Though not common, some Canadian companies are allowed by law to test their employees for marijuana use in certain circumstances. The task of conducting and analyzing the test is typically performed by a laboratory that specializes in drug testing and not by the employer themselves. What follows is a brief explanation of how companies test for marijuana use in Canada.
Types of Drug Tests to Detect Marijuana
The primary methods of drug testing for marijuana use are through analysis of the test subject’s blood, urine, hair, or saliva. Of these, blood and urine drug tests are the most common in an employment situation.
A urine drug test or urainalysis screen the subject’s urine for the presence of either a drug or its metabolites (a substance that is produced when the body metabolizes the drug). In the case of marijuana, the test screens for non-psychoactive metabolites. Blood tests can flag the presence of active THC in the subject’s bloodstream.
How Accurate Are Tests for Marijuana Use?
The presence of THC and marijuana metabolites can be found in a person’s system for long after the last time they used the drug. How long depends on a number of factors, including the person’s metabolism and weight, whether they are a regular user, and the potency of the marijuana they consumed.
As a result, while drug tests can accurately detect whether someone has used marijuana in the past, it is difficult to test for recent use or intoxication.
DriverCheck’s Test for Marijuana Use
A positive drug test alone does not necessarily mean an employee is going to lose their job. Many people use medical marijuana as prescribed by a doctor, and employers are required to accommodate those needs to the point of undue hardship.
DriverCheck, a Canadian drug testing company, works with employers who require workers in safety-sensitive jobs to undertake drug tests. According to their website, DriverCheck’s test for marijuana use is accompanied by an independent report that takes into account the employee’s occupational history, medical history, and other factors in determining whether the worker can safely return to work.
The company says it will make different recommendations in different cases depending on the outcome of the report.