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Back to Marijuana Laws

California has legalized both medical and recreational cannabis use. Employers in the state have specific rights and responsibilities concerning cannabis use by their employees.

Legal Status: Medical and Recreational

Protections for Medicinal Users & Exceptions:

Effective January 1, 2024, it will be unlawful for most employers in California to discriminate against individuals based on their off-duty cannabis use. However, exceptions exist for certain positions and federal regulations.

Protections for Recreational Users & Exceptions:

Similar to medicinal users, recreational cannabis users in California will receive protection against employment discrimination effective January 1, 2024. Exceptions include specific positions and federal regulations.

Restrictions on Testing for Cannabis:

Starting in 2024, some employers will be prohibited from discriminating based on nonpsychoactive cannabis metabolites in drug screening tests.


Employers are not obligated to accommodate medical cannabis use on their premises or during work hours. They may establish and enforce policies that prohibit cannabis use in the workplace.