drug testing laws change cannabi

THC Drug Tests Banned For Hiring Process

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THC Drug Tests New Laws Passed Now

Key Take Away

  1. Protection Against Discrimination: AB 2188 prohibits employment discrimination based on cannabis use outside work hours and away from the workplace.
  2. Shift in Testing Focus: Employers are encouraged to adopt testing methods that assess current impairment rather than the presence of non-psychoactive cannabis metabolites.
  3. Exemptions Exist: Certain industries and roles are exempt from these protections, maintaining strict drug-free workplace policies.
  4. Impairment Testing: Employers should explore impairment testing methods, such as oral fluid tests, to comply with the new regulations.
  5. Review of Policies Needed: Employers must review and possibly revise their drug testing and employment policies to ensure compliance with AB 2188.

My Thoughts

We all know what it’s like when we are out in the job market seeking a new position. For those of us who seek comfort in cannabis use after work hours it has always been a stressful time. Over the years we have suffered trying to find fake urine, borrow someone else’s urine or use extreme methods to pass these screenings. All of which are now coming to an end, at least here in the golden state anyway.

How many lives have been negatively impacted by these thc drug tests and policies that frankly speaking encroach on personal space. So many people over the years have needed to jump through hoops to secure their jobs, to save their jobs or risk losing their jobs over some weed. It’s time for a change folks.

In today’s cannabis news now episode there policy changes that have come to pass just this Sunday here in the state of California that puts an end to THC tests. This change brings forth a new era of acceptance to cannabis use. The Bill is aimed to remove all decision making when it comes to hiring and firing of workers who consume cannabis products when clocked out of work.

THC Drug Tests Cannabis Screening Law Changes For Employees In California

California Legislation

It’s clear the Golden state is progressively implementing huge changes that are more lenient towards cannabis use. Versus the recent Bill he vetoed which attempted to bring more safe drug spaces where users of heroin and fentanyl can safely get high without risking overdose. This decision marks California as the 7th state to implement such a change to the cannabis laws to prevent thc drug tests.

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In California, starting January 1, 2024, the legal landscape around THC tests in the workplace has undergone significant changes due to the implementation of Assembly Bill (AB) 2188. This legislation marks a pivotal shift in how employers approach drug testing, particularly concerning cannabis use by employees. Here’s a detailed overview:

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Detailed Overview of the New Laws

  1. Scope of AB 2188: The bill prohibits employers from discriminating against an employee or job applicant based on cannabis use that occurs outside of work hours and away from the workplace. This includes making employment decisions based on the presence of non-psychoactive cannabis metabolites in drug test results, which can indicate past marijuana use but not current impairment​​.
  2. Testing for Impairment: Employers can still test for impairment at the workplace. The law emphasizes the need for testing methods that assess current impairment rather than the presence of non-psychoactive cannabis metabolites. This shift suggests a move towards tests that detect active psychoactive THC components, like oral fluid tests, to determine recent marijuana use​​.
  3. Exemptions and Limitations: Certain employee categories remain exempt from these protections. This includes employees in building and construction trades, positions requiring federal background checks, and roles under state or federal testing regulations. Employers retain the right to maintain a drug-free workplace and can still prohibit marijuana use, possession, or impairment at work​​​​.
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Pros and Cons: Cannabis Screening


  1. Employee Privacy and Rights: Protects the rights of employees to engage in legal activities, like cannabis use, during their personal time, without fear of workplace discrimination.
  2. Modernizing Drug Policies: Encourages the adaptation of drug testing practices to reflect current understandings of cannabis, focusing on current impairment rather than past use.
  3. Reduced Stigma: Helps in reducing the stigma associated with cannabis use, aligning with changing societal views and legal statuses of marijuana.


  1. Testing Challenges: Employers face challenges in implementing new testing methods that accurately assess impairment, which might not be as straightforward or established as traditional methods.
  2. Safety Concerns: Industries where safety is paramount may have concerns about ensuring a completely drug-free environment, especially when immediate impairment testing might not be foolproof.
  3. Regulatory Complexity: Employers need to navigate the complexities of integrating these new rules with existing drug-free workplace policies and federal regulations where applicable.

Conclusion: THC Drug Tests And THC Screening

The introduction of AB 2188 in California represents a significant shift in the legal landscape surrounding drug use, particularly cannabis, in the workplace. It’s a move that not only reflects the evolving societal perceptions and legal status of marijuana but also marks a progressive step in the broader context of the war on drugs.

By focusing on current impairment rather than past use, this law underscores a more nuanced understanding of drug use and its implications, paving the way for policies that respect personal freedoms while maintaining workplace safety and productivity. As such, it may set a precedent for future legislation, potentially influencing a shift towards more balanced, evidence-based approaches in drug policies and employment laws across the nation.

This could contribute to a broader reevaluation of the war on drugs, highlighting the need for strategies that prioritize public health, harm reduction, and individual rights.


Can employers in California still test for marijuana?

Yes, but the focus has shifted. Employers should test for current impairment using methods that detect active psychoactive THC components, not past use indicated by non-psychoactive metabolites​.

Are any employees exempt from these new protections?

Yes, employees in certain industries such as building and construction trades, roles requiring federal background checks, and those under specific state or federal testing regulations are exempt.

Can employees use or be impaired by marijuana at work?

No, AB 2188 does not permit the use, possession, or impairment by marijuana at the workplace. Employers retain the right to maintain a drug-free and alcohol-free environment​.

What should employers do in response to AB 2188?

Employers should review and possibly revise their drug testing and employment policies, particularly concerning marijuana, to ensure compliance with AB 2188 and avoid liability.

How does AB 2188 affect pre-employment drug testing?

Employers should remove pre-employment marijuana testing policies that utilize methods for detecting non-psychoactive cannabis metabolites and may consider impairment testing or testing for the psychoactive component of marijuana​.

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The News

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The Info

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The Goal

It’s to educate and to inform, when we are equipped with the correct info we can then make better informed decisions.

Meet The Author

Mike Korlin

Mike Korlin

I have been studying and applying functional medicine in my personal life for nearly a decade. As a student, a retailer and a human being my knowledge is drawn from my own and thousands of other peoples experiences that I have spoken to or aided in discovering the wonderful world of plant medicines.

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