As marijuana use has been legalized in some capacity in a majority of states, there remains a notable population who is still banned from its use: student athletes. However, recent recommendations to the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) means that change could be on the horizon for collegiate athletes. Earlier this summer, the NCAA Committee on Competitive Safeguards and Medical Aspects of Sports (CSMAS) signaled its support for removing cannabis from the banned substance list and drug-testing protocols for student athletes. On September 22, 2023 the committee officially recommended that all three NCAA divisional bodies adopt legislation to remove cannabinoids from the banned drug classes. The recommendation was based upon the conclusion at the Summit on Cannabinoids in College Athletics hosted by the NCAA last December. They concluded that cannabinoids are not considered to be performance-enhancing, and the current policy was found to be ineffective at prohibiting use, and better implemented by individual schools.
The New Jersey Cannabis Regulatory Commission (the Commission) recently issued interim guidance on the workplace drug testing provisions of the state’s recreational cannabis law. The guidance is meant to act as a placeholder until the standards for Workplace Impairment Recognition Expert (WIRE) certification are published, which outlines how employers should respond when employees are suspected of marijuana impairment. The interim guidance confirms that an employee’s off-duty use of cannabis cannot be the reason for any adverse employment action, but employers are allowed to terminate workers who are under the influence during work hours.
Earlier this month Tremaine Wright, the woman in charge of New York’s cannabis regulation revealed a plan to promote social equity through conscientious licensing and tax revenue policies. New York legalized cannabis recently, so its regulations for it are still in a fledgling stage. As a result, the policies being made now will shape the cannabis industry for years to come.
On June 25, 2019 Illinois Governor JB Pritzker signed the Illinois Cannabis Regulation and Tax Act, “The Cannabis Act” which legalized recreational cannabis beginning January 1, 2020 for adults aged 21 years and older. Illinois residents are permitted to possess 30 grams of cannabis flower, 5 grams of cannabis concentrate, and 500 milligrams of THC contained in a cannabis-infused product. The possession limits are to be considered cumulative. The legalization of adult-use marijuana for recreational purposes in Illinois does not modify the state’s medical cannabis pilot program.
On September 10, 2019 the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) sent warning letters to three companies that sell oils, tinctures, capsules, “gummies,” and creams containing cannabidiol (CBD) regarding the companies’ false advertising practices. Cannabis is a plant of the Cannabaceae family and contains more than eighty biologically active chemical compounds. The most commonly known compounds are delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and cannabidiol (CBD). CBD does not cause intoxication like THC.
In November of 2016 voters in California passed the Adult Use of Marijuana Act which legalized the sale and use of marijuana throughout the state, similarly to states such as Colorado and Washington. Starting January 1, 2018, it will be legal to go to a licensed dispensary and purchase marijuana for personal use, without needing a medical marijuana card. However, marijuana possession or use is still a federal offense; navigating the new law can be hazy.