Workplace testing shows Colorado pot use up 'dramatically'

Posted at 11:07 AM, May 19, 2017

DENVER – Employers in Colorado are increasingly struggling to fill positions that require applicants to pass a drug test, a new report shows.

Quest Diagnostics, the nation’s largest drug screening company, released a reportthis week that shows marijuana use among job applicants in Colorado is up “dramatically.”

According to the annual Drug Testing Index, Colorado saw an 11 percent increase last year in the amount of pre-employment urine and hair tests returning positive for THC. The marijuana positivity rate in Colorado was 2.90 percent in 2016, compared to 2.61 percent in 2015.

Washington, which legalized recreational marijuana the same year, showed a 9 percent increase in marijuana positive tests. That state’s rate in 2016 was 3.08 percent.

Quest says the increase in both states outpaced the national average, which increased only 4 percent in 2016, and coincides with an overall national increase in illicit drug use.