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First-of-Its-Kind “U.S. Drug Testing 2020: Trends and Predictions” Report from Confirm BioSciences Highlights New Challenges for Employers, Need for Flexible Testing

Published on: January 24, 2020

Written by: Confirm BioSciences.

New Drug Laws, Higher Rates of Legal Marijuana and CBD Use Underscore Importance of Staying Up to Date

SAN DIEGO, Jan. 22, 2020 /PRNewswire/ — Confirm BioSciences, a leading provider of comprehensive screening tools and solutions, today announced the release of an industry report, U.S. Drug Testing 2020: Trends and Predictions. Based on a study of 1,600 hiring managers and HR professionals and citing research on usage patterns, accuracy of product labeling and legislation related to drug use, the study indicates that employers face new compliance challenges and identifies a growing need for flexibility in drug testing.

“New drug laws, skyrocketing rates of CBD use, inaccurate labels on CBD products that may lead to users being unknowingly at risk for positive THC test results — all of these factors complicate the drug testing landscape for employers and employees alike,” said Nikhil Nayak, Chief Operating Officer. “This report details the changes, highlights the challenges and provides an overview of practical solutions that can help people successfully navigate the rapidly changing environment.”

The study points to the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) research that found one in five CBD-infused products tested contains trace amounts of THC. Consequently, millions of people who are using the substance for health reasons may be at risk of testing positive during an employment-related screening for recreational marijuana use. The Confirm BioSciences study also highlights employer and employee confusion on how to proceed with testing in states where marijuana use is legal.

The issue is further complicated because in some states, marijuana use is legal to treat certain medical conditions, but not for recreational use. But in states like Colorado and other jurisdictions, including New York City as of this year, recreational use is legal. That poses a dilemma for employers. Should they test at all? Should they test for THC levels, especially in jobs where quick reaction times are critical? Also, federal law, which prohibits marijuana use across the board, takes precedence in some occupations.

The study notes that in Colorado, one of the first states to legalize recreational marijuana, nearly 30% of young adults report using marijuana in the last 30 days. This has prompted some companies to move away from testing for the substance altogether, while others that continue to test may be looking to restrict the “lookback” period. And in some cases, marijuana users in recreational use states might remove themselves from the candidate pool for jobs that require testing, complicating recruiting efforts.

“One of the key takeaways from this report is that employers have options,” Nayak observed. “There are three kinds of drug testing methods that are widely admissible at the state level: urine, oral fluid and hair testing. These options offer different levels of immediacy, lookback and substance type screening capabilities. Employers who keep up with applicable laws and are clear about their screening objectives can find the testing instrument that meets their unique needs.”

To view or download the full U.S. Drug Testing 2020: Trends and Predictions report, please visit https://www.confirmbiosciences.com/knowledge/blog/. To learn more about Confirm BioSciences, go to https://www.confirmbiosciences.com/.

About Confirm BioSciences

Confirm BioSciences is a leading provider of high-quality, comprehensive screening tools and solutions across the full spectrum of health and wellness. With core competencies in testing drugs of abuse and broader health metrics, Confirm is dedicated to providing its customers with meaningful, actionable information. The company’s product portfolio ranges from instant and lab-based testing solutions for drugs of abuse, including HairConfirm® and DrugConfirm®, to HealthConfirm®, a line of testing solutions for health and wellness, with results delivered in insightful user-friendly reports. As an industry authority, Confirm educates and empowers its customers, and supports initiatives that create drug-free and healthy homes, workplaces and communities. The company is headquartered in San Diego, California. For additional information, visit https://www.confirmbiosciences.com.

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