As experts in occupational testing, we ensure that we are completely transparent and happily respond to all questions. If you have questions about any of our services and don’t find the answers here, please contact us. Below are some common questions about:

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Drug and Alcohol Testing

For a DOT new hire, when is a pre-employment DOT drug test NOT required?

If the driver has participated in a drug testing program that meets the requirements of the DOT FMCSR part 382 with a previous employer in the last 30 days and has been tested for drugs in the past 6 months, a pre-employment history form must be submitted to CannAmm. Then we will activate the employee in your employee random pool without having to send the employee for a pre-employment drug test. Contact us for a copy of the pre-employment history form or you can contact our Client Care group and they will be happy to provide you with a copy. In all other cases, the employee needs a pre-employment test. When the employee’s negative results are reported, we will enter the employee in your random pool.

What is the procedure for detecting adulterants in urine drug testing?

Adulterants can be detected at the time of collection and/or during the laboratory analysis. Collectors are trained and certified to follow DOT guidelines and protocols enabling them to proficiently complete the Chain of Custody forms as well as to identify samples that are tampered with. Collectors are trained to monitor urine samples for temperature, unusual colour or odour, foreign substances, or tampering and substitution.

What is a direct observation and when is it required?

A direct observation procedure is a routine collection procedure with the additional requirement that a same-gender observer watches the employee urinate into the collection container. An observed collection is required when the employer directs the collector or collection site to conduct a collection under direct observation, when a collector observes materials brought to the collection site, the employee’s conduct clearly indicates an attempt to tamper with the specimen, or the temperature of the urine sample is out of range.

Recently some worksite testing standards have changed to move from the standard 5-panel to a 12-panel drug test. Why is this?

12-panel drug testing provides additional screening for safety risks associated with medical (prescription) drugs such as oxycodone, methadone, barbiturates, benzodiazepines, and propoxyphene. The 5-panel drug test tests primarily for prohibited or illegal drugs. It is important to remember that responsibly taken prescription medications are more challenging to link to an actionable safety risk, testing for more substances increases turnaround time, and studies show that there is less than a 1% increase in positive rates because lab-confirmed positive tests are generally overturned by the Medical Review Officer when there is a valid prescription.

Booking Appointments

How long do appointments take?

Table 1

Service Minimum Time Required
Audiogram 15 minutes
Mask Fit Testing (per mask) 15 minutes
Pulmonary Function Testing (PFT) 15 minutes
Blood Draws 15 minutes
Immunization 15 minutes
Physical Examination 40 minutes
Functional Fitness Evaluation (FFE) 60 minutes
Drug Test 15 minutes (to a maximum of 3 hours if shy bladder protocol is required)
Drug and Alcohol Test 15 minutes (to a maximum of 3 hours if shy bladder protocol is required)
*Paperwork required to be filled out by employee* 10 minutes

How many appointments can I expect?

There will be a minimum of two appointments if a functional fitness evaluation (FFE) is included. Otherwise, there may be as many as five or more separate locations for testing in certain areas.

Will all testing be at one location?

Not necessarily. We try to schedule appointments at one location if possible, but FFEs are always scheduled at a separate location. If additional testing is included (mask fit testing, audiogram, drug testing, vision testing, etc.), these may be scheduled at one site or several depending on the location.

What happens if you get to a testing location and they do not have paperwork?

Call us at 1.800.440.0023, option 4. We will re-fax the documentation as soon as possible.

What else could get in the way of testing?

Testing may not occur if the person cancels late, does not show up, does not arrive on time, does not have valid, government-issued photo ID, or has elevated blood pressure. For select occupational testing services, testing may not occur if the person acts in a disruptive, unprofessional, or abusive manner, or arrives unprepared for testing. Please note that children are not allowed in the testing area.

What drug test options are currently available?

Currently, our team at CannAmm offers the following drug testing options: lab-based urine drug testing, express-based urine drug testing, express to lab-based drug testing, lab-based oral fluid drug testing, and urine screen with an oral fluid lab-based test. The panel and testing options selected will be determined by an organization’s Drug and Alcohol testing policy.

What does the donor/employee need to know?

