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District of Columbia Marijuana Testing Update

Marijuana Laws

On July 13, 2022, the Washington D.C. Mayor signed the Cannabis Employment Protections Amendment Act of 2022 into law. This law includes employment protections for applicants and employees, as employers “may not refuse to hire, terminate from employment, suspend, fail to promote, demote, or penalize and individual based upon:

  1. The individual’s use of cannabis;
  2. The individual’s status as a medical cannabis program patient; or
  3. The presence of cannabinoid metabolites in the individual’s bodily fluids in an employer-required or requested drug testing without additional factors indicating impairment.”


These prohibitions do not apply to safety sensitive positions or to those required by federal statute, regulation, or by federal contract or funding. Employers may also prohibit the use of marijuana at work or while performing their work duties, and employers may still adopt reasonable drug-free workplace polices that allow for post-accident, reasonable suspicion testing or testing of employees in safety sensitive positions.

Marijuana Self-Certification

One other important note – if you’ll remember from this article, the District of Columbia recently allowed adults 21 and older to self-certify they are using marijuana for medical purposes. Employers will need to be cognizant of the fact that they may have more “medical” program patients in their workplaces.


This law is currently unfunded and unenforceable; however, most of the provisions of this law go into effect once they are included in the budget or on July 13, 2023, whichever is later. In the meantime, employers in D.C. should assess their current drug testing program to determine how this policy will affect them.


For more information on Medical or Recreational Marijuana, and whether they affect your state, visit our resource guide at the Hire Image Resource Library.

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