On January 22, 2018, Vermont state legislators passed a bill (H. 511) legalizing the recreational use of marijuana for those over the age of 21. Vermont is the first state to legalize through legislature.

Effective July 2018, adults will legally be allowed to posses up to one ounce of marijuana and grow up to two mature plants and four immature plants. The sale of marijuana will not be allowed under this new law. Stronger penalties will be executed for actions such as selling to those who are underage and the consumption in a public place or vehicle.

Although recreational marijuana usage may be decriminalized at the state level, employers are not required to permit its usage and can maintain the same drug-free workplace policies that were established prior to the state laws taking effect. At the same time, that does not mean employers should be reluctant to revisit old, outdated policies. As new laws alter the employment landscape, it behooves all employers to continuously refine internal practices and consider drug testing policies a work in progress.

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