Vermont Drug Testing Laws and Regulations



Statute of Order

Vt. Stat. Ann. Tit. 21 §511 et seq.

Covered Employers

Public and private employers.

Applicant Testing

Applicant testing authorized with advance written notice to applicant, after conditional offer of employment has been made, and if test is part of preemployment physical.

Employee Testing

Employee testing authorized as part of an employee assistance program or when there is probable cause for suspicion of substance abuse. Random testing prohibited. Employer may suspend employee who tests positive for period of rehabilitation, but may not discharge an employee who agrees to rehabilitation after first positive test.

Conditions & Methods

Testing only by certified laboratory, documentation showing chain of custody, confirming test with part of original sample in case of positive findings, and opportunity for employee to explain findings.

Important Bulletpoints

Employers in Vermont may not require employees or job applicants to pay for the costs of medical examination required by the employer for employment purposes.

The administration of drug tests pursuant of a compliant workplace policy requires that the employer to designate a specimen collector who may be an in-house employee charged to collect specimens from job applicants, or a qualified non-employee for collecting specimens from current employees for drug testing based on probable cause.

The employer must contract a certified medical review officer who shall review and evaluate all drug test results to ensure rule compliance, report the results of the test to the tested individual, provide an employee who tested positive with opportunity for retesting at an independent laboratory at the employee’s expense, and report only confirmed positive drug tests to the employer.

Any injury due to the use of illegal drugs is not covered under workers’ compensation. The employer has burden of proof that the drug testing conducted complies with Labor regulations. Violations of any provisions may result to civil penalties amounting to $500 up to $2,000 or criminal penalties of up to $1,000, imprisonment of up to six months or both.

Medical Marijuana Law

Vermont's Senate Bill 76 and House Bill 645 paved the way to the signing of the Act Relating to Marijuana Use by Persons with Severe Illness by Gov. James Douglas on May 26, 2004, and became effective on July 1, 2004.2 State-level criminal sentences on the use and possession of cannabis by qualified patients with written certification by his physician stating that the patient will benefit from the use of medical cannabis, were removed.1

SB 00007 was approved on May 30, 2007. The amended law stipulated the state's requirement for a real doctor-patient relationship for a minimum of six months.

Qualifying Medical Conditions

• Multiple sclerosis

• Cancer

• Positive HIV status


• Patients in hospice care

• Glaucoma

• Cachexia

• Seizures

• Severe nausea

• Severe or chronic pain


• Being under the influence of marijuana while driving any motorized vehicle, boat, airplane and any other vessel; in the workplace; or while operating heavy machinery or handling dangerous instruments, are not allowed.

• The use and possession of marijuana for purpose other than permitted, or might endanger the well-being of others, are not allowed.

• Smoking marijuana is not allowed in public places, such as school grounds, school bus, public bus and other public vehicles, any public park, public recreation center, public beach, or correctional facilities.

• Private employers and health insurers are not obliged to pay or reimburse medical marijuana expenses.

• Transporting marijuana in public places is not allowed unless it is in a secured and locked container.

Recreational Marijuana Law

In February 2016, S.241 was passed by the Vermont Senate. This bill was supposed to legalize and regulate marijuana. The bill did not pass the House. This year, H. 170 is a bill that would eliminate penalties for adult possession of up to 2 ounces of marijuana. This bill is yet to be passed.

However, the state of Vermont has decriminalized marijuana. This means that a person guilty of first-time possession of a small amount of cannabis for personal use will not have a criminal record or be sentenced jail time.

For those facing first time prosecutions, the state of Vermont will allow diversion or alternative sentencing or conditional release. After his probation, the person's criminal record will be clean from any charge.

As of January 2018, Vermont has voted in favor of marijuana legalization, allowing adults 21 years and older to possess up to one ounce of marijuana and cultivate up to two mature marijuana plants.


• The law will only apply to first-time offenders

Effects on Workplace Drug Testing

The state of Vermont permits employers to require employees and applicants to take drug test in certain circumstances.

Drug testing for employees may be done if the following circumstances are true:

• There is reasonable cause that a particular employee is under the influence or using drugs.

• The employer or business establishment has an Employee Assistance Program (EAP) for rehabilitation purposes.

• Any employee who tested positive but agrees to undergo rehabilitation through EAP may not be dismissed or terminated.

Drug testing for applicants may be done if the applicant's hiring is based on the condition that he tests negative. In such circumstance, the employer must provide the applicant with a written notice that:

• Explain the drug testing procedure to the applicant

• Contains a list of drugs that he is to be tested

• A note that therapeutic level of any prescribed drug found will not be included in the report

It should be noted that under Vermont's drug testing laws and regulations, employers are not mandated to drug test employees and applicants, and are not permitted to do random drug testing.



Law applies to physicians, patients and caregivers.

Quantity Allowed

Less than or equal to 1 mature or 2 immature plants or 2oz of usable Marijuana.

How Obtained

Growing is permitted but details not specified.

Liability Protections

Physicians, Patients and Caregivers – have an affirmative defense if physician advised use of Medical Marijuana if within quantity permitted by statute. State level criminal penalties on use, possession and cultivation of Marijuana by patients removed effective July 1, 2007.

Statutory Requirements for Authorized Use

Written documentation from physician and Registry Card with photo required. Patients and Caregivers must be registered with Vermont Department of Public Safety (Three Physician Review Board involved in issuance process).

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