Maine Drug Testing Laws and Regulations

State

Maine

Statute of Order

Maine Rev. Stat. §26:681 et seq.

Covered Employers

Public and private employers.

Applicant Testing

Applicant testing authorized if applicant has been offered employment or a position on a roster of eligibility. Employer may refuse to hire employee who refuses to test or who tests positive.

Employee Testing

Employee testing authorized if there is probable cause for suspicion of substance abuse that is not based solely on the occurrence of an accident. Random testing authorized of employee returning to work after positive test, of employees in safety-sensitive jobs, and pursuant to a collective bargaining agreement. Employee who tests positive may be referred for counseling or treatment. Discipline or discharge authorized for refusal to submit to test, for subsequent positive result, or for failure to complete treatment.

Conditions & Methods

Written policy providing for testing by certified laboratory, sample collection by nurse or doctor in medical facility, confirming test for employees testing positive, 3-day period for employee to explain or contest findings, and employee option to provide blood rather than urine sample. Before implementation of testing, employers of 25 or more must make suitable arrangements with certified employee assistance program.

Important Bulletpoints

Furthermore, an employer with more than 20 full-time employees must establish a working employee assistance program or be part of a cooperative EAP. The employee assistance program must be duly certified by the Office of Substance Abuse. Compliance to this provision is a requirement without which approval of employer’s drug testing policy may be denied.

Random testing is permissible only when the employer has more than 50 full-time employees and the formulation of the testing policy was performed by a committee consisting wholly of employees.

Collective bargaining agreements may also call for drug testing for its members but the results of the tests may not be used to take adverse action against the employee. In such cases, approval of the Labor Department is not required.

Maine legislation on substance abuse testing differentiates medical examinations for employment purposes from drug testing as a condition for employment.

Drug testing including confirmatory tests may only be conducted at HHS compliant laboratories certified by the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), College of American Pathology (CAP) or the American Association of Clinical Chemistry (AACC).

Employer must pay all costs of substance abuse tests required, requested or suggested of an employee except for retests wherein the employee pays the cost if the retest shows positive.

Workers compensation and unemployment benefits may be adversely affected for employees who tests positive. Employers are required to provide first time offenders a 6 month opportunity for rehabilitation or treatment.

Medical Marijuana Law

Medical Marijuana has been legal in Maine since 1999. It allowed qualified patients to use and grow limited amounts of marijuana to help them manage their condition. On April 2, 2002, Senate Bill 611 amended the existing law by allowing an increase in the maximum amount of usable marijuana that qualified patients may possess, from 1.25 ounces to 2.5 ounces.1

On November 3, 2009, a decade after the original law was passed, the Maine Medical Marijuana Initiative, aka Question 5 was put on the ballot, and was approved. It created non-profit dispensaries from which patients may safely get their supply of medical marijuana. It also created a statewide ID system that protected duly registered patients from arrest and prosecution. This 2009 ballot initiative was implemented in April 2010 through LD 1811, authorizing 8 medical marijuana dispensaries and creating a state-run registry system.

Qualified Medical Conditions

• Alzheimer's disease

• Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis

• Cachexia or wasting syndrome

• Cancer

• Chronic intractable pain

• Cohn's disease

• Glaucoma

• Hepatitis C

• HIV/AIDS

• Nail-patella syndrome

• PTSD

• Seizures including epilepsy

• Severe and persistent muscle spasms including multiple sclerosis

• Severe nausea

Limitations

• The law does not permit any person to undertake any task while under the influence of marijuana when such act would constitute professional malpractice or negligence;

• The law does not permit any person to possess or use medical marijuana in a school bus, on the grounds of any preschool, primary or secondary school; or any correctional facility;

• The law does not permit smoking marijuana on any form of transportation; or in any public place;

• The law does not permit any person to operate, navigate or be in control of any motor vehicle while under the influence of marijuana.

Recreational Marijuana

On November 8, 2016, Marijuana Legalization Question_1 appeared on the ballot and was approved.4 It was designed to legalize, regulate and tax marijuana in the state as an agricultural product. It would allow adults 21 years or older to possess and use marijuana. It would provide licenses for retail facilities and marijuana social clubs. This measure would require the Maine Department of Agriculture, Conservation and Forestry to regulate the marijuana industry; would allow municipalities to limit retail store operations; and would impose a 10% tax on marijuana sales. The actual question as it appeared on the ballot reads, "Do you want to allow the possession and use of marijuana under state law by persons who are at least 21 years of age, and allow the cultivation, manufacture, distribution, testing, and sale of marijuana and marijuana products subject to state regulation, taxation and local ordinance?"5 Despite some reservations from the Governor, the law will go into effect on January 30, 2017.

Limitations

• Retails stores will not open until a regulatory system has been established. Regulatory details may take several months to hash out, and retail stores are not expected to open until 2018;6

• A person may not consume retail marijuana/products right inside retail marijuana shops; Conversely, retail marijuana shops may not allow consumption of marijuana within their licensed premises;

• A person may not buy, sell, transfer, give away or acquire retail marijuana or retail marijuana products.

Effects on Workplace Drug Testing

The Medical Marijuana Law, under the Maine Revised Statutes Title 22 Section 2426, does not require an employer to accommodate the ingestion of marijuana in any workplace or any employee working while under the influence of marijuana.

Under Section 2454 of the Marijuana Legalization Act - Employment Policies, it is stated that "This chapter may not be construed to require an employer to permit or accommodate the use, consumption, possession, trade, display, transportation, sale or growing of cannabis in the workplace. This chapter does not affect the ability of employers to enact and enforce workplace policies restricting the use of marijuana by employees or to discipline employees who are under the influence of marijuana in the workplace".

The provisions for employers/employees under both laws clearly indicate that employers are free to enforce policies that will help them maintain employee safety, performance and productivity in the workplace. Employees are still expected to adhere to company rules and regulations including submitting to a drug test if drug-free workplace policies are already in place.

Sources:

https://www.marijuanadoctors.com/medical-marijuana/ME/qualification

https://ballotpedia.org/Maine_Medical_Marijuana_Initiative,_Question_5_(2009)

https://www.marijuanadoctors.com/medical-marijuana/ME/qualification

https://ballotpedia.org/Maine_2016_ballot_measures

https://ballotpedia.org/Maine_Marijuana_Legalization,_Question_1_(2016)

https://www.merryjane.com/news/maine-governor-signs-recreational-bill-into-law

Applicability

Law applies to physicians, patients and caregivers

Quantity Allowed

Less than or equal to 2.5 oz of usable product or 6 or less plants with no more than 3 mature and flowering.

How Obtained

September 2010 Legislation – Medical Marijuana Dispensaries established

Liability Protections

Physicians, patients and caregivers – Liability protections not covered in statute.

Statutory Requirements for Authorized Use

No state patient registry based on 2010 legislation but documentation of use is required.

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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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