States Where Pre-Employment Cannabis Testing Is Off the Table

In our previous exploration, we delved into the transformative changes in pre-employment cannabis testing within California and Washington State, highlighting a significant shift towards more inclusive and non-discriminatory employment practices. Building on this foundation, we now extend our focus to a broader landscape, spotlighting states where pre-employment drug testing for cannabis has been curtailed or entirely prohibited. This evolution reflects a growing recognition of cannabis legalization's impact on the workforce and employers' need to adapt to these changes. As we navigate through the green tape of legislation across the nation, this blog serves as a comprehensive guide to understanding where and how the norms around pre-employment cannabis testing are being rewritten. Join us as we explore the changing tides, ensuring both job seekers and employers are well-informed in this rapidly evolving legal and social environment.


black and white image of the state of california

California has taken a definitive stance with the enactment of Assembly Bill 2188 (AB 2188), reflecting a progressive approach to cannabis legislation similar to that of Washington State. Effective January 1, 2024, this landmark legislation ushers in a new era where discrimination against employees and job applicants for cannabis use outside of work is explicitly prohibited. By specifically barring employers from making hiring decisions based on the detection of non psychoactive cannabis metabolites, California acknowledges the legality and non-impairing nature of off-duty cannabis use. This legislative move is particularly significant in a state where the legal landscape has long accommodated both medical and recreational cannabis, challenging the traditional basis for employment decisions grounded in cannabis metabolite testing.

However, AB 2188 does not strip employers of all prerogatives concerning workplace standards related to drug use. It carefully delineates that while employers cannot rely on the presence of non psychoactive cannabis metabolites to influence hiring or employment decisions, they remain at liberty to implement valid drug screening methodologies that do not target these metabolites. This provision ensures that actions may be taken if test results convincingly demonstrate impairment during work hours, thereby safeguarding workplace safety and productivity. The law carves out specific exemptions for certain sensitive positions and complies with federal mandates where necessary, striking a balance between respecting personal cannabis use and upholding critical safety standards in the workplace.

New York

b&w image of the state of New York

On March 31, 2021, New York State took a monumental step in cannabis legislation with the enactment of the Marijuana Regulation and Taxation Act (MRTA). This groundbreaking legislation not only legalized the recreational use of marijuana for individuals 21 years and older but also marked a pivotal change in the employment landscape. In the aftermath of the MRTA's implementation, the New York State Department of Labor issued clarifying guidelines regarding the "amended Section 201-D of the New York Labor Law," stating that cannabis, when used in compliance with state law, is considered a legal consumable product. Consequently, this amendment has established a protective boundary for employees, prohibiting employers from discriminating against individuals based on their off-duty, off-premises use of cannabis, akin to the consumption of alcohol, provided it does not impair their work performance or jeopardize workplace safety.

More recently, New York’s lack of pre and post employment cannabis drug testing has made the news due to a survey conducted by Business Insider. The publication reached out to the big banking names based in the Big Apple to see how their procedures have changed, or not, since the implementation of the new legislation. From the survey it appears the winds of change have swept through Wall Street, bringing with them a new era where prestigious banks no longer subject job seekers to marijuana and other drug tests. The titans of the financial industry, including JPMorgan and Citigroup, have abandoned the practice of screening applicants for marijuana use, with some institutions even refraining from any form of drug testing. Such progressive policies underscore a broader societal shift towards the acceptance of marijuana and signal a reevaluation of traditional drug testing policies in the corporate realm, particularly within the financial sector where such tests were once deemed essential for professionalism and risk management.


The landscape of pre-employment drug testing in Philadelphia has markedly transformed since the beginning of 2022. The city's pioneering ordinance, titled "Prohibition on Testing for Marijuana as a Condition for Employment," set forth a new standard, firmly establishing that it is an unlawful employment practice for employers, labor organizations, and employment agencies to require marijuana testing from prospective employees as a condition of employment. This significant step not only mirrored a broader shift in societal attitudes towards cannabis use but also positioned Philadelphia as a leader in adapting employment practices to align with contemporary norms. Importantly, while the ordinance reshaped the pre-employment phase, it preserved employers' authority to conduct drug testing among current employees under specific circumstances, notably excluding pre-employment testing for marijuana, thereby balancing the evolving legal landscape with workplace safety and integrity.

The ordinance's introduction did, however, delineate specific exceptions, allowing for pre-employment marijuana testing in roles critical to public safety and welfare, including law enforcement officers, positions requiring commercial driver's licenses, and roles involving the supervision or care of vulnerable groups. These carve-outs, dictated by the Philadelphia Commission on Human Relations (PCHR), underscore a nuanced approach to drug testing policies, recognizing the unique needs and risks associated with certain job categories. Moreover, the ordinance's stipulations do not override federal or state mandates requiring drug testing, nor do they affect positions subject to federal contracts or collective bargaining agreements specifying pre-employment drug testing. As employers in Philadelphia continue to navigate this amended legal framework, the cessation of marijuana testing for most job applicants marks a progressive shift towards more inclusive employment practices, reflective of changing societal values and the legal recognition of marijuana use.


b&w image of the state of washington

In Washington State, the landscape of pre-employment cannabis testing underwent a pivotal shift with the enactment of Senate Bill 5123 (SB 5123), signaling a progressive move towards accommodating the legal use of cannabis by employees outside of their job duties. Effective from January 1, 2024, this legislation bars employers from discriminating against job applicants based on their lawful off-the-job cannabis use. This significant legislative change reflects a growing recognition of the need to update employment practices in line with the evolving legal status of cannabis. By prohibiting hiring decisions based on the detection of non psychoactive cannabis metabolites, which can remain in an individual's system long after the psychoactive effects have subsided, Washington has taken a step forward in ensuring that lawful cannabis use does not unjustly impede an individual's employment opportunities.

