Businesses getting ready for legal marijuana in Illinois

Recreational marijuana and the workplace in Illinois

ILLINOIS (KFVS) - With legal recreational marijuana use being a reality in Illinois around the corner, businesses are starting to figure out how they’ll adapt to the new law in the work place.

The law recently signed by Governor J.B. Pritzker goes into effect on January 1st, 2020.

The way it is written, businesses won’t be able to discriminate against marijuana use from outside the workplace. However, there are protections in place for businesses to set up a zero tolerance policy for it’s employees at work.

The following are excerpts from a summary of the law provided by Gov. Pritzker’s office to explain.

- Nothing in the Act prohibits employers from adopting reasonable zero tolerance or drug free workplace policies, or employment policies concerning drug testing, smoking, consumption, storage, or use of cannabis in the workplace or while on call provided the policy is applied in a nondiscriminatory manor

- Nothing in the Act limits or prevents an employer from disciplining an employee or terminating employment of an employee for violating an employer’s employment policies or workplace drug policy

Whitney Barnes from the Illinois Chamber of Commerce said there have been many talks concerning this implementation between business leaders and sponsors of the legislation over the past year on this topic.

“We believe through constant dialogue that this final package, the final bill, includes the strongest workplace protections in the nation,” she said.

Still, she said they’ve been getting a lot of calls from businesses about how they’re going to implement this new law and adapt their policies.

Barnes said they’re hosting a series of webinars and seminars that businesses can join explaining their rights as employers and answer any other questions.

For that information, people are asked to contact Kirsten Constant at 217-522-5512 ext. 227 or email at

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