Medical Marijuana Law Addresses Employment and Health Insurers' Obligations

North Dakota Medical Marijuana Law Addresses Employment and Health Insurers' Obligations

New Law Now Effective

A new North Dakota law permitting medical marijuana contains provisions that address employment and health insurers' obligations.

A prior North Dakota law (the "North Dakota Compassionate Care Act") provided for the medical use of marijuana for defined debilitating medical conditions. However, the governor of North Dakota signed emergency legislation suspending certain provisions of the North Dakota Compassionate Care Act.

In response to the emergency legislation, the sixty-fifth legislative assembly and the governor enacted a new medical marijuana program to allow for the production, processing, sale, and dispensing of usable marijuana, and for the medical use of marijuana (the "new law").

New Law Addresses Employment and Health Insurers' Obligations
The new law does not prohibit an employer from disciplining an employee for possessing or consuming usable marijuana in the workplace or for working while under the influence of marijuana.

Additionally, the law does not require (among other things): a person in lawful possession of property to allow a guest, client, customer, or other visitor to possess or consume usable marijuana on or in that property; or a private insurer to reimburse a person for costs associated with the medical use of marijuana.

Note: The new law is currently in effect, and the emergency legislation noted in the "Background" section above is no longer effective. The new law also repeals the original North Dakota Compassionate Care Act, discussed above.

Additional details are contained in the text of the new law. Employers with questions regarding the new law's impact on workplace policies and practices are advised to contact a knowledgeable employment law attorney.

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