Cannabis breathalyzer

Part Two: Easy Steps to Implement the HOUND® CANNABIS BREATHALYZER

Aug 25, 2022

More easy-to-follow guidance for updating your drug testing policy to mesh with new cannabis breath testing technology.

GUEST AUTHOR: SAMMIE DABBS, EXECUTIVE VICE PRESIDENT OF SALES 

From our product name alone – the HOUND® CANNABIS BREATHALYZER – employers and partners have an immediate sense of what our solution does; it tests breath for the presence of THC, the principal psychoactive compound in cannabis. 

But because cannabis laws and employee concerns fluctuate so often, these same employers and partners who are eager to incorporate our solution often turn to my team at Hound Labs with one question in mind – “How do I implement it?” 

“We have an antiquated drug testing program, and now we’re stuck in a position where the laws are changing faster than our technology. We’re looking for a way to continue testing and have a safe work environment,” one employer in the manufacturing industry told me.  

That’s what this blog series is all about. I’ve created an easy-to-follow guide to help any business prepare to implement the HOUND® CANNABIS BREATHALYZER. In Part One, I covered when to test employees and the importance of consulting with a Medical Review Officer. Now, in Part Two, I address policy considerations, employee education, and more.  

3. UPDATE YOUR DRUG TESTING POLICY

Most Americans now support cannabis legalization,1 making zero-tolerance policies and programs no longer feasible for employers. Shifting laws and rising numbers of employees who use cannabis are impacting how employers will implement workplace drug testing in the future. Companies are reconsidering when and how they will test and how to broaden the scope of company actions for positive drug tests. 

When discussing how to implement the HOUND® CANNABIS BREATHALYZER, it’s critical to update language related to identifying recent cannabis use and how a non-negative test result will be addressed.  

Some considerations to discuss with legal counsel include: 

  • The Hound® solution detects isolated recent use of cannabis and not impairment 
  • Language that prohibits the use of cannabis a few hours before work and while at work 
  • Specifying that the HOUND® CANNABIS BREATHALYZER provides the ability to detect on-site results that identify recent use of cannabis 

If you need additional policy help, contact us as we partner with employment law firms across the country, including employment law experts like those at Ogletree Deakins. 

4. EDUCATE YOUR EMPLOYEES

Employers with the most effective drug testing programs have invested time to ensure employees are fully aware of policies that will impact them. It’s critical to balance your needs as an employer while still considering what matters most to your employees – their freedom, safety, and privacy.  

I’ve seen employers find great success when they emphasize the desire to balance SAFETY + FAIRNESS in their testing programs. They can do this by leveraging information that describes the limited window of cannabis detection in breath and how it compares to various windows of cannabis detection in oral fluid, urine, and hair. This helps send the message that employers are not trying to over-regulate what employees choose to do in their free time off duty.  

We also have several resources that we regularly update to help explain why recent use matters and how the HOUND® CANNABIS BREATHALYZER works. Consider subscribing to our blog and newsletter, and connect with us on LinkedIn so you never miss new content to share with your employees.

5. ASK QUESTIONS

In my experience, employers may be eager to specify how testing will be applied – whether to all employees or to certain positions based on their roles and responsibilities. But since a cannabis breath test is so novel, employers are also trying to ensure they figure out the best fit for their purpose. 

Our team is standing by to help. Our collective breadth of experiences spans Fortune 500 clients, board presidencies on industry-leading organizations such as the Substance Abuse Program Administrators Association (SAPAA) and the Drug & Alcohol Testing Industry Association (DATIA), and decades of work within the employment background screening industry.  

Not only can we help guide you through learning more about how recent use cannabis testing works, but we can also help determine the best way to implement a cannabis breathalyzer at your organization and how many units best position you for success.  

Connect with our sales team so we can help answer your questions.  

THE NEXT EVOLUTION IN CANNABIS TESTING 

Cannabis breath testing is a fast, instrument-read, ultra-sensitive technology capable of isolating recent use, providing the data employers need to enforce policies restricting cannabis use at or before work. As the legal landscape shifts and companies update their workplace drug testing policies, cannabis breath testing will be an important tool to support safety-led organizations in moving away from zero-tolerance policies toward those that prioritize SAFETY + FAIRNESS™ for both employers and employees.   

I’m excited to be a part of the team bringing this technology to you. In fact, I’ll be recording a presentation that dives deeper into this topic later this fall. If you would like to receive an invitation to this presentation, please make sure you sign up for our monthly newsletter, the Hound Herald.   

About Sammie Dabbs  

Sammie Dabbs is an energizing sales leader who drives multimillion-dollar revenue through partnerships with enterprise-level organizations across multiple industries. As the Executive Vice President of Sales at Hound Labs, Inc., Sammie leads a team that effectively partners with clients to solve critical challenges related to balancing workplace safety with fairness.   

 With a dozen years of experience building solutions within employment screening programs for Fortune 500 clients, and as President for the Substance Abuse Program Administrators Association (SAPAA) board of directors and previous board member of the Drug and Alcohol Testing Industry Association (DATIA), Sammie is an established leading drug testing solutions expert. Sammie earned her MBA from the University of Redlands and studied communications and journalism at Cal State Fullerton, where she played four years of NCAA Division I softball.