Michigan Drug Testing Laws and Regulations



Michigan Drug Testing Law

The State of Michigan has no specific legislation regarding employment and pre-employment drug testing. There are no defined scope and limitations for employers in testing their employees. This does not mean, however, that the employees and applicants are helpless subjects for drug and alcohol testing in the workplace. Michigan drug testing and alcohol testing must still be conducted in a way that does not violate the rights of individuals to privacy, dignity, and reputation. Employees and prospective employees have the right to bring up their complaint to the court of law. There is also a notice issued by the State of Michigan concerning the drug-free workplace program. The notice serves as guidelines for employers who, voluntarily, want to establish a drug-free workplace policy. 

Statute of Order

The State of Michigan has no specific statutes governing drug and alcohol testing in the workplace. However, as of July 2009, the State of Michigan issued a Drug-Free Workplace Notice. The Drug-Free Workplace Notice describes the rules of implementation.

Covered Employers

All employers with over 52,000 employees must establish a drug-free workplace program.

Applicant Testing

Applicant testing is neither restricted nor permitted.

Employee Testing

Employee testing is permissible for employers who adopted a Drug-Free Workplace Program. A testing procedure must be in accordance with the employers’ drug-free workplace policy.

Effects on Workplace Drug Testing

The Medical Marijuana Act does not require employers to accommodate the ingestion of marijuana in any workplace or any employee working while under the influence of marijuana. It shall not affect an employer's authority to enforce workplace policies that restrict marijuana consumption by employees. Employees can reasonably be expected to adhere to company rules and regulations including drug testing programs in the interest of maintaining employee safety, performance and productivity in the workplace.

Conditions and Methods

Employers may require drug and alcohol testing among its employees or prospective employees. A testing procedure must be implemented with due consideration of the workers’ privacy rights, dignity, and reputation.

Important Bulletpoints

  • The Michigan Penal Code states that it is unlawful for any employer to compel new hire or continuing employees to pay for the costs of a medical examination when requested by the employer. Violators may be penalized up to $100 for each instance of the violation. Whether or not employment drug testing is classified as a required medical examination has not been ruled on yet.

  • Under the Drug Dealer Liability Act, the employer of an individual abuser may bring an action for damages against persons who participated in the illegal marketing of a controlled substance used by the individual abuser.

  • Refusal to be subjected to a controlled substance testing administered in a non-discriminatory manner, as may be required by the employer as per set policy or procedure, is a basis for denial of unemployment benefits and Workers Compensation Claims upon being discharged from employment. Likewise, getting discharged for testing positive for the use of illegal drugs or alcohol intoxication while at work are grounds for denial of unemployment benefits.

Medical Marijuana Law

The Michigan Medical Marijuana Act 2008 (Proposal 1) was approved on November 4, 2008, and became effective December 4, 2008. This act removed the state-level criminal penalties on the cultivation, use, and possession of marijuana by qualified patients provided they have a recommendation from their physicians.

The original act was amended on December 31, 2012, by House Bill 4856. Under this amendment, it became illegal to possess or transport usable marijuana by car unless it is concealed in an enclosed case and stowed in the trunk. This act is a misdemeanor punishable by no more than 93 days in jail or a fine of up to $500 or both.

The Michigan Supreme Court ruled on February 8, 2013, that marijuana dispensaries are illegal and qualified patients are required to either grow their own marijuana or appoint a cannabis caregiver, who is limited to 5 patients only.

In April 2013, further amendments came in the form of House Bill 4834 which made the marijuana registry card valid for 2 years instead of 1 and required anyone who applies for it to show proof of Michigan residency; and House Bill 4851 which protected patients from arrest by virtue of a valid registry ID with photo and required a verifiable physician-patient relationship thru patient records.

The latest amendments to this law that took effect on December 20, 2016, came from three separate bills that Gov. Rick Snyder signed on September 20, 2016. Together these amendments legalize medical marijuana dispensaries, regulate cultivation and processing facilities and extend legal protections to qualified patients who prefer other forms of the drug like edibles and oils.

