The End of Cannabis Drug Testing? – Even Drug Test Kit Makers Are Dropping Weed Testing and Prioritizing Fentanyl Instead

November 12, 2023 · Cannabis.net

A leading supplier of drug testing kits recently revealed an updated screening panel that excludes cannabis testing and places a greater emphasis on fentanyl detection. Psychemedics, a company based in Massachusetts known for manufacturing the first commercially viable hair drug test in 1986, announced on Friday the launch of a new five-panel drug screen.

They aim to shift the focus away from marijuana testing and towards addressing the growing threat of fentanyl. This change comes in response to the evolving legal landscape concerning cannabis laws at the national level and the alarming rise in fentanyl overdose rates.

According to Psychemedics, the current methods of drug testing are outdated and fail to cater to the requirements of both employers and employees. Furthermore, they point out that conventional drug tests are not as effective in detecting fentanyl when compared to traditional opioids.

In light of the ongoing labor shortage and the evolving legal status of marijuana in 49 states, it is evident that the need for change is pressing. Psychemedics, in a press release, expressed that traditional 5-panel drug tests, which have remained rooted in a four-decade-old framework, have not adapted to the contemporary drug market and are incapable of detecting the increasing presence of fentanyl.

Notably, Psychemedics’ hair-based drug tests outperform urine tests in detecting substances other than cannabis. According to their press release, the new drug screening panels exhibit a 25-fold increase in effectiveness for identifying opioids, a 23-fold improvement in cocaine detection accuracy, and a 13-fold enhancement in pinpointing amphetamine use.

The President and CEO of Psychemedics emphasized in a statement that these updates and alterations to a traditionally entrenched practice have become imperative due to shifting perceptions of workplace and public risk associated with cannabis usage in comparison to the dangers and risks posed by fentanyl.

Brian Hullinger, President and CEO of Psychemedics, commented on the profound transformation in workplace challenges, particularly in the interplay between marijuana and fentanyl. He stated, “Few workplace challenges have experienced such a remarkable shift, and in recognition of this change, Psychemedics has developed the Advanced 5-Panel to bridge the gap.”

This announcement followed a study that Psychemedics claimed incorporated data from over 1 million drug screenings. In contrast to traditional urine testing, which can detect cannabis presence within a range of a few days to approximately a month, hair testing has historically been a point of contention for cannabis users. Their hair follicles can sometimes yield positive results for cannabis use, even several months after consumption.

Objective of The Tests

The objective of these novel tests is to redefine the existing standard by delivering a more precise assessment compared to urine testing, all while avoiding the stigma of disproportionately scrutinizing cannabis users. The press release confirms that the updated testing method has already received FDA approval.

The press release further stated that for decades, Psychemedics has maintained its position as a pioneer in innovation, continually addressing the changing requirements of our clients. The Advanced 5-Panel Drug Screen encapsulates this tradition, presenting clients with a cost-effective solution to align their testing procedures with evolving priorities and workplace policies.

This development represents a significant stride for individuals who use cannabis recreationally outside of their work hours. Nevertheless, Psychemedics is just one of numerous companies in the drug test kit industry.

According to a report by Global Market Insights, the drug testing market was valued at $6.2 billion in 2022. It is projected to grow by 16.3% in the coming decade, reaching an estimated $27.1 billion by 2032.

Although certain states, like California, have implemented regulations to restrict an employer’s capacity to penalize employees for cannabis usage, a significant number of states, including those that have legalized recreational cannabis, still lack comprehensive employee safeguards concerning marijuana consumption.

According to their website, Psychemedics provides pre-employment and employee drug screening services to numerous companies, including several listed in the Fortune 500. The company takes credit for pioneering the contemporary and widely adopted practice of using hair for drug screening.

In a statement on the Psychemedics website, Hullinger declared that they pioneered the science that revolutionized the drug testing sector.

About Psychemedics Corporation

Psychemedics Corporation stands as a prominent global provider of cutting-edge hair drug testing solutions for substance abuse. The company is unwavering in its commitment to precision and dependability, striving to uphold the highest standards in substance abuse testing.

For over three decades, Psychemedics has been a pioneering force in the realm of drug testing, having introduced and continually advanced the science of hair testing for substances of abuse. Its services extend to diverse industries on a global scale. These clients trust

Psychemedics’ hair tests because they are the world’s premier and largest provider of hair-based drug testing. The company serves as a reliable resource for shaping policy decisions.

Numerous corporations across the globe depend on Psychemedics’ proprietary technology to fulfill their requirements for pre-employment and employee drug testing. While acknowledged as the gold standard for excellence in hair testing, business leaders choose Psychemedics for its unparalleled deterrence strategies, matchless detection capabilities, and unbeatable return on investment.

Psychemedics’ patented technology enjoys the trust of some of the most renowned Fortune 500 brands, encompassing a broad spectrum of industries. Their client base extends to respected law enforcement agencies, esteemed private academies, Federal Reserve Banks, and public schools, as well as various government and medical research programs.

In addition to these achievements, Psychemedics achieved the distinction of being the first company to introduce a patented home collection hair drug testing service known as the PDT-90. This testing is tailored to parents concerned about their children and potential drug use.

Conclusion

Psychemedics, a leader in drug testing, shifts its focus from cannabis to fentanyl detection with its Advanced 5-Panel Drug Screen. This change responds to evolving legal and public health landscapes. Their hair-based tests outperform urine tests for various substances, driving innovation in a rapidly growing market. Psychemedics’ commitment to adapting to changing priorities while maintaining precision continues to set them apart. (Full Story)

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