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Utah Drug Testing Laws and Regulations

State: Utah
Statute of Order: Utah Code Ann. ยง34-38-1 et seq.
Covered Employers: Private employers, local government entities, and state institutions of higher education.
Applicant Testing: No restriction on applicant testing in the private sector. Local governments and state colleges may test applicants pursuant to a written policy and with advance notice to applicant. Employers may require job applicants to take drug test as long as management and employers undergo periodic drug testing. Positive results or refusal to test are grounds for not hiring job applicants. Applicants who fail the drug test may continue to receive benefits while undergoing treatment.
Employee Testing: Employee testing is authorized pursuant to employer's written policy, distributed to all employees, in cases of possible employee impairment, workplace accidents or theft, safety maintenance, or productivity/quality/security maintenance. Employees who test positive or refuse to be tested are subject to referral for rehabilitation or disciplinary action, including discharge.
Conditions & Methods: Documentation showing chain of custody from time of collection and confirming test in case of positive findings. Testing is authorized for employees of local government entities and state institutions of higher education for post-accident investigations, reasonable suspicion situations, preannounced periodic testing, and random testing in safety-sensitive positions or when required by federal law.
Important Bulletpoints:
  • Compliant drug testing of current employees and prospective employees are allowed with the provision that employers and management shall also be periodically subject to testing.
  • Mandatory drug testing is applicable for organizations operating storage or transfer facilities particularly those engaged in transporting high-level radioactive waste within the boundaries of Utah.
  • All costs of drug or alcohol testing required by the employer as condition for employment are at the employer’s expense including transportation costs if applicable.
  • For purposes of administering compensation and benefits, the time allotted to drug or alcohol testing, which may be during or immediately after the regular work period, are considered work time.
  • An employee testing positive or refusal to undergo testing is a basis for disciplinary or rehabilitative actions. Employers may require rehabilitation, treatment or counseling subject to follow-up drug or alcohol testing. Usual procedures related to adverse employment action may also be taken as disciplinary measures.
  • No cause of action may be taken against the employer for enacting a compliant drug or alcohol testing policy unless the employer’s action is based on a false test result. The employer is not liable for monetary damages if reliance on the false result was reasonable and in good faith.
  • Employees and job applicants may have legal claims regarding who was tested, how the test was conducted and how the results were used. There should not be any violation of state laws regarding drug testing. Discrimination and defamation are not tolerated. Invasion of privacy is not tolerated.
Medical Marijuana Law:

There is no medical marijuana law in the state of Utah. Possession of an ounce to a pound of cannabis is considered a misdemeanor that comes with a $1,000 fine and 6 months imprisonment.

However, Utah's HB 105 aims to exempt patients with intractable epilepsy from particular criminal penalties or liabilities in using and possessing marijuana extracts with low tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), and adequately high cannabidiol (CBD). Research institutions and the Department of Health are allowed by this law to grow industrial hemp for research and agricultural purposes. As the law is only applicable to low-THC, several proponents of using marijuana for medical purpose do not consider Utah a medical marijuana state. HB 105 applies to marijuana extracts with at least 5% CBD by weight and less than 0.3% THC. The original bill sanctioned 15% CBD by weight but this was amended in the 2016 legislative session.

Qualifying Health Conditions

• Intractable epilepsy


• The patient must have been diagnosed by a licensed neurologist.

• The patient should have undergone three treatment options under the care of a neurologist.

• The patient is at least 18 years old and is a resident of Utah.

• A minor with intractable epilepsy may use CDB oil if he is under the supervision of his parents or legal guardian.

• Qualified patients are not allowed by the law to cultivate their own industrial hemp.

Recreational Marijuana Law

It will be long off before Utah legalizes marijuana. As of October 21, 2016 Utah's Compassionate Medical Cannabis legislation was passed by the Senate but failed in the House in 2016 legislative session. SB 73 would have legalized medical marijuana in Utah. Advocates are now actively planning for a ballot initiative in 2018 regarding the adaption of medical cannabis program in Utah. If this bill is passed, recreational marijuana use may follow suit. In the meantime, possession and sale of marijuana are illegal in the state of Utah.


• Driving under the influence of marijuana is unlawful.

Effects on Workplace Drug Testing

As a condition of employment, Utah employers are allowed to require applicants to take a drug test. The employer must have a written policy regarding this and must be available to potential employees.

Employees may be required to take drug test as an investigative measure.


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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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