Medical Conditions for Marijuana Certificate

• Cancer

• Glaucoma


• Hepatitis C


• Crohn's Disease

• Alzheimer's Disease

• Nail Patella

• Cachexia or Wasting Syndrome

• Chronic Pain

• Nausea

• Epilepsy

• Multiple Sclerosis


• Undertaking any task while under the influence of marijuana, when such task would constitute negligence or professional malpractice is prohibited;

• Possessing or using medical marijuana is prohibited in a school bus; on the grounds of any preschool, primary or secondary school or in any correctional facility;

• Smoking marijuana is prohibited in any public place or on any form of public transportation;

• Operating, navigating or being in actual physical control of any motor vehicle, aircraft, snowmobile, off-road recreational vehicle, or motorboat while under the influence of marijuana is prohibited.

• Marijuana use by any person who does not have a serious or debilitating medical condition is prohibited;

• Using butane extraction to separate plant resin from a marijuana plant is prohibited in any public place or motor vehicle, or inside or within the curtilage of any residential structure.

• Using butane extraction to separate plant resin from a marijuana plant in a manner that demonstrates a reckless disregard for the safety of others is prohibited;

Michigan Recreational Marijuana Law

The Michigan Marijuana Legalization and Regulation Initiative was not put on the November 8, 2016, ballot because the state election board deemed more than 100,000 signatures invalid for not having been collected within a certain time frame set by state law. The measure, referred to by supporters as the "Comprehensive Cannabis Law Reform" may appear on the November 8, 2018, ballot.

Marijuana laws have consistently been changing in recent years, and it can be quite difficult to keep track of the sheer number of laws on medical and recreational use of marijuana. Michigan recently joined the picture, as it legalized recreational use of marijuana through a 2018 ballot initiative.

As expected, marijuana advocates rejoiced with the final results, with the victory highlighting the widespread support for the marijuana policy reform. Michigan is the 10th state to allow recreational use of marijuana.

The Coalition to Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol will regulate recreational marijuana and hemp cultivation, production, testing, distribution, sale, use and possession for both medical and non-medical purposes; provide licensing of marijuana establishments; provide certain rights to qualified patients as recommended by their physicians; authorize fee collection; allow the imposition of excise tax on marijuana sales; provide power and duties of state and local governments; authorize local government units to regulate marijuana or weed shops and establishments; and require the promulgation of rules.

Cannabis Market in Michigan

Similarly, there would be initiatives that would allow licensing of businesses that will grow, process, test, transport, or sell marijuana with 3 classes of cultivator licenses. Suffice it to say that the municipalities would have a hand with regards to the number and types of facilities within their jurisdiction.

It has also been stipulated that the state has another year wherein they can have the time to develop the necessary framework for recreational marijuana sales. This type of system is expected to resemble the state’s regulatory structure for the medical marijuana sale. This would allow the state to still have full control for both medical and recreational use and not for the people of Michigan see it as something that the state promotes or encourages.

Fines for Marijuana Possession

  • Under the new Michigan marijuana law, adults age 21 and older are allowed to possess, transport, use, and grow marijuana. In two years, the state will implement licensing procedures for recreational producers, vendors, and other players in the market, a similar scenario to California.  Additionally, Michigan now allows the medical use of marijuana to approved patients.

  • The said proposal was approved by almost 56% of voters in the November 6 election, which allows over the age of 21 years old to possess up to 2.5 ounces of marijuana and grow up to 12 plants per household.

  • Despite the legalization of marijuana in Michigan, the proposal does not overrule existing workplace drug policies, nor does it allow consumption or smoking of marijuana in public or private places where the owner prohibits it.


Qualified patients and primary caregivers.

Quantity Allowed

12 plants in an enclosed, locked facility or 2.5 oz usable Marijuana. Primary caregivers may keep up to 60 plants (12 for each of 5 patients and 12.5 oz of usable Marijuana in an enclosed, locked facility).

How to Obtain

Law does not address.

Liability Protections

Qualifying patients and caregivers – not subject to arrest, prosecution or penalization in any manner.

Statutory Requirements for Authorized Use

Registry Card required and issued through Bureau of Health Services.






For Further Reading:



<< Back to List of States

The 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 a substitute for obtaining legal advice from an 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.