Florida Expands Medical Marijuana Regulations and Background Check Requirements

August 16, 2023

In July, a new bill imposed stricter rules for manufacturing and advertising marijuana in Florida. The bill also updated background check regulations for cannabis industry employees. These changes intend to prohibit recreational cannabis promotions through messages or products.

The Governor of Florida approved HB 1387 in May to change the statewide medical cannabis law. This bill would significantly affect the market if adult use of marijuana becomes legal in Florida. It prohibits cannabis manufacturers and retailers from advertising products that might appeal to children. The bill also bans advertisements encouraging the public to use marijuana for recreational purposes. Before HB 1387’s encompassing regulations, Florida restricted manufacturers and retailers from advertising infused edibles only.

Unfortunately, the law does not define what counts as promoting recreational use. In addition, this legislation could conflict with a proposed constitutional amendment that would legalize adult use. This conflict may happen if the amendment reaches the ballot and receives approval from voters.

Should the voters approve a constitutional amendment, HB 1387 could impede the lawful marketing of cannabis products. The courts may strike this law down if it violates a new constitutional amendment protecting the right of adults to consume cannabis. Regardless, employers should note how the bill’s considerable changes affect businesses and employees in the medical marijuana industry.

HB 1387 clarifies that certain exemptions for employment background screening do not apply to those working in the medical marijuana industry. The bill outlined these exemptions of disqualification under s. 435.07. It exempts those with disqualifying records for the following conditions:

  • Felonies that have elapsed at least three years since the completion of the sentence
  • Misdemeanors since the completion of any sentence
  • Felonies that have since become misdemeanors under statutes
  • Findings of delinquency that would have become felonies if committed by an adult

The new law also expanded background screening requirements in Florida. These regulations now encompass all Certified Marijuana Testing Laboratory employees, managers, and owners. As a result, the law requires the Department of Florida to collect background information on these workers. This step would ensure compliance with the new background screening regulations.

As regulations regarding marijuana rapidly evolve, employers should review their hiring policies for marijuana and background checks. Working with an experienced background screening provider is the best way to start. The right partner can ensure employers comply with evolving regulations and deliver accurate background checks. In addition, the right partnership will enable employers to make well-informed hiring decisions.

JDP makes background checks easy and reliable. Speak with a sales representative today.