A study by testing company and medical lab Quest Diagnostics has revealed that Americans are failing marijuana tests in unprecedented numbers. The firm’s annual analysis found that the number of U.S. employees who tested positive for marijuana was the highest Quest Diagnostics had seen since it started collecting data on workplace drug testing in 1988.
After analyzing more than 6 million urine tests for traces of marijuana in 2022, the firm found that 4.3% were positive for cannabis compared to 3.9% in 2021. Quest Diagnostics tested urine samples from general employees. This group excludes safety-sensitive and federally mandated employees, such as truck drivers and pilots who go through regular drug testing.
Now that dozens of states have medical and recreational cannabis markets, millions of Americans have access to legal, regulated cannabis. However, since federal law still considers cannabis an illegal drug, cannabis users often find themselves facing legal repercussions for using cannabis in accordance with their state laws.
Quest’s data shows that despite the risks involved, American workers are consuming cannabis in greater numbers. The firm also revealed that 7.3% of general employees tested positive for cannabis following accidents on the job while 6.7% tested positive in 2021.
On the other hand, only 0.98% of employees in federally mandated safety-sensitive jobs tested positive for cannabis in 2022 up from 0.86% of employees in 2021.
Keith Ward, Quest Diagnostics general manager and vice president for employer solutions, suggested that the increase in cannabis use among employees may be due to evolving societal attitudes toward cannabis that are “impacting workplace behaviors.” In addition, Suhas Harwani, the company’s senior director of science for employee solutions, states that medical and recreational cannabis markets generally have higher rates of positive marijuana tests compared to the national average.
Unsurprisingly, states without legal marijuana markets had lower cannabis positivity rates. The report showed that 5.7% of general employees in states with legal recreational markets tested positive for cannabis in 2022 while the national average for marijuana positivity that year was 4.3%. Conversely, general employees in states with only medical cannabis markets had a positivity rate of 3.9%.
Several states across the country have adopted liberal policies toward cannabis over the past couple of decades, with more than 30 states now allowing their residents to use medical marijuana for specific conditions. In fact, the cannabis industry is now one of the fastest-growing sectors in the country, generating billions of dollars in revenue and hiring hundreds of thousands of employees.
Given that more than 30 states across the country permit the medical use of marijuana, it isn’t surprising that entities such as IGC Pharma Inc. (NYSE American: IGC) are taking this medical use a step further by developing formulations that can be approved by the FDA for use within the healthcare system.
NOTE TO INVESTORS: The latest news and updates relating to IGC Pharma Inc. (NYSE American: IGC) are available in the company’s newsroom at https://cnw.fm/IGC
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