Puerto Rico: Law Signed Protecting Medical Cannabis Patients from Employment Discrimination

Puerto Rico’s Governor has signed legislation into law protecting qualified medical cannabis patients from workplace discrimination.

The legislation amends Puerto Rico’s medical marijuana access law so that registered patients are now classified as members of a protected class under the US territory’s employment protection laws.

Under the expanded law, employers may not discriminate against authorized patients of medical cannabis in the recruitment, hiring, designation, or termination process or when imposing disciplinary actions.

Exceptions to employees’ protection include situations where “the use of medical cannabis represents a real threat of harm or danger to others or property” and/or when “the use of medical cannabis interferes with the employee’s performance and functions,” among other scenarios.

Several US states impose some similar degree of protection from workplace discrimination for qualified medical cannabis patients. Those states include: Arizona, Arkansas, Connecticut, Delaware, Illinois, Maryland, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Montana, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, Puerto Rico, Rhode Island, South Dakota, Vermont, Virginia, and West Virginia.