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Verrill Dana, LLP

Verrill Dana, LLP is one of New England's preeminent regional law firms. With offices in Portland and Augusta, ME; Boston, MA; Westport, CT; Providence, RI; and Washington D.C. Verrill Dana provides sophisticated legal representation to businesses and individuals in the traditional areas of litigation, real estate, business law, labor and employment law, employee benefits, environmental law, intellectual property and estate planning.  The Firm also has industry-focused specialties including higher education, health care and health technology, energy, and timberlands. 

Disclaimer:  The content presented in this blog is for general information only, is not intended to constitute legal advice and cannot be relied upon by any person as legal advice. While we welcome you to contact our blog authors at, the submission of a comment or question does not create an attorney-client relationship between the Firm and you. 

Entries in Medical Marijuana (6)


The Bay State Rules Qualified Medicinal Marijuana User Has Civil Remedy Against Her Employer

Last week, the Supreme Judicial Court of Massachusetts issued an opinion in Cristina Barbutos v. Advantage Sales and Marketing, LLC, SJC-12226 (Ma. July 17, 2017), finding that an employee qualified to use marijuana under the Commonwealth’s medicinal marijuana statute had a cause of action against her former employer through the Commonwealth’s handicap discrimination statute.  The opinion reversed the lower-court’s dismissal of the former employee’s cause of action, but simultaneously found that the medicinal marijuana act itself did not contain an implied statutory private right of action.

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Medical Marijuana: Is it reasonable and necessary?

Verrill Dana Labor & Employment attorney Beth Smith discusses the anticipated decision in Bourgoin v. Twin Rivers Paper Company that should provide some clarity about whether or not workers' compensation insurers will be compelled to compensate for medicinal marijuana expenses incurred by injured workers. Stream the podcast online here or listen below. 


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Breaking News on Medical Marijuana in Maine Workers' Compensation

We have just learned that the State of Maine Supreme Judicial Court, sitting as the Law Court, has accepted Bourgoin v. Twin Rivers Paper Co., L.L.C., and Decision No. 16-26, one of a pair of Administrative Law Judge decisions addressing medical marijuana that the Appellate Division affirmed last summer.  The Law Court will examine the question of whether the Administrative Law Judge erred by compelling reimbursement for medical marijuana as reasonable and necessary under the Workers’ Compensation Act, despite the fact that marijuana remains a Schedule I drug under federal law.

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Tractor Supply Co. Plowing New Terrain in Medical Marijuana Law

Last week, the United States District Court for the District of New Mexico issued a memorandum and order granting Tractor Supply Company’s Motion to Dismiss in Garcia v. Tractor Supply Co. The Plaintiff, Rojerio Garcia, suffers from HIV/AIDS and was using medical marijuana under the Lynn and Erin Compassionate Use Act (“CUA”), N.M. Stat. Ann. § 26-2B-1, to help to treat his condition. Mr. Garcia applied for and was hired for a position as Team Lead and took a drug test, which tested positive for cannabis metabolites. As a result, Mr. Garcia was discharged from his position. Mr. Garcia brought suit alleging his termination violated New Mexico’s Human Rights statute and that the CUA requires Tractor Supply Co. to accommodate his medical marijuana use.

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Bummer Dude: Colorado Supreme Court Upholds Firing for Off-Duty Weed Use

In a decision widely anticipated by both employment lawyers and Cheetos enthusiasts alike, on June 15th, the Colorado Supreme Court ruled that in spite of the state’s law making it legal to use marijuana, employers can fire workers who partake when they’re off the clock.

Brandon Coats brought the case against Dish Network. Coats became quadriplegic in a car accident and used marijuana to control leg spasms. He had a medical marijuana card and consumed pot off-duty. Dish fired him in 2010 after failing a random drug test. Coats then challenged Dish’s zero-tolerance drug policy, claiming that his use was legal under state law.

Both the trial court and the Colorado Court of Appeals previously upheld the firing. In a 6-0 decision, the Colorado Supreme Court agreed, ruling that the use of medical marijuana in compliance with Colorado's Medical Marijuana Amendment was not “lawful” under the state’s Lawful Off-Duty Activities Statute, because that term refers to refers to activities lawful under both state and federal law. Implicitly, the decision also recognizes the continuing right of employers to set their own drug policies, obviously subject to existing state and federal law.


Eleven Pipers Piping Marijuana into Your Workplace

On the eleventh day of Christmas my true love gave to me eleven pipers piping. But these guys were not playing merry little tunes; instead, they were piping problems into the workplace that employers didn’t have to worry about ten years ago, like questing whether there is tobacco or marijuana in that pipe and what they can do about it either way.

States, cities, and municipalities across the country are legalizing marijuana—both for recreational purposes and for medical purposes. Medical Marijuana has been legal in Maine since 1999 (despite lacking any distribution method and other issues), and in 2009, voters approved “An act to establish the Maine Medical Marijuana Act”, which finally allowed for implementation. In addition to Maine’s legalization, Connecticut, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, and Vermont each have independent statutes which permit the use of medical marijuana in limited circumstances. In fact, 23 states and the District of Columbia have all enacted laws permitting the use of medical marijuana. Additionally, Washington and Colorado have legalized recreational use of marijuana and Alaska and Oregon will allow recreational use in 2015. Closer to home, cities and municipalities—including Portland and South Portland—have legalized recreational use. But all of this legalization does not change the fact that marijuana remains illegal under Federal law; it remains, in fact, a Schedule I drug with the federal government currently recognizing no legitimate medical use for the drug.

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