How will your drug testing lab handle medical marijuana results?

Now that medical marijuana is legal in Florida, there is a good chance that your company will have an applicant or employee test positive for marijuana, and then present proof that they have a valid registration with the Office of Medical Marijuana. Is that drug test reported as positive or negative by your testing lab?  I was curious, so I contacted our Medical Review Officer (MRO) and third-party testing company to find out their protocol. Here is what we learned.

Although marijuana is legal for qualified Floridians, marijuana is still illegal under federal law. As a result, our testing lab will continue to process a positive marijuana drug test as a “Fail” for a positive finding. However, our drug testing vendor stated that the MRO has the ability to collect and notate information about any medical prescription (or the marijuana registry). The results collectively will go to the company and each employer can make their own decision on how to navigate the state/federal discrepancy.

As we watch and wait for the issue of state-approved medical marijuana to play out in future court challenges, check with your drug testing lab today to see how your lab will handle this special situation.  Florida Statute 381.986 has thus far supported the right of employers to treat a positive marijuana test as a violation of your drug-free workplace.   Employers are not required to accommodate the medical use of marijuana in any workplace or any employee working while under the influence of marijuana, nor do the new laws “create a cause of action against an employer for wrongful discharge or discrimination.”  Click here to read the entire statute and continue to follow our ConsultStu blog page for any updates.

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