Frederick County, MD Ceases Pre-Employment Cannabis Testing: A Shift Towards Employment Equity

Jump to a section
Expand list

In a move aimed at fostering employment equity, Frederick County, Maryland, has taken a progressive step by eliminating pre-employment drug screening for most public employees. This decision, announced recently by city officials, marks a significant policy shift in response to evolving attitudes towards cannabis use.

Under the updated policy, only applicants vying for certain "safety-sensitive" positions, such as law enforcement roles, will be subject to pre-employment drug testing for cannabis and other controlled substances. This adjustment comes as part of broader efforts to align local employment practices with Maryland's updated legislation, which legalized cannabis production, sale, and use, but without explicit workplace protections for off-duty consumption.

Frederick County, home to approximately 287,000 residents and employing around 3,400 individuals, aims to reduce barriers to employment that previously hindered job seekers. County Executive Jessica Fitzwater emphasized that removing these testing requirements was crucial in eliminating unnecessary obstacles to job opportunities.

The move in Frederick County reflects a national trend where municipalities and counties are reevaluating their cannabis policies, particularly regarding employment. Cities like Atlanta, Cleveland, the District of Columbia, Philadelphia, and St. Louis have already ceased pre-employment marijuana screening for most public sector roles. Similarly, statewide legislative efforts in Michigan, Nevada, and Washington have halted such testing altogether.

However, legislative efforts to provide broader workplace protections for cannabis users who consume off-duty did not progress in Maryland this year, underscoring ongoing debates around balancing public safety concerns with individual rights.

The decision by Frederick County to end pre-employment cannabis testing highlights a growing recognition of the need for fair and equitable employment practices, particularly in light of shifting legal landscapes surrounding cannabis use across various states.

As the national discourse on cannabis continues to evolve, Frederick County's policy change stands as a testament to its commitment to fostering inclusive hiring practices and removing barriers that disproportionately impact certain job seekers.

This decision is expected to have ripple effects, prompting further discussions and potential policy shifts in other jurisdictions grappling with similar issues of employment and cannabis regulation.

For more updates on Frederick County's evolving policies and its impact on local employment practices, stay tuned.


Find lasting sobriety at Avenues.

Call us anytime. Seriously.


Fully covered by
most insurances

Inpatient and
outpatient options

10 locations
across the US

I can't talk now—call me later Does my insurance cover this?

Check your insurance

We received your insurance request!

We will get back to you shortly. While you wait... you may find our resource blog helpful. Take a look below: