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Rhode Island Drug Testing Laws and Regulations

Applicability: Law applies to physicians, patients and caregivers. Quantity Allowed: 12 plants and/or 2.5oz of usable Marijuana.
State: Rhode Island
Statute of Order: R.I. Gen. Laws ยง28-6.5-1 et seq.
Covered Employers: Public and private employers.
Applicant Testing: Applicant testing is authorized in the private sector after offer of employment has been made. In public sector, testing is authorized for jobs involving public safety or when required by federal law.
Employee Testing: Employee testing is authorized on reasonable suspicion of substance abuse and in conjunction with rehabilitation program. Random testing is prohibited.
Conditions & Methods: Confirming test in case of positive findings, privacy for employee in collection of specimen, and opportunity for employee to rebut test findings.
Important Bulletpoints:
  • Employers need to promulgate a drug abuse prevention policy that is in strict compliance with the provisions of the law. An employer who violates these provisions will be deemed guilty of a misdemeanor that carries a fine of up to $1,000 and/or a jail sentence of up to 1 year.
  • There are no regulations particular to how initial testing may be performed but confirmation tests must always be performed by federally certified testing laboratories only.
  • Employers requiring any physical examination as a condition of employment must pay for the cost of examination whether or not the prospective employee is hired. The cost of confirmation testing which may be done by an independent authorized laboratory at the employee’s request must also be at the employer’s expense.
  • Pre-employment drug testing for State and municipal agencies or bureaus is mandatory and applicable only to law enforcement officers, correctional officers and firefighters as well as for positions that are required by federal regulations to undergo testing for substance abuse.
  • Employment required drug testing is authorized only for reasonable grounds based on the employee’s job performance and observations of the employee’s appearance, behavior or speech that shows the use of controlled substance impairs the employee’s ability to perform the job.
  • Employees who are initially tested positive for controlled substances may not be terminated by their employers but must rather be referred to a substance abuse professional for assistance. Follow-up testing may be required by the employer and if such tests indicate continued use of controlled substances, the employer may then proceed with terminating the employee.
Medical Marijuana Law: 2005 H.B. 6052, RI GEN. LAWS Section 21-28.6. The legislature eliminates criminal/civil penalties on the possession, use and cultivation of marijuana by qualifying patients.
How Obtained: Cultivation of cannabis for medical use. Other sources for cannabis are not specified.
Liability Protections: Patients and Caregivers are not subject to arrest, prosecution, criminal or other penalties and property forfeiture. No school, employer or landlord may refuse to enroll, employ or lease, or otherwise penalize solely for his/her status as a registered, qualified patient or registered primary caregiver.
Statutory Requirements for Authorized Use: Registry card required. Upon application, a medical practitioner must recommend that medicating the patient with cannabis will do more good than harm for the patient's condition. Before a patient can receive an RI Department of Health registered card, a written certification from a practitioner registered with Department of Health is required and must be renewed annually.
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Material on these pages (state drug testing laws and drug testing regulations) is provided for informational purposes only and does not constitute legal, medical or technical advice. This drug testing related information is not intended as substitute for obtaining legal advice from attorney, or a relevant medical technical or financial professional. TestCountry is not a law firm or a legal agency, therefore cannot guarantee the accuracy of this content. Drug testing laws are collected from legal and/or state sources, and it may or may not be valid by the time you are viewing it. Any views or opinions expressed are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of Confirm Biosciences Inc. DBA TestCountry.


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