Pot plant For employers without federal government contracts, evolving state laws present a tremendous conflict and left to question whether they must follow federal or state law. (Photo: Bloomberg)

Conflicting marijuana laws at the state and federal level have created a confusing legal environment for employers. Few know how to set rules around employee use of the drug and protect themselves from potential lawsuits. Even fewer know what the future holds for a booming marijuana industry, which is projected to reach nearly $150 billion in the next decade.

Today, 33 states and Washington, D.C. have some form of legislation permitting the use of medical marijuana. These states have taken charge of writing their own laws, and each state law contains nuances that must be analyzed and understood by employers who wish to avoid violating them.

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