More and more states are legalizing both medical and recreational cannabis use. The legal landscape of standard drug testing in the workplace changes continuously. Employers face the task of making policy changes to keep up with the federal and state statutes for shaping their marijuana drug test procedures. 

Right now, a total of 36 states have legalized medical marijuana use and 19 states have legalized recreational use. However, despite these progressive state laws, federal law still falls behind in classifying marijuana as a Schedule 1 drug (the same category as illicit drugs like heroin and cocaine). Employers determine appropriate amendments to drug testing in the workplace by looking at how heavily they will rely on federal guidelines to navigate their written policies

Navigating the legal channels is complicated because workplace protections vary by state. Even some cities have their own local regulations. Because of this, employers must carefully revise or amend their drug testing policies to reflect the changing statutes. Legal experts recommend employers have their updated policies vetted by local employment counsel. This will ensure they align with the various state regulations. 

Drug Test Your Employees

The legalization of marijuana prompts significant policy changes across the board. Testing employees in this climate can be an undertaking. But making marijuana-specific changes to your company’s written policy has become necessary. 

New York City, Philadelphia, and Nevada are three states that are setting precedent. They have prohibited pre-employment marijuana testing in most industries. The key is figuring out what serves your business. Any company should consider these three factors when amending their marijuana-specific policies. 

1: Industry-specific 

Regardless of state law, certain industries are subject to federal rules when it comes to marijuana use. Federal agencies and companies with federal contracts and grants perform substance testing, including for marijuana. If your company deals in administration, your policy will likely be different from that of a manufacturing facility or transportation authority. For example, workers covered by Department of Transportation rules must be screened for drug and alcohol use no matter what state they are located in. 

2: Position-specific

Some positions within the company require pre-employment marijuana testing. Your company may have different positions that are safety-intense. For example, positions that operate heavy machinery, require you to perform duties in dangerous environments, provide transportation to others, or work with children, more strict marijuana protocols might be warranted. Positions with the same company that are clerical, IT or customer service-related might be exempt from marijuana testing. 

3: Time-specific

The effects of marijuana are short, compared to how long it stays in your system. For example, the effects of using marijuana can last several hours, yet a drug test can detect marijuana in the system for up to 30 days. Therefore, an employee being under the influence of marijuana is not synonymous with a positive marijuana test. So, cannabis use on personal time will not affect an employee’s job performance. Employers create policies that take this into account.  

Drug Testing In the Workplace 

Drug & alcohol abuse is a serious issue that companies of any size are faced with daily. We understand the stakes. A drug and alcohol testing program through Soteria Screening will help minimize faulty hires and reduce liabilities for the company and its employees. We offer drug tests, if they fit with your company’s needs. 

At Soteria Screening Laboratories it is our mission to provide personalized, effective, and efficient drug and alcohol testing and compliance programs nationwide for companies and for individuals. Soteria Screening works with three laboratories, instead of one, to help expand the network of facilities able to provide our variety of services. Let us provide a high-quality, time-efficient drug test at the workplace. It is our specialty. 

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