Future Drug Screening Won’t Include Marijuana

Stephen Andrews
01 Nov 2023

The future of drug testing will not include testing for the presence of marijuana. Rather, it will focus on capturing other, far more dangerous substances, such as fentanyl. That’s the conclusion we can draw after seeing the latest announcement from a top manufacturer of drug testing technology.

New technology utilized for drug detection will focus on fentanyl and other controlled substances instead of marijuana. 

Psychemedics, a company that pioneered the first commercially-available hair drug testing analysis in the mid-1980s, announced that its updated Advanced 5-Panel Drug Screen will no longer test for the presence of THC. The company said in a statement that the new version of its technology “will transform the way organizations safeguard their workplace, shifting the spotlight from marijuana to the paramount threat of fentanyl.”

The company’s move is an answer to the “pressing need to adapt” as more states legalize cannabis and implement laws with protections for workers who consume cannabis off-duty, preventing employers from taking adverse action against them. 

Screening for Fentanyl and Other Drugs a Priority 

Psychemedics said that its new screening technology has been approved by the Food and Drug Administration. Its screening panel also has improved accuracy for the detection of drugs such as cocaine, opioids, PCP and amphetamines. Beyond that, what everyone is most worried about is the drug fentanyl. 

“As we grapple with an ongoing labor shortage and with marijuana’s legal landscape evolving in 49 states, it’s clear that the time for a change has come,” the company said in a press release. “Traditional 5-panel drug tests, rooted in a four-decade-old paradigm, have failed to evolve in today’s drug market and are unable to detect the rising drug, fentanyl.”

“Few challenges in the workplace have undergone as dramatic a transformation as the shifting dynamics between marijuana and fentanyl,” said in a statement Brian Hullinger, the President and CEO of Psyhemedics. “Recognizing this shift, Psychemedics has developed the Advanced 5-Panel to bridge the gap.”

Fentanyl and other opioids are currently driving the worst drug crisis in U.S. history. According to the National Center for Health Statistics, over 1,500 people die every week from taking some kind of opioid. Fentanyl is a synthetic opioid and it has a medicinal application in anesthetics. However, the substance is often abused and commonly found in other drugs such as heroin, cocaine, methamphetamine and pills. 

Drug testing is often used by employers as a means to establish whether someone on the team has used a substance. Returning a negative test is also often important to actually get hired. It’s good that the focus is now moving away from Cannabis, which is pretty much harmless compared to drugs such as fentanyl. 

Also read on Soft Secrets: 

Fentanyl-Laced Cannabis is ‘Misinformation’

Can You Roll After Work?

Record Number in the American Workforce Return Positive THC Test  

Stephen Andrews