As of January 1, 2024, the state of Washington joins many other states that have enacted new cannabis testing laws intended to prevent adverse actions against job applicants who lawfully use cannabis off-duty.

The reason for these laws is that some drug tests may indicate the presence of non-psychoactive cannabis metabolites, which indicate past consumption but do not indicate impairment.

Employers may need to change testing protocols. For example, they can use oral fluid screening (saliva), as it identifies psychoactive metabolites, which indicate impairment.

The new laws do not apply in all situations, however. For example, employers are entitled to test for controlled substances if an employee is involved in an accident or incident that raises a suspicion of impairment.

Also, different rules apply for people applying for jobs that require federal background screening; and also jobs deemed “safety-sensitive.” That includes law enforcement, transportation, construction, and others.

Navigating the laws can be confusing. We can help. Call Legal Locator Service at 866-225-2435 (toll-free) or 503-697-5821. We are a Certified Women-Owned Business. Multilingual Speaking office.