Depending on the testing being completed, individuals are encouraged to arrive at the clinic 10-15 minutes early to complete paperwork. For each service, they can expect the following:

  • Drug and alcohol testing: They must have government-issued photo ID and provide a urine sample.
  • Mask fit testing: Donor/patient must be clean shaven and must avoid smoking 30 minutes prior to appointment. Eyeglasses cannot be work during Full Face Mask Testing. Bring optical lens mask insert to the appointment. 
  • Audiogram: It is recommended that individuals avoid exposure to loud noises for 12-14 hours prior to testing.
  • Vision testing/assessment: Individual must bring glasses/contacts to the appointment (if applicable). 
  • Functional fitness evaluation (FFE): Bring any necessary safety gear, wear comfortable clothing and running shoes. It is recommended that the individuals avoid caffeine/nicotine for two hours prior to the appointment as this can affect their heart rate/blood pressure during the assessment.
  • Immunization: Must bring any previous immunization records. If a Mantoux/TB test is required, the donor/patient will be required to return to the clinic 48-72 hours later for the reading.
  • Physical exam: If the individual wears glasses/contacts they must bring them to the appointment as they will check their vision as part of the medical.
  • Pulmonary function test (PFT): No smoking or vaping two hours prior to test. The individual must bring any inhalers (if applicable). It is recommended not to eat a big meal before the appointment time.


Do I need to be certified to perform drug and alcohol collections?

Yes. To ensure our clients have legally defensible results for drug and alcohol testing, CannAmm collectors are required to be trained in the proper procedures for collections and testing.

Does DOT qualification training apply to drug and alcohol testing in Canada?

DOT qualification training for drug and alcohol collection is the gold standard for training. Some employees (donors) who cross the border to work in the U.S. are required to comply with DOT regulations.

Why is it important for supervisors to be trained in drug and alcohol awareness?

Many companies need to control substance use within the workplace to reduce risk and create a safer work environment. Even if you don’t have a drug and alcohol testing program, education promotes awareness and proactively helps you reduce incidents on the job. With drug and alcohol awareness training, you give everyone on your team the right tools to make their workplace safer and your business more productive by controlling substance abuse within your organization. Our course trains supervisors and managers to properly implement a fit-for-duty program and identify the signs and symptoms of drug and alcohol use, and provides methods and tools to properly initiate reasonable cause testing.

What is the difference between online and face-to-face supervisor drug and alcohol awareness training?

CannAmm offers different delivery methods of training to meet our clients’ needs. Face-to-face training is a four-hour session that can be held at a monthly general training session or offered at a specific company location. Online supervisor training takes about two hours and provides an interactive and flexible training solution to supervisors anywhere and at any time.

Where can I find the general training schedules?

Our training schedules can be found here.


How reliable are drug test results?

A confirmed positive result offers virtually 100% assurance that the specific drug is present in the specimen at a specific level.

How long do drug test results take to get back?

Result timelines depend on the test type completed. Generally, you will receive results in 24-72 hours. For lab-based testing, samples that screen negative typically result within 24 hours once the sample is received at the laboratory. Samples requiring confirmation testing typically result within 72 hours. For express-based testing, if the sample is inconclusive and requires confirmation testing, results may take up to 5 business days. Otherwise, results are typically reported out the same day. Please note –  courier delays can be a factor in delivery; this is beyond our control and typically takes 1-3 business days depending on the city of collection.

What is the process in setting up an account with CannAmm?

To set up an account with CannAmm, contact us at [email protected]. We’ll have you set up and able to schedule appointments within about one hour. There are no fees for setting up an account. The sales representative will help you determine the testing requirements that best suit your company’s policy and/or testing needs and forward you a quote and setup form to be filled out and signed. Once the form is returned, we will provide you with the information required to access our online web reporting and invoicing system. You will be able to schedule appointments right away.

What kind of information do I have to provide?

When you fill out the quote and setup form, we ask you to provide a primary contact for reporting results and account changes, a billing contact, and alternate contacts. You can assign different access permissions such as booking only, access to negative results, or access to all results. You can also assign different reporting methods such as online, phone, or fax. You may also choose to allow donors to book their own appointments and receive negative clearance. A list of testing options and costs will be provided.

As a manager, I’m concerned that a large number of my people will quit when we start a testing program.

Employee awareness training before you implement a testing program can be very helpful. This training allows employees to share their concerns and receive answers. We believe that employees will embrace your drug testing program if the program is explained properly. Additionally, we recommend a roll-out phase with 30 days notice that the program will be implemented, giving employees the opportunity to seek help with substance abuse issues before testing takes place.

Do you use an accredited testing laboratory?

