News and Analysis
The OMA this week hosted an online briefing to address members’ concerns regarding Ohio’s recreational marijuana law, approved by voters in early November. The new law, which is subject to change due to anticipated action by state lawmakers, takes effect Thursday, Dec. 7.
Members can access this recorded version of the briefing (password is !LmF3kTH). Also, read this summary of the law by Bricker Graydon, the OMA’s general counsel, which emphasized that employers are not required to permit marijuana use, possession, or distribution on the job.
Guest presenters included attorneys Theresa Nelson and Bill Creedon from Bricker Graydon; Allison Sharer from OMA Connections Partner Working Partners; and Sen. Mark Romanchuk (R-Ontario), who provided insights into possible modifications of the new law.
Sen. Romanchuk said legislative leaders are expected to soon unveil draft language that would amend the Issue 2 language. The OMA’s Public Policy Services team continues to work with legal experts and lawmakers to safeguard employer protections. Watch for updates from the OMA concerning this development. 11/30/2023
The legalization of cannabis for certain medical conditions has had no effect on the Ohio BWC’s position that a drug-free workplace means a marijuana-free workplace.
What will change now that Ohio’s legalized recreational marijuana law takes effect Thursday, Dec. 7? In short, and until further notice, nothing, according to this insight from Frantz Ward, an OMA Connections Partner.
The firm provides an overview of the BWC’s Drug-Free Safety Program, which gives Ohio employers premium discounts for fulfilling and incorporating certain requirements into their drug and alcohol policies. 11/30/2023
The 2024 Ohio Safety Congress and Expo — the largest work-safety conference in the U.S. — will be held at Greater Columbus Convention Center, March 27-29. This popular event will feature expert content within 13 educational tracks. View the entire schedule. 11/29/2023
OMA Connections Partner Fisher Phillips has warned employers about the collaboration between the NLRB and OSHA. In this guidance, the firm spotlights top compliance challenges stemming from the agencies’ partnership. The firm advises employers to document and implement safety and health programs. 11/29/2023
At 10 a.m. Dec. 7, the OMA will host its final safety webinar of 2024 with a look at effective incident reporting. Presented by experts at Safex, this webinar will help manufacturers maximize their return on time spent completing incident investigations, while helping companies identify preventative measures. Learn more and register. 11/21/2023
Statehouse leaders are approaching potential changes to Ohio’s new recreational marijuana law with different levels of urgency.
Although the voter-approved law takes effect Dec. 7, House Speaker Jason Stephens (R-Kitts Hill) says that finalizing necessary changes by next month would “prove a tall order,” according to Gongwer News Service.
Senate President Matt Huffman (R-Lima), who will address the OMA’s Government Affairs Committee meeting on Nov. 29, says senators will push for changes before Dec. 7. Gov. DeWine has called for quick legislative action due to concerns over THC content, tax and revenue provisions, safety issues, and marijuana use in public.
The OMA will host a Nov. 30 members-only briefing to address safety and HR concerns related to recreational marijuana use. Register here. 11/15/2023
The number of reported workplace injuries and illnesses in the U.S. private sector increased in 2022, according to new data released by the Bureau of Labor Statistics. According to reports, manufacturing was among the three sectors with the highest number of recordable cases. 11/13/2023
A new study of more than 1.2 million lost-time workers’ compensation claims submitted from 2016 through 2020 has found that 34% of those claims involved employees who were in their first year on the job. Read more details from the Travelers Injury Impact Report. 11/15/2023
Ohio voters on Nov. 7 approved Issue 2 to legalize recreational marijuana use by a margin of 57-43%, according to unofficial results and despite opposition from the manufacturing community and others. Ohioans can begin to possess and consume recreational marijuana starting Dec. 7. Legal sales will be delayed due to rulemaking by the Ohio Department of Commerce.
Because Issue 2 is an initiated statute, as opposed to a constitutional amendment, state lawmakers can amend or even repeal the language — and tweaks are already being discussed. According to this story by Gongwer News Service, revisions to the measure could be unveiled by year’s end.
Gov. Mike DeWine has called for Issue 2 language changes due to to concerns for children and highway safety. Both Senate President Matt Huffman (R-Lima) and House Speaker Jason Stephens (R-Kitts Hill) have indicated changes are likely — including tweaks to the law’ tax structure, revenue distribution, and THC concentration limits. 11/8/2023
Supporters of Ohio’s Issue 2 to legalize recreational marijuana raised $6 million, roughly 13 times more than that raised by the opposition campaign.
This report published by the Cincinnati Business Courier highlights key donors supporting and opposing the ballot measure. The story notes that the OMA, along with OMA board member Angela Phillips, CEO of Phillips Tube Group, provided roughly two-thirds of the opposition campaign’s funding. 11/7/2023