According to the Portland Press Herald, several large employers in Maine no longer test their employees or potential employees for cannabis. Companies continue to test for other banned drugs, but have decided not to include THC in their tests since legal sales began last October.

Bath Iron Works spokesman David Hench told the Press Herald that the company plans to employ more than 2,700 people this year and that it would be unwise to exclude cannabis users from most jobs. The Bath Iron Foundry is owned by the defence company General Dynamics. The company will continue to test safety-sensitive positions for THC, including security guards, medical and fire personnel, crane operators and other positions requiring a security clearance, as well as positions requiring DOT or U.S. Coast Guard approval.

MaineHealth, the state’s largest private employer, with about 22,000 employees, stopped THC testing last November. Press Secretary John Porter said the changes were made because of changes in state law.

Christine Collins, an attorney with the Portland law firm Prety Flaherty, told the Press Herald that just because someone uses marijuana doesn’t mean they’re a dangerous employee. She noted that federal guidelines require certain employees to be tested for cannabis, for example. B. commercial driver’s licenses, certain educational programs, and positions requiring the use of firearms.

There is a tendency to remove it from their testing guidelines because (cannabis) use is so widespread and testing cannot even accurately determine whether or not someone is using in the workplace. – Collins in the Press Herald

Last month, the Maine Office of Marijuana announced that it plans to eliminate drug testing for applicants in the medical cannabis industry, a requirement under current regulations. Executive Director of the Wellness Connection of Maine, Charlie Langston, said that while the company conducts drug testing, a positive test does not necessarily disqualify a potential employee and that cannabis use is not permitted on site and should not affect employees.

Employers can still legally test candidates for cannabis. According to the State Department of Labor, 540 Maine businesses have state-approved drug testing requirements. In 2019, the agency found a positive rate of 7% among the 26,173 drug tests administered in the state – the highest rate since the drug testing program began in 1989. According to the report, 92 percent of the positive tests were for cannabis. The positive results of these tests were 4.8% in 2016, 5.7% in 2017 and 5.8% in 2018.

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TG Branfalt

TG joined the team in 2014 as news editor and began hosting the podcast in 2016. He lives in upstate New York, where he also teaches media studies at a local university.

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