We use Dynacare Workplace, which is accredited by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMSHA), an agency of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), to perform testing for such regulated industries as the U. S. Department of Transportation. This external agency does an on-site review of the laboratory’s processes and procedures every six months. In addition, as part of the ongoing accreditation process, the laboratory tests a set of “proficiency samples” every three months. These samples are used by the accrediting agency to assess the laboratory’s ability to accurately test and report results. The accreditation process ensures the laboratory is held to the highest standard with respect to performing employment-related drug testing.

How do I make changes to our account?

Account changes must be authorized by your primary designated employee representative (DER) and submitted in writing to our Client Care group via email [email protected].  The team can be contacted by phone at 1.800.440.0023, option 9, and we will be happy to help.

Where can I find invoices?

You will find drug and alcohol testing invoices online by logging into your account. Occupational health testing invoices are mailed directly as per your billing information that is on file with us.


How long after use are drugs detectable in a urine test?

Table 2 shows the varying rates at which drugs in the bloodstream are metabolized (broken down) and excreted from the body. Retention time differs among individuals according to many factors, including the amount consumed, the method of drug use, whether use is chronic or occasional, individual rates of metabolism and excretion, diet, the acidity of the urine, and the concentration of the urine at the time the specimen is collected. Because of these variables, the values presented in Table 1 should be used as general guidelines only. Table 2

Drug or Drug Class Approximate Retention Times
Amphetamines 1 – 2 days
Cocaine metabolites 2 – 4 days
Ethanol 2 – 14 hours
Marijuana metabolites Occasional use: 1 – 7 days Chronic use: 1 – 4 weeks
Opiates 1 – 2 days
Phencyclidine (PCP) Occasional use: 1 – 8 days Chronic use: up to 30 days

Is “crack” detected as cocaine?

Yes. “Crack” is a form of cocaine and is detected as a cocaine metabolite.

I know that alcohol testing can measure impairment and drug testing can’t, so why do we drug test?

Drug testing is not intended to measure levels of impairment. Drug tests tell you specific factual information, for example: that specific drug concentration levels have been verified above the established cutoff levels. A test result showing levels above these cutoff levels only indicates a heightened safety risk, not impairment. Additionally, a positive alcohol or drug test cannot tell us if an individual has a dependency issue. For that, we depend on the evaluation of a substance abuse expert.

Is specimen adulteration effective?

Specimen adulteration is a mixture of myth and reality. Most products such as vitamins, herbal preparations, and cleaning agents are not effective. Adulteration products have been developed that interfere with the laboratory’s screening and/or confirmation procedures. However, laboratories have procedures in place to detect the use of interfering substances. Many employers consider adulteration to be a more serious offence than a positive result.

Can prescription drugs cause positive results in drug screenings?

If you are completing a drug test that includes prescription drugs, most commonly known as semi-synthetic opioids, you could test non-negative if over the concentration level. A non-negative result is reviewed by a Medical Review Officer to determine if there is a medical reason for testing over the concentration level. If there is a medical reason, then the test will be resulted as negative with a safety-sensitive advisory. If there isn’t an approved medical reason, then the test will be resulted as positive. There are steps in place to protect individuals if they are using prescription medications as prescribed.

What is the process to administer an ALC drug test?

CannAmm offers two types of alcohol drug tests. We conduct these tests through either a breathalyzer machine or through saliva.

Marijuana is legalized, so why are we testing for it?

Marijuana is one of the five drugs that are part of the standard drug testing panel. Marijuana is proven to affect an individuals’ ability to safely perform their duties on a work site, resulting in accidents and incidents causing death, disability, and destruction of property and the environment. Due to this, it will still be included in the standard drug testing panel. Alcohol is legal and it is tested for, as per the standard.

Is it possible for people to test positive for cannabinoids if they have only passively inhaled marijuana smoke from nearby smokers?

No, the concentration cutoffs for THC have been set so that passive inhalation will not result in a positive test.

What I do at home is my own business. I like to smoke pot at home. I don’t do it at work, but I’m concerned that I will fail the drug test.

What you do at home is your own business. But employers have the right to expect that you are fit for duty when you come to work and that includes not having drugs or alcohol in your body (above the standard).

What happens if I forget my photo identification?

The collector will call CannAmm and we will contact your designated employee representative (DER) to verbally ID you over the telephone by asking personal questions. If the DER is unable to positively confirm your identity, the appointment will be cancelled and a $25 cancellation fee will be applied. Acceptable photo ID includes a valid driver’s licence, employer-issued photo ID, an employment authorization card / green card, firearms licence, government (provincial/federal) issued photo ID, health card (provincially issued), Indian status card, or passport.