Kentucky Drug Testing Laws and Regulations



Kentucky Drug Testing Law Use

The state of Kentucky is among the many states which have specific laws regarding drug and alcohol testing for employment and pre-employment purposes. In order to protect the welfare of employees and of the public, Kentucky drug testing and alcohol testing laws for workers in transportation and mining industries are implemented. School bus drivers, school bus mechanics and commercial drivers can be randomly tested for traces of drugs or alcohol in their system. Employers are encouraged to adopt a drug-free workplace program. Discounts on workers’ compensation insurance premiums and other incentives will be awarded to employers who voluntarily apply for Drug-Free Workplace certification.

Statute of Order Use 

KRS 304.13-167

Covered Employers Use

All employers are encouraged to establish a drug-free workplace policy

Applicant Testing Use

Drug testing that involves submission of urine sample is permissible after the issuance of a conditional job offer.

Employee Testing Use 

All drug and alcohol testing of employees is permissible in compliance with the state administrative regulations and the federal law.

Conditions and Methods Use

Certified employers must implement drug and alcohol testing procedures based on the provisions of the Drug-Free Workplace Act

The implementation of drug policy must be in conjunction with other laws upholding the basic rights of individuals.

Important Bullet Points Use 

  • Drug and alcohol testing is permissible if there is reasonable suspicion. But the testing procedure must meet the requirements provided in Section 3 of KRS 304.13-167.
  • Circumstances that warrant drug and alcohol testing of employees:
  • Reasonable suspicion
  • Post-accident investigation
  • Post-rehabilitation evaluation
  • All records of drug and alcohol tests must be kept highly confidential.
  • Employers who voluntarily implement Drug-Free Workplace Program will be granted a 5% discount on employee compensation insurance premium.
  • The application requirements for employers who seek to establish a drug-free workplace program must comply to the following requirements:
  • Written policy
  • Distribution of copies of the policy to all employees
  • Policy statement must be posted at the work place in areas accessible to all employees
  • Detailed statement of the Employer’s Assistance Program (EAP)
  • Detailed statement of the educational and training program regarding alcohol and drug abuse
  • Statement of confidentiality
  • Detailed description of the alcohol and drug testing methods or procedures to be used
  • Employees and applicants may press legal charges against employers who required drug and alcohol testing under the following circumstances:
  • Violation of individual privacy
  • Disability discrimination
  • Defamation
  • Discrimination against race, gender and age

Medical Marijuana Law

Kentucky Gov. Steve Beshear signed Senate Bill 124 into law on April 10, 2014. It became effective July 6, 2016. This bill seeks to provide patients suffering from intractable seizure disorders with safe and legal access to CBD or cannabidiol, a non-psychoactive component of marijuana. Essentially this is a CBD extract-only marijuana law, which may be well-intended but unfortunately is very limited, or limiting. A doctor who writes a "written order" for marijuana is breaking federal law. There is no provision for sourcing the drug as the law does not make it legal to cultivate the plant in-state.

House Bill 584 and Senate Bill 263 introduced by Rep. Denver Butler on Mar. 1, 2016 and Senators Reginald Thomas, Denise Harper Angel and Perry B. Clarkon Mar. 2, 2016 respectively both died when session ended on April 15, 2016. Had either bill progressed, they would have allowed medical marijuana use for certain debilitating medical conditions.

HB 584 was seeking to require the Department of Public Health to establish and operate a medical marijuana program; create a process to license and permit cultivation, distribution, manufacturing and processing of medical marijuana.

SB 263 was seeking to create a comprehensive system for medical cannabis that includes providing for medically verifying need; permitting individuals to cultivate, use and possess the drug; allowing organizations to assist in providing the drug; and allowing regulation by the Department of Alcoholic Beverage and Cannabis Control;

Qualifying Medical Conditions

• Alzheimer's disease (agitation of)

• Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis

• Anorexia

• Cachexia or wasting syndrome

• Cancer

• Chronic pancreatitis

• Cohn's disease

• Fibromyalgia

• Glaucoma

• Hepatitis C


• Lupus

• Multiple sclerosis

• Muscular dystrophy

• Parkinson's disease


• Seizures

• Severe and persistent muscle spasms

• Severe nausea

• Severe or chronic pain

• Spinal cord injury or disease

• Substance abuse, if a patient meets criteria established by the department pursuant to Section 2 of this Act Terminal illness

• Traumatic brain injury

• Any other medical condition determined by the department to be

• debilitating or terminal following a written appeal by a physician

Recreational Marijuana Law

Senate Bill 13 or the Cannabis Freedom Act was introduced by Sen. Perry Clark in January 2016. It was seeking to legalize possession of up to 1 ounce of marijuana by adults 21 years or older. Had it passed, the new law WOULD HAVE:4

Allowed the cultivation of up to five marijuana plants.

Allowed marijuana use on private property with the property owner's permission.

Allowed the transfer (without any remuneration) of 1 ounce or less and up to five immature cannabis plants to adults 21 years or older.

Created a 3-tier licensing system which would separate growers from processors and retailers.

Effects on Workplace Drug Testing

A total of 5 cannabis and hemp bills were introduced in 2016 and none of them made it. Consequently, employers will not need to revisit any existing drug test policy in their organization to accommodate whatever provisions the new marijuana laws would have introduced. They are still totally within their rights to implement whatever disciplinary actions are stated in their drug-free workplace policies should any employee be found in violation of their company rules regarding marijuana use in the workplace.


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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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