Virginia Gov. Signs Bill Protecting State Employees from Medical Cannabis Discrimination

Virginia Gov. Glenn Youngkin signed a bill to protect state employees including firefighters, emergency service providers, teachers, and civil servants from medical cannabis-related discrimination.

Full story after the jump.

Virginia Gov. Glenn Youngkin (R) on Monday signed a bill protecting state employees registered in the state’s medical cannabis program from discrimination related to their status as a patient. The new bill covers firefighters, emergency service providers, teachers, and civil servants. 

Del. Dan Helmer (D), the bill’s sponsor, in February, told Virginia Business that a bill he sponsored three years ago to protect medical cannabis patients from employment discrimination “unintentionally did not protect public sector employees.”  

In a statement, JM Pedini NORML development director and the executive director for Virginia NORML, said the organization worked closely with Helmer and firefighters for three years “in an effort to pass a simple definitional amendment that will ensure public employees are properly covered by the state’s existing employment protections law for medical cannabis patients.” 

“This legislation will protect the jobs of these heroes who risk their lives to keep Virginians safe.” — Pedini in a statement 

Youngkin also signed a bill making administrative improvements to the state’s medical cannabis program. The changes include increasing from six months to 12 months the maximum expiration date allowable for a cannabis product after registration absent stability testing; and providing for the confidentiality of certain records and other information of the board of directors of the Virginia Cannabis Control Authority, including the exemption of certain information from the mandatory disclosure provisions of the Virginia Freedom of Information Act, according to the bill summary. 

Youngkin did veto a bill that sought to protect the parental rights of lawful cannabis consumers by amending the state’s child neglect statute so that the use of cannabis by a parent or a child’s guardian is no longer considered to be prima facie evidence of a crime.  

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