Workplace cannabis testing

Reduce the Scare Factor of Cannabis Testing with the Right Policy

October can be an eerie but fun time; from haunted houses to ghost stories, thrills and chills abound for everyone. However, without the right cannabis testing technology and policy in the workplace, the scares may continue way past the end of the spooky season.   

To illustrate this point, we’ve written our own ghost story, A Tale of Two Halloweens. Join us as we follow two employees who use cannabis and show what happens when they return to work the next day. 


Patrick is hanging out with some friends he has not seen since college. Among the group is his close friend Debbie. Just like they have in Halloweens past, the group walks to an abandoned house in town to tell ghost stories over a couple of beers and some cannabis. 

Like all old, abandoned houses in campfire stories, this one warns guests not to enter because unexplainable bad things have happened there through the years. But the group laughs off the trespassing warning just as they did back in the day. They spend the evening exchanging stories and catching up on their lives. Debbie shares she was promoted a few weeks back and has big holiday plans; Patrick announces his recent engagement and efforts to save for his upcoming wedding. 

Many stories later and after the effects of smoking cannabis have worn off, the group decides to spend the night in the house.


Before leaving the next morning, the group takes one last photo. Later in the day, one friend shares the pictures from their time together. Strangely, in all the images, Debbie’s face is blurred and barely recognizable, while everyone else’s is completely in focus. Throughout the day, the group chats about their night and the photos by text, but Debbie is oddly silent and unreachable. 

And there is a very good explanation why. Shortly after arriving to work that morning, Debbie is selected for a random drug test. Knowing she used cannabis the day before, Debbie informs Human Resources of her situation; unfortunately, her employer’s zero-tolerance policy strictly prohibits cannabis and uses a testing method with a long window of detection extending to days or weeks after use. 

Even though Debbie is not in a safety-sensitive position and her use of cannabis is not associated with the workday, her employer has to follow its policy. After expressing how much they value Debbie and her work, they regretfully fire her due to her positive cannabis test. Her termination comes at the worst time. As she shared the previous night, she is planning a trip with her partner during the holiday season and has already spent most of her savings on it. How is she going to explain this to her partner and make up those lost wages?


Coincidentally, Patrick is also selected for a random drug test on Halloween. But unlike Debbie’s employer, Patrick’s employer has a modern drug testing policy informed by the latest cannabis legislation and has invested in cannabis breath testing technology to isolate detection of cannabis to just a few hours after use. 

So, even though Patrick also used cannabis the previous night, he completes – and passes – his cannabis breathalyzer test in minutes and returns to work without his day being turned upside-down.  

When re-evaluating its drug testing policy, Patrick’s employer recognized the wide availability of cannabis and decided to focus on deterring and detecting use immediately before or during the workday. The company wanted a policy focused on fostering safe and fair work environments for employees rather than punishing them for something they do during free time outside of work. 

This holistic cannabis policy allows Patrick to keep his job, and he spends the rest of Halloween chatting with friends on the text thread and passing out candy to eager trick or treaters.


Did the house know Debbie was going to fail her random drug test, or was it just a coincidence only her face was blurry in the photo? We’ll never know. But it is easy to see how cannabis can become a nightmare for employees, and waiting for a sign from a creepy house isn’t the best plan.  

A failed cannabis test negatively impacts both employees and employers. Outdated workplace policies ignore modern access to cannabis and rising use rates. These policies fail to implement supporting testing technology designed to help employers recruit and retain employees.  

Incorporating breakthrough THC breath testing technology like the HOUND® CANNABIS BREATHALYZER will help employers verify cannabis use that occurred within the past few hours – not the past couple of days or weeks. This allows employers to make objective decisions about whether an employee violated company workday cannabis policies.  

Cannabis testing in October doesn’t have to be a fright fest. With the right technology and policies, employees (and employers) can rest assured decisions outside the workplace don’t haunt them.  

To learn more about the importance of recent use testing and creating policies for cannabis, check out this webinar. And if you’re ready for a real treat, connect with our sales team to learn how Hound Labs can address the cannabis scares in your workplace.


October 27, 2022