State of Washington New Law on Marijuana SB 5123

USE OF CANNABIS—EMPLOYMENT DISCRIMINATION – Washington SB 5123 goes into effect January 1, 2024; this law affects workplace pre-employment testing for marijuana. This law does not have any effect on DOT regulated drug testing.

For pre-employment testing only, this law restricts some or all marijuana drug screening utilizing non-psychoactive cannabis metabolite testing, which is the case with urine testing and hair testing most frequently used by employers. The goal of this new law is for employers to test for recent use or the current presence of marijuana in an employee’s body, not something they consumed days or weeks ago. This is similar to the case with alcohol testing.

Employers must make decisions and communicate those decisions to applicants for employment in the State of Washington. One option for pre-employment testing is to eliminate testing for marijuana. The other option is to initiate lab based oral fluid screening to keep you in compliance with the law. Lab based oral fluid testing detects the parent drug marijuana and not the non-psychoactive cannabis metabolite.

You can move your entire testing program to lab based oral fluid testing to detect all the drugs for which you are currently testing. Alternatively, you can rely on oral fluid for pre-employment and urine for the other drugs. Specimen collection for lab based oral fluid testing will be available at LabCorp patient service centers or third-party collection sites. You also have the option to collect oral fluid specimens in house and ship FedEx to the lab.

This Washington new marijuana law only applies to pre-employment drug testing. There are also a list of exceptions where this law would not apply:

Employers that intend to use these exceptions listed above need to identify those positions prior to the applicant’s application for employment.

Please contact National Drug Screening for consultation and questions and to set up oral fluid testing accounts or to drop marijuana from your current testing panel.

National Drug Screening, Inc.

Marijuana in Washington State
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