The legislation, however, incorporates specific exceptions that align with federal requirements and considerations of public safety and national security. Jobs requiring federal background checks or security clearance remain exempt from these new protections, acknowledging the federal government's stringent stance on cannabis use among individuals in sensitive positions. Additionally, roles within law enforcement, public safety, first responders, corrections officers, and the airline and aerospace industries are not covered under the new law, underscoring the importance of maintaining strict standards for positions where impairment could pose a significant risk. This balanced approach allows Washington to protect employees' rights to legal cannabis use while ensuring that safety-critical industries can maintain necessary drug testing protocols. Employers must now navigate these changes carefully, adapting their policies to comply with the new law while continuing to uphold safety and security in the workplace.

Honorable Mention: Nevada

b&w image of the state of nevada

In Nevada, the landscape of pre-employment drug testing for cannabis has seen significant changes, positioning the state as an "honorable mention" for its unique approach towards cannabis testing in the workplace. As of 2020, Assembly Bill 132 has set a precedent by prohibiting employers from rejecting job applicants based solely on a positive marijuana test result in pre-employment drug screenings. This legislation reflects Nevada's progressive stance on cannabis, recognizing the legal use of marijuana and aiming to eliminate employment discrimination against users. However, this does not mean all prospective employees are exempt from such tests. Specific job roles, including those covered under the Department of Transportation, firefighters, EMTs, positions requiring driving, healthcare workers, and jobs where impairment could pose a risk to safety, are still subject to pre-employment marijuana testing.

Moreover, Nevada's law introduces an innovative approach by extending the prohibition of cannabis testing into the initial 30 days of employment. During this period, employees who are tested for marijuana have the right to challenge a positive test result by undergoing a second test, with the employer required to accept this subsequent result. This provision ensures a fair reassessment opportunity, aligning with the state's effort to balance workplace safety with the rights of individuals using cannabis legally outside of work hours. Post the 30-day window, employers retain the authority to discipline or terminate employees based on cannabis use, underscoring the ongoing responsibility of maintaining a safe and productive work environment. Additionally, Nevada allows employers to deny workers' compensation and unemployment benefits under specific conditions when a post-incident drug test returns positive, subject to the testing being conducted by a licensed laboratory and the intoxication being a proximate cause of the incident. This framework showcases Nevada's nuanced approach to integrating the legalization of cannabis with employment laws, promoting a balanced perspective on drug use and workplace safety.

Close, But Not Quite 

In several states, the legal landscape surrounding cannabis and employment has evolved to distinguish between the act of testing for marijuana and the implications of such tests on employment decisions. This nuanced approach has introduced a layer of complexity for employers, who are now able to conduct marijuana tests but are restricted from using a positive result as the sole basis for adverse employment actions, such as refusing to hire an applicant or terminating an employee. This distinction aims to mitigate potential discrimination against individuals who use marijuana, particularly in states where its use is legally protected. As a result, employers in states like Arizona, Delaware, Connecticut, Michigan, New Jersey, and Oklahoma (specifically for medical marijuana license holders) may find themselves reconsidering the value of including marijuana in their drug testing panels. The inability to act solely on a positive marijuana test result challenges the traditional rationale for drug screening, prompting some employers to reevaluate their testing protocols in light of these legal protections.

Something for Everyone

Iven dry herb vaporizer device

At E1011 Labs, we understand the diverse landscape of cannabis regulations across the United States, especially when it comes to employment drug testing. For individuals living in states without stringent pre-employment drug testing regulations, we proudly offer our iven® dry herb vaporizer. This product is designed for use with cannabis flower, allowing users to enjoy the full spectrum of benefits from THC-rich cannabis in a discreet and efficient manner. The Iven vaporizer, with its precision heating technology, ensures a pure and potent experience by heating cannabis flower to the optimal temperatures, thus preserving the integrity of cannabinoids and terpenes without combustion.

Conversely, for those residing in states with more restrictive drug testing policies, E1011 Labs presents the elon® and stelo™ hemp flower pods as an alternative solution. The stelo products are crafted from high-quality hemp flower, offering a way to enjoy the ritual of comsuption without the high levels of THC found in traditional cannabis flower. However, our stelo pods contain full-spectrum hemp flower with a very low dose of THC, and we advise caution for avid users due to the potential for positive drug test results. This thoughtful approach to product development demonstrates our commitment to providing options for all consumers, regardless of their state's stance on cannabis use and drug testing policies.


In navigating the evolving landscape of cannabis legislation and employment practices across the United States, E1011 Labs remains at the forefront of innovation and adaptability. Our diverse product lineup, including the iven dry herb vaporizer for those in states with lenient cannabis policies, and the elon and stelo hemp flower pods for individuals in more restrictive environments, reflects our commitment to inclusivity and discretion. By offering tailored solutions to meet the varying needs of our customers, we not only respect the legal complexities of cannabis use but also champion the freedom of personal choice and wellness. As the conversation around cannabis and workplace drug testing continues to unfold, E1011 Labs will persist in delivering high-quality, reliable options for both THC enthusiasts and CBD aficionados alike. Our dedication to navigating these changes responsibly underscores our mission to enhance the cannabis experience for users everywhere, regardless of their state's stance on cannabis consumption and employment drug testing.