In June 2013, New Hampshire passed RSA 126-X, which decriminalized the therapeutic use of cannabis by qualifying patients. The first medical marijuana dispensary opened in New Hampshire just under three years later, in April of 2016.
However, cannabis is still prohibited under federal law. So while qualifying patients are not subject to arrest for using therapeutic cannabis under New Hampshire law, they are still subject to arrest under federal law.
What does RSA 126-X mean for employees who are qualifying patients and their employers?
NH Employment Law for the Use of Medical Marijuana
Employees who are qualifying patients must obtain written permission from their employers before possessing cannabis at their place of employment. If qualifying patient employees fail to obtain written permission from their employer, they are subject to arrest or prosecution under New Hampshire law for possessing cannabis in the workplace.
Employees are also subject to arrest or prosecution under New Hampshire law if they are under the influence of cannabis while at work or operating a commercial vehicle or heavy machinery or handling a dangerous instrument without written permission from their employer.
The law "in no way limit[s] an employer’s ability to discipline an employee for ingesting cannabis in the workplace or for working while under the influence of cannabis."
Try the following links for more helpful information about medical marijuana:
- Therapeutic Cannabis Statute
- Therapeutic Cannabis Administrative Rules
- Qualifying Patient Information
- Therapeutic Cannabis Program 2016 Data Report
Both employers and employees who have questions about the therapeutic use of cannabis in the workplace should consult with a qualified employment law attorney.