Laboratory-based urine testing is the most commonly used technology in workplace drug testing in North America for the following reasons:
Laboratories used by leading drug and alcohol testing companies (including CannAmm) are SAMHSA certified. There are only two such certified laboratories in Canada. SAMHSA is the gold standard certification in North America. To achieve this, a laboratory must meet very rigid inspection, performance, and QA standards. As a result, testing data by SAMHSA laboratories can be trusted as accurate and defensible in the court of law.
These are protocols accepted by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS). The DHHS act as the regulatory body governing the standard adhered to by SAMHSA certified laboratories. This further supports the legal defensibility of the testing process and results.
These are marijuana, cocaine, amphetamines/methamphetamine, ecstasy, phencyclidine, and opiates (6 AM). This standard panel is required for U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) testing and is accepted by the Constructions Owners Association of Alberta (COAA) model. It has also held up under legal challenge.
With the use of the standard cutoff levels, an employee who has been exposed to marijuana smoke passively will not receive a positive result.
All SAMHSA laboratories must have approved procedures for testing. They are also required to perform testing using the DHHS approved cutoff levels. The cutoff levels are designed to protect employees from events such as passive inhalation of marijuana smoke, use of over the counter medications, and other exposures not related to substance use or abuse. Cutoff levels have scientific studies to back up the fact that a test will not be positive due to passive inhalation of marijuana smoke. It will only be positive if the employee has actively smoked marijuana.
SAMHSA laboratory testing and cutoff values have been upheld as accurate in numerous court cases and arbitration. By using the standard recognized protocols, there is less risk of a legal challenge and strong long-term evidence that stands to this assumption.
With the utilization of standard practices and procedures, there are clearly defined methods that need to be followed for collection of specimens, laboratory testing, and Medical Review Officer reviews. There are expert witnesses available for each of the steps in the process that can testify to, and verify, that each step in the testing process followed the standards of practice.
Laboratory-based urine testing is the widely accepted best practice in drug testing, as demonstrated by its frequent adoption by leading safety-conscious organizations. Within the COAA Canadian Model, laboratory-based urine testing is compliant with all forms of accepted testing situations. This includes pre-employment, site-access, post-accident, reasonable cause, and random testing. In the majority of all collection agreements, laboratory-based urine testing is compliant.