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U.S. Employers Soon to Have Real Time Marijuana Test

Views as to whether marijuana is a dangerous drug or not are changing. Many people around the world now view the drug as relatively harmless. Marijuana smokers are known for being happy and laid back. They take life in stride and casually roll with the flow—if you get my drift. Moreover, as legalization continues to spread across the U.S., people who don’t even use the drug are adopting their casual stance deeming it okay for consumption.

When the United States held its 2022 November elections, Missouri and Maryland joined the number of states that legalized recreational marijuana use for adults. Those who approve the decision could well still be celebrating—albeit without their recreational marijuana in hand. The laws don’t immediately take effect; however, the countdown is on for Missourians with December 8th being just days away. Maryland residents won’t be allowed to light up legally until July 2023, but time flies… It will be here before they know it.

While advocates celebrate and anticipate the coming day they can legally possess—and use—marijuana in their homes, their employers may be scrambling to incorporate the new laws into the company’s drug-free policies and procedures. Granted, if marijuana remains illegal at the federal level, employers have every right to keep it on their company drug tests.

The drug is well known for its mellowing effects and the occasional pantry raid in search of crunchy, munchy delicacies. However, side effects of impairment also include being easily distracted, a bit clumsy at times, and dozing off after a munchie fest isn’t unheard of either. All these examples illustrate the need for testing to continue. What if an employee is experiencing these types of side effects and causes an accident? Post-accident drug testing can positively identify tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) in the employee’s system. However, it may not be able to prove the accident was their fault.

A real-time obstacle

THC is the psychoactive ingredient in marijuana that causes users to experience its mind-altering effects. After the THC undergoes the body’s metabolization process, it stores the metabolites created in various parts of the body while they await excretion. Herein lies the issue for employers.

hat’s because marijuana metabolites are fond of accumulating in the body’s fat cells… and we all know how tenacious those cells can be about hanging on! Most drug metabolites exit the body in days, hours even in some cases, after stopping use. If someone who uses marijuana or marijuana products on a regular basis gets tested for the drug, they will pop positive for up to three months. Possibly longer. It depends on factors such as individual body mass index.

For this reason, advocates of marijuana legalization are clamoring for the drug to be completely removed from the test. However, the reason that employer’s drug test in the first place is for the sake of their employees’ safety. Someone who is high at work puts themselves and others at increased risk of being involved in an accident. That’s not acceptable.

Moreover, the fact that someone is testing positive for marijuana days, weeks, or months after having used the drug hampers a person’s ability to get a job. Pre-employment drug testing is common. In fact, it’s the only drug test that some companies ever subject their employees too. Some employers feel as if marijuana doesn’t pose a risk on their job sites, manning the third shift at a hotel, for instance, and are quietly removing marijuana from the company drug test list.

However, the majority of employers plan to keep the marijuana panel in place and until there is a way to detect that someone is actually impaired during the test, they will continue to take flack for it.

Hope is on the horizon

Hound Labs, a company based in Oakland, California, began work on a marijuana breathalyzer back in 2014. Clinical trials were completed, and the company began offering a waiting list in July 2018. In September of this year, Hound Labs announced that they were partnering with Quest Diagnostics—things are apparently getting serious! The agreement between the two companies establishes Quest as the sole provider of laboratory services for confirmatory testing of a positive breath sample generated by the Hound Cannabis Breathalyzer.

Employers purchase the breathalyzer and keep it on site. It’s available for all drug testing needs and extremely affordable and easy to use. A canister is inserted prior to each use and removed for analyzing afterward. Having the ability to determine if someone is high on marijuana at the time of the test is a game changer.


This drug testing breakthrough is going to revolutionize the industry! Employers and employees who choose to use marijuana in the privacy of their homes will finally have the means to come together in harmony.

Dude, when it comes to the big picture, isn’t that what it’s all about?

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