Senate Committee Approves Legislation Clarifying Medical Marijuana Law

The Senate Health and Human Services Committee passed PA Chamber-supported legislation last Tuesday to improve Pennsylvania’s medical marijuana law as it relates to employment and workplace safety.

Act 16 of 2016 legalized marijuana for medicinal purposes and since then, as use has expanded significantly statewide, employers increasingly report uncertainty with their rights and responsibilities under the law.

S.B. 749, introduced by Senator Bob Mensch (R-Montgomery), seeks to address ambiguity in a number of areas particularly relevant to safety-sensitive industries, including drug-testing, disclosure policies for safety-sensitive positions and establishing a standard for determining impairment.

Prior to consideration of the bill, the PA Chamber sent committee members a support memo  along with dozens of statewide associations representing a range of industries from manufacturing, construction and energy, to childcare and local governments.

“While our organizations represent a broad range of industries and diverse perspectives,” the memo begins, “we agree on two key principles related to medical marijuana: the law should provide clear guidance to employers and the workforce; and employers should not be inhibited from maintaining reasonable workplace safety policies to protect their people, customers and the public.”

The bill now awaits consideration by the full Senate.


Founded in 1916, the Pennsylvania Chamber of Business and Industry is the state's largest broad-based business association, with its membership comprising businesses of all sizes and across all industry sectors. The PA Chamber is The Statewide Voice of BusinessTM.