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Drug-Free Workplace Policy and Program Template

Ohio Drug Testing Laws and Regulations

State: Ohio
Statute of Order: Ohio Admin. Code ยง4123-17-58
Covered Employers: All employers.
Applicant Testing: Applicant testing is authorized with advance notice to applicant and after offer of employment has been made. An applicant who tests and confirmed positive will not be hired. He will be given the chance to explain his positive drug results. Applicant for a government job will not be hired for at least a year if he tests positive.
Employee Testing: Employee testing is authorized on reasonable suspicion of substance abuse, for new hires, after an accident, and as follow-up to a treatment program.
Conditions & Methods: Documentation showing chain of custody and confirming test in case of positive findings. Laboratory personnel are to check each specimen package for evidence of tampering. The employer must have a written policy statement.
Important Bulletpoints:
  • For complying with provisions of a Drug-Free Workplace Program, employers must pay for drug and alcohol testing. The only exception is for employee requested retests, which is at the employee’s expense unless the retest results come out negative. As such, the employer must pay for the cost of the retest.
  • The key components of the Bureau’s Drug-Free Workplace Program includes a written compliant policy statement, employee education, supervisor training, a five-panel drug and alcohol testing consistent with federal standards, and an employee assistance plan or at the minimum, a resource file whichever may be applicable.
  • Post-accident chemical testing for employees must be administered within eight hours of the injury for alcohol concentration tests. For controlled substances, the qualifying test must be conducted within thirty two hours of the employee’s injury.
  • State contractors working on public improvement projects as well as their subcontractors and lower-tier subcontractors are required to enroll and be in good standing with the Bureau of Workers’ Compensation’s Drug-Free Workplace Program or similar programs approved by the Bureau. Non-compliance results in a breach of contract which may cause the contractors and subcontractors in violation to be adversely evaluated for future contracts up to a period of five years.
  • Administration of workers’ compensation may be adversely affected for testing positive or for refusal to submit to chemical testing provided that the employees were expressly notified in writing that the results of the test or refusal to undergo drug testing may affect the eligibility of the employee to receive benefits.
  • Employers aiming for bigger discount are enjoined to adopt a policy that calls for random testing of a minimum of 15% of their employees annually. These employers should be committed not to terminate an employee with a first-positive test results; who voluntarily admits his substance abuse trouble or has been referred for assessment by a supervisor.
  • Employees and job applicants have the right to question the legality of how their drug test was conducted; who was tested and the how the results of the drug test were used.
Medical Marijuana Law:

House Bill 523 authorizes the use of marijuana for medical reasons. It also establishes the Ohio Medical Marijuana Control Program.

The House approved the HB on May 10, 2016 whereas the Senate passed the HB on May 25, 2016. Gov. John Kasich signed HB 523 into law on June 8, 2016, making the state of Ohio the 25th U.S. state to authorize the use and possession of medical marijuana for registered and qualified patients and caregivers. The passing of the bill was brought about as a response from the Ohio patient community as well as other NGOs campaigning for the passing of the bill.

Though the medical marijuana law becomes effective on September 8, 2016, it is likely that it will take a year to completely and fully implement the law. The Department of Commerce will form rules to efficiently oversee testing labs and cultivators. The State Medical Board has until September 6, 2017 to formulate and adopt rules to oversee physicians, whereas the Board of Pharmacy is tasked to take care of patient registry and marijuana dispensaries.

Qualifying Medical Conditions

• Alzheimer's disease


• amyotrophic lateral sclerosis

• chronic traumatic encephalopathy

• cancer

• Crohn's disease

• Fibromyalgia

• epilepsy or another seizure disorder

• hepatitis C

• glaucoma

• inflammatory bowel disease

• Parkinson's disease

• multiple sclerosis

• intractable or chronic pain


• sickle cell anemia

• positive status for HIV

• spinal cord injury or disease

• Tourette's syndrome

• ulcerative colitis

• traumatic brain injury

Other medical conditions may be added by the state medical board.

A patient must be diagnosed with one or more of the approved medical conditions, and must have a written recommendation from a qualified, state-approved physician. Other requirements are in-person physical examination, and pertinent paperwork to be submitted to the state by the physician.


• Prohibits a registered patient to operate any vehicle, trackless trolley, streetcar, aircraft, or watercraft while under the influence of medical marijuana.

• Prohibits the use, possession, or administration of medical cannabis on any federal land in the state

• Does not require and prohibit any public place from accommodating a registered user.

• An employer may or may not accommodate the use, possession, and distribution of medical marijuana

• Smoking marijuana is not an acceptable treatment method.

• Private health insurance companies and government medical assistance programs are not obliged to reimburse expenses made in using medical marijuana, or any cost an employer made to accommodate the use of medical marijuana in the workplace.

Recreational Marijuana Law

There is still no pending bill for the legalization of marijuana in Ohio. However, the possession of small quantity of cannabis has been decriminalized. Such violations are treated as misdemeanors and therefore do not become a criminal record. There is a fine involved but no jail time.


• The no jail time provision is available only to first-time offenders

Effects on Drug Testing in the Workplace

Ohio's medical marijuana law does not prohibit an employer from refusing to hire, or disciplining, discharging or doing appropriate actions to employees who use, possess, or distribute marijuana in the workplace. This law does not prohibit an employer from conducting drug testing in the workplace, and enforcing a zero-tolerance drug policy, or drug-free workplace policy.


Applicability: In Ohio’s pending marijuana medical law, registered and visiting qualifying patient who use cannabis for medical purpose, registered primary caregiver, cardholder, physician and other persons who are authorized though the Revised Code.
Quantity Allowed: Not more than 200 grams of usable marijuana and 12 mature marijuana plants.
How Obtained: The qualifying patient and/or his registered primary caregiver may cultivate their own cannabis plant in a secure and registered area. Other means of procurement are not yet specified.
Liability Protection: Registered and visiting qualifying patient who use cannabis for medical purpose, registered primary caregiver, cardholder, physician and other persons who are authorized though the Revised Code are exempted from arrest, prosecution and civil/criminal penalty. Any property cannabis, related paraphernalia utilized in conjunction with the use of medical marijuana is exempted from being confiscated.
Statutory Requirements for Authorized Use: The Ohio Department of Health will verify all information in a patient’s application form, whether initial or renewal, for the issuance of a registry identification card. The health department has the prerogative to approve or deny application based on Chapter 119 of the Revised Code. A qualifying patient shall be issued a registry identification card five business days after application.
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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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