Massachusetts Committee Approves Bill Prohibiting Employment Discrimination Based On Marijuana Use

Legislation that would prohibit employers from discriminating against those who legally use marijuana off the job has been passed by its initial committee.

House Bill 4426 was introduced today by the House Joint Committee on Cannabis Policy along with cosponsors State Representatives Muchael Kushmerek, Colleen Garry and Rady Mom. Also today, the measure was “reported favorably” by the Cannabis Policy Committee and referred to the House Steering, Policy and Scheduling Committee.

The measure prevents an employer from refusing to hire or employ, or to bar or to discharge from employment, “or to discriminate against such person in compensation or in terms, conditions or privileges of employment”, someone who uses marijuana legally, “unless reasonable suspicion exists that the employee was impaired by marijuana at the employee’s place of employment or during the hours of employment.”

You can view the full text of the proposal by clicking here.

Marijuana was legalized in Massachusetts in 2016, with the law allowing those 21 and older to possess up to an ounce of marijuana and cultivate up to six plants for personal use. The first licensed marijuana store opening in 2018.

According to data compiled and released by the Massachusetts Cannabis Control Commission, there was $1.8 billion in legal marijuana sold in 2023 in Massachusetts. In January there was over $143 million sold.

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