Marijuana regulations have gone up in smoke recently and that means higher stakes for employers that want to screen candidates for the drug. The current saliva tests for THC can test positive for individuals that used 40-60 days ago which could be like screening out employees because they had a beer a month ago! Employers can still screen employees for legitimate business needs but legal recreational use across the US is causing employers to ask, should we test for Marijuana in pre-employment drug tests?
As it stands employers can still decline to hire potential employees if they test positive for marijuana, but employers have found that doing so drastically reduces their candidate pool and may exclude valuable employees.
Consider marijuana in relation to the other drugs in our screening package. Drugs like amphetamines, cocaine or opiates can only be detected in urine or saliva test for 24 hours to 3 or 4 days depending on the drug. Meanwhile, marijuana can be detected for over 60 days! long after the effects of the drug have subsided. While it is reasonable to consider that someone who tests positive for harder substances is likely to have used recently or even that they are under the effects of the drug when the test is administered the same cannot be said for marijuana.
Additionally, laws allowing for recreational use of marijuana have been enacted in many states, so employers have good reason for relaxing their screening policy. Since using is no longer illegal it follows that these potential employees are not conducting illegal activities in their free time and there is no longer good reasoning to exclude potential employees that test positive for THC. Since users can test positive for the drug months after use a positive result for THC could be like punishing a potential hire for having a drink 60 days ago.
However, if the employer decides to use a normal 5 panel drug test they will find that they continue to have to screen these employees out as a positive hit on any of the 5 panel drug tests must result in removal from consideration. Due to this, many employers are opting to check for harder substances only and exclude marijuana from their drug testing panel. This ensures that more dangerous drugs and potentially riskier individuals are screened out while recreational users of Marijuana can still join the work force.
To accommodate the changing times HireSafe now offers a 5 Panel Drug Test that excludes marijuana and focuses on tests for harder substances that would greatly affect an employee’s ability to perform. If you’re interested in starting employee drug testing without THC or changing your current drug testing service to exclude marijuana fill out a consultation survey and we will get back to you!