Montana Drug Testing Laws and Regulations



Statute of Order

Mont. Code Ann. §39-2- 205 et seq.

Covered Employers

Public and private employers.

Applicant Testing

Testing authorized of applicants for intrastate motor carrier jobs, for jobs in hazardous environments, or jobs that primarily involve security, public safety, or fiduciary responsibility.

Employee Testing

Employee testing authorized, including random testing, on reasonable belief of job impairment, after work-related accident causing injury or damage of $1,500 or more, or as part of regular physical exam for employees of intrastate motor carriers. Disciplinary action authorized if employee presents no reasonable explanation for positive findings.

Conditions & Methods

Advance written notice of testing procedure, confirming test in case of positive findings, and opportunity for employee to rebut positive findings.

Important Bulletpoints

Drug and alcohol testing required of employees are at the employer’s expense. Time attributable to the testing program is considered to be part of regular work hours and all employees must thus be compensated accordingly.

An employee in violation of the employer’s policy may be sanctioned appropriately and required to participate in a suitable drug and alcohol treatment or rehabilitation program as a condition for continued employment. In such cases, periodic follow up testing is allowed and may be required.

A positive test result must first be reviewed and certified by a medical review officer. A copy of the test report must be provided to the employee who shall be given the opportunity to rebut or explain the test results.

The employee may request for an additional confirmatory split-sample test conducted by an independent laboratory chosen by the employee. If the additional test comes up negative, the employer pays for the cost. Otherwise, the additional confirmatory test shall be at the expense of the employee.

Workers’ compensation benefits may be denied of an employee if the use of alcohol or drugs is the major cause of the workplace accident. However, if the employer had knowledge of the controlled substance use and failed to try and stop the employee’s use of alcohol or drugs, the ineligibility for benefits does not apply.

Medical Marijuana Law

The use of Marijuana for medical purposes is legal in the state of Montana since 2004. However, the seemingly lax practices observed by patients and providers prompted the legislation of SB 423, a bill designed to restrict access to medical marijuana. This 2011 law stipulated limiting the number of patients serviced by providers, sanctioning warrantless searches in clinics and private homes, and more. The conditions took effect in 2012 but it was met with protests and challenges in state court. In February 2016, the Montana Supreme Court finally ruled in support of the restrictive provisions of SB 423. This led 11,500 users of medical marijuana to lose access to the drug.

During the general election held on November 8, 2016, fifty-seven percent of Montana's voters approved Montana's revised medical marijuana law. Called Montana Medical Marijuana Initiative or I-182, the initiative statute repeals the three-patient limit for medical marijuana providers, and creates a regulatory structure for establishments that serve patients who are prescribed medical marijuana. The rest of the provisions of the I-182 will take effect on June 30, 2017 whereas the clause that repeals the three-patient limit took effect on December 7, 2016.1

Qualifying Medical Conditions

• Cancer

• Positive status for HIV and/or AIDS

• Glaucoma

• Cachexia or wasting syndrome

• Intractable vomiting or nausea

• Intractable seizure disorder, or epilepsy

• Cohn's disease

• Multiple Sclerosis

• Painful peripheral neuropathy

• Chronic, muscle spasms or painful spasticity or due to a central nervous system disorder

• Painful peripheral neuropathy

• Admittance into hospice care

• Any other medical condition or treatment for a medical condition approved by the legislature

• Severe chronic pain attested by at least two doctors, and supported by a laboratory test

• Post-traumatic stress (added in I-182)


• A person under the influence of marijuana is not allowed to operate any motor vehicle, motorboat, or aircraft.

• Smoking of marijuana in public places such as public parks, school grounds, public beach, youth center, public recreation center, and correctional facility; in public transportation system and school bus.

• A person using medical marijuana is not entitled to receive reimbursement from private health insurer and government medical assistance program.

• Nothing in this law requires an employer to accommodate the use medical marijuana in the workplace.

Effects on Workplace Drug Testing

The state of Montana does not have recreational marijuana law and has not decriminalized marijuana. The medical marijuana law does not require employers to provide special accommodation for medical marijuana users. Existing workplace policies regarding drug use and drug testing are in place, and concerned employees are expected to adhere to these regulations. An employee who tests positive may be required by his employer to undergo treatment as a condition for keeping his job.



Law applies to physicians, patients and caregivers

Quantity Allowed

Less than or equal to 6 plants and/or 1oz of usable marijuana.

How Obtained

Qualifying patient may grow Marijuana or designate a provider (limited to three patients).

Liability Protections

Qualifying patients and caregivers – not subject to arrest, prosecution or penalization in any manner (this section requires review and interpretation relative to new qualifying patients). Marijuana growers may not accept anything of value in exchange for services and products. Local governments authorized to regulate Marijuana providers.

Statutory Requirements for Authorized Use

Registry Card required. Patient must have written documentation from physician. Patients and physicians must register with the Montana Department of Health. Registration must be renewed annually.

Montana Drug Testing Law

The State of Montana has very specific rules concerning drug and alcohol testing in the workplace. Montana drug testing and alcohol testing procedures are governed by the Montana Code § 39-2-205 and the federal government’s drug-free workplace program. The State of Montana encourages employers to maintain a drug-free workplace. Having a drug-free workplace does not only protect the business interest of the employers, it also protects the safety of the community. To be safe from any forms of claims charges and litigations, it is recommended that employers review all the laws about employment testing and pre-employment, labor codes, human rights and other such laws before implementing drug and alcohol testing.

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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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