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California and Washington employers must adjust marijuana testing procedures by January 2024

Significant changes are on the horizon for employers in California and Washington. Effective January 1, 2024, new legislative measures, California Assembly Bill 2188 (AB 2188), Senate Bill 700 (SB 700), and Washington State Senate Bill 5123 (SB 5123), will restrict employers from taking adverse actions against job applicants based on their off-duty use of cannabis or on the results of pre-employment drug tests that find non-psychoactive cannabis metabolites. As a result, employers must revise their drug testing practices by the new year and may consider adopting oral fluid screening. 

The core aim of the new laws in California and Washington is to prevent discrimination against lawful users of marijuana, recognizing that non-psychoactive cannabis metabolites in drug tests do not indicate impairment but merely past cannabis consumption. By contrast, the psychoactive properties of cannabis make an individual feel high and generally contribute to impairment. The measures in California and Washington seek to ensure that individuals are not penalized for their off-duty cannabis use while balancing the need for a safe and productive work environment. Read more »

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