Does Having a Medical Marijuana Card Affect Your Job?


    For those who rely on medical cannabis to feel well in life and manage their medical conditions, it can be natural to wonder whether or not having a medical marijuana card might affect your job or future employment opportunities.

    There is a massive disconnect in society between organizations respecting peoples’ rights to possess medical marijuana lawfullly and also maintain their rights in the workplace. Therefore, if you’re feeling stressed or concerned over how being a medical marijuana patient might impact your career, that’s very understandable.

    According to the Compassionate Use Act, you cannot be penalized by your employer for holding a medical marijuana card alone. This implies that just because you have a medical marijuana card, your employer cannot treat you unjustly, terminate you, or refuse to hire you.

    Unfortunately, the reality is a bit different and the Compassionate Use Act can get overlooked by some employers.

    In this article, we will discuss the potential impacts that having a medical marijuana card might have on your job and future employment prospects.

    Can I Get Fired for Being a Medical Marijuana Holder?

    Possessing a medical marijuana card means you are protected by state laws in the state of issuing from getting criminally punished for the consumption, possession, and growing of medical cannabis, as long as it is within legal limits. State allowance, however, differs from employer permisssion.

    Certain states provide medical marijuana users with stronger work safeguards than others, and each state has its own set of protections. Additionally, several jurisdictions shield employees from being fired for having a medicinal marijuana card or for failing a drug test with only one positive result. However, these safeguards also differ.


    Since cannabis is still prohibited by federal law, there is no structure in place to create laws safeguarding people who use medicinal marijuana.

    Just having a medical marijuana card probably won’t impact your employment, but if you decide to consume cannabis, even privately at home long after the work day is done, and have to take part in a drug screening, your employment could be at risk.

    In the United States, every employer gets to set their own workplace drug policies. Therefore, in order to know how your employer may feel about medical cannabis, their drug policy can be quite telling.

    It may be in your benefit, if it is safe to do so, to discuss with your employer about their policies regarding medical marijuana, and be sure to express the differentiation between recreational and medical marijuana, as not everyone is aware of the differences.

    Informing your employer that medicinal marijuana might help you perform better at work by reducing symptoms could cause them to change their mind on the drug and they may even alter corporate guidelines for staff members using medicinal marijuana under a doctor’s supervision.

    Even in cases when a drug-free workplace policy is vigorously enforced, it is still plausible that individuals with a medicinal marijuana recommendation that has been approved by a doctor might be permitted to continue consuming cannabis.

    It is important to note, however, that no matter how many patient protections your state has, almost no employer will permit you to consume cannabis at the workplace or on the job. This could potentially become a massive hazard and liability for an employer.

    Will Employers Be Able to See That I Have a Medical Marijuana Card?

    The fact that you own a medical marijuana card is information that will remain private, unless you wish to disclose this yourself to your employer. There is no way for an employer to see that you have a medical marijuana card, although you may benefit from telling them if you live in a state that has medical cannabis protections in place. If you have an old medical marijuana card and don’t consume cannabis anymore then it probably would not be beneficial to tell your employer. The best rule of thumb is not to lie and also to agree to any drug screenings that might be requested.


    Probably the most challenging aspect of being a regular medical marijuana consumer and maintaining employment or getting hired with new employment, is the potential for drug screenings. Medical cannabis still contains THC that can be actively detected by a drug test, which could create problems down the line. This is also why it may be beneficial to give your employer the heads up that you consume cannabis after work hours due to medical reasons and have a doctor’s certification to do so.

    Are Medical Marijuana Patients Exempt from Drug Screenings?

    Unfotunately, even medical marijuana patients are not exempt from drug screenings if an employer decides to request one.

    Private employers are less likely to request a drug test, though some still may, which is why it’s important to understand your workplace’s drug policies and stance on medical marijuana so that you can prepare accordingly.


    Employers with federal contracts worth more than $100,000, whether federal or non-federal, are required to have a comprehensive drug policy that includes drug testing.

    You can anticipate that federal law will take precedence over state law if your employment involves significant interactions with the federal government.

    There’s a Bright Future for Medical Marijuana Cardholders

    Although current laws don’t exactly protect medical marijuana card holders from getting fired or not being selected for a job if they fail a drug screening due to having medical marijuana in their system, as cannabis laws and regulations continue to evolve and become more accepting, so will employer drug policies. Even though right now it may not feel as such, there is a bright future for medical marijuana cardholders because public opinion of cannabis isbecoming more positive by the day.

    If you are looking for become a medical marijuana patient and are feeling overwhelmed by the process, at MMJCardOnline we are here to help. Our guidance throughout the process is supportive and easy to follow, making it simpler than ever to get connected with a medical marijuana doctor and get your card.

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