How To Find A Job That Doesn’t Drug Test

Anthony Pellegrino
July 27, 2021

The information is provided for informational purposes only and does not relieve readers of their obligation to obtain qualified medical, legal or other professional advice.

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For some time now, marijuana legalization has been sweeping the country. While this is both incredible and long overdue, it does not do much good when some jobs and companies conduct pre-employment drug tests. After all, there are very few people who can live without a job and an income. Not to mention the fact that you do need money to buy cannabis! 

It can be hard enough to find a job in this economy. This undoubtedly is made all the harder for medical marijuana patients or recreational users who are often asked to pass a drug test before being offered employment. The financial constraints involved with such a situation are often difficult enough to push people away from marijuana entirely. But, have no fear! Times are changing, and with it: workplace drug testing policies. There are numerous companies and types of jobs that don't drug test their potential employees. We have curated a list of both in this article to help MMJ patients or recreational users find employment without any worry.


10 Types of Jobs That Don't Drug Test

There are a variety of industries and jobs that don't routinely drug test for various reasons. Companies are finding that, as more states legalize marijuana, more job candidates are marijuana users. Many have decided they cannot afford to turn away potential employees because they use cannabis. This is not ubiquitous among all these jobs or industries, but, generally speaking, cannabis users should have no problem getting the following positions: 

online jobs like freelancers and web designers dont normally drug test
  1. Restaurant Cook: Chefs employed in restaurants or eateries will rarely need to pass a marijuana drug test before they are hired. Usually, the fast pace of the food industry means that restaurants cannot afford the expense, nor do they find it necessary to find suitable job candidates. If you are a cannabis user with some cooking skills, restaurant chef positions are available to you. 
  1. Restaurant Server/Manager: Chefs are not the only people in the restaurant who are exempt from drug tests. Servers rarely need to pass a test before being offered employment. The same can be said of restaurant managers. Profit margins are very slim for most establishments, which makes routine drug testing impractical or financially impossible.
  2. Accountant: The drug testing policies of various accounting firms may differ, but being an accountant allows one to contract out to your own clients and customers. Those accountants who work for themselves do not need to worry about passing a drug test while still making a comfortable income. 
  3. Personal Trainer - Personal trainers and fitness instructors are also usually exempt from marijuana drug tests. They may need to take others, but cannabis tests are rarely mandated by gyms or fitness centers. Not to mention that personal trainers can also find their own clients and work for themselves, much like accountants can.
  4. Beauty industry: Most salon and spa jobs within the beauty industry are also friendly to cannabis-using candidates. This is for many of the same reasons as previously mentioned; drug testing is often too costly and turns away too many qualified candidates. And like personal trainers and accountants, beauty professionals often can work for themselves and acquire their own clientele.
  5. Retail Sales Associate: Cashiers and other retail sales workers will rarely need to submit to a drug test. These jobs include those who work in grocery stores, department stores, convenience stores, and more. The good news is that these jobs are typically entry-level and relatively easy to find but are usually low-paying. 
  6. Software Developer or Engineer: The majority of tech companies do not require potential software developers or programmers to pass a drug test. The mindset of these companies is that cannabis use is not relevant to their work and, in this case, would make it very difficult to find talented programmers.
  7. Freelancer: Many of the previously mentioned occupations are advantageous for freelancing, which naturally involves no drug tests. The most common jobs freelancers hold are software engineers, web developers, graphic designers, writers, consultants, and more. Ultimately, the surest way to avoid any employment-related drug tests is by working for yourself.
  8. Web Designer/Developer: Like software developers, web designers and developers also can work for themselves and avoid drug tests. However, the protocol at many large tech companies today is to not drug test for in-demand tech positions. The tech sector can be very competitive, and most skilled developers can afford to be selective with their potential employers. Not only that, web developers/designers can also work remotely, which makes pre-employment drug tests exceedingly unlikely.
  9. Graphic Designer: Graphic designers, along with most creatives, rarely need to pass drug tests before being hired. Ultimately, hiring managers will be concerned with their candidates' portfolios and level of talent. Whether they use marijuana or not does not take up serious consideration. In fact, it may just be expected that the majority of graphic designers and artists use cannabis to some degree. These positions also make freelancing and remote work possible. 


Companies That Don't Drug Test

Now that we have covered the kinds of jobs that do not conduct drug screenings, let us take a closer look at the companies cannabis users could be employed at:

Amazon

Amazon just announced that they will no longer be testing for marijuana use for any of its jobs not regulated by the department of regulation. There was actually a proposed class action suit against them in New York City claiming that they had been violating the city's laws by testing workers for marijuana at local facilities. In light of the trend moving toward more states legalizing cannabis and disallowing drug testing for marijuana, Amazon is dropping marijuana testing for all jobs that don't involve driving, operating heavy machinery or other safety sensitive tasks.


Starbucks

Starbucks is one of the largest companies that does not conduct pre-employment cannabis tests. This is most likely because many of their positions are for baristas which are held by younger people. Marijuana use is prevalent among young people, especially, and mandating employees pass a drug test would present hiring difficulties for Starbucks. For this reason, a job at Starbucks could be an attractive option for medical marijuana patients and recreational users. Not to mention the fact that Starbucks offers their employees many perks, including tuition assistance, health coverage, and 401k benefits. 


Apple Inc.

The world-famous computer company, founded by Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak in 1976, does not drug test new employees. However, the company will conduct drug testing if they deem it necessary. Testing positive for marijuana or other drugs could lead to disciplinary actions. Apple Inc. is a serious company that cares about its reputation. Being one of the most valuable and successful tech companies the world has ever seen, they also have the liberty to be picky with their candidates. So, while cannabis-using candidates can receive job offers from the company, they must be on their best behavior. Showing up to work under the influence, for example, is not acceptable and can result in a mandatory drug test and potential job loss. 


Google 

Much of the same can be said about one of Apple's counterparts: Google. Widely considered one of the best companies to work for, Google also does not conduct pre-employment drug tests. The culture at Google is very much colored in a very west coast way, where marijuana is both legal and popular with most people. As a result, Google has a pretty tolerant attitude towards cannabis users within their ranks. Nevertheless, Google's Code of Conduct is pretty clear in that substance abuse "is incompatible with the health and safety of our employees, and we don’t permit it." If it becomes evident that your cannabis use is affecting your responsibilities, the company may ask for a drug screening. 


Twitter 

Another company considered by many to be one of the best to work for is another tech giant: Twitter. Many of their employees state that their work leaves them feeling satisfied and fulfilled with ample opportunity for improvement and advancement. Being continuously on the hunt for new talent to join their ranks, Twitter also forgoes the pre-employment drug test. In the wake of the COVID-19 Pandemic, Twitter has also announced that their remote work policies are being made permanent. This, of course, renders pre-employment drug testing even more unnecessary for the company. 


Microsoft 

Microsoft, like many of its contemporaries, does not drug test new employees. As a matter of fact, there is an old story in which Bill Gates was asked if Microsoft would drug test its employees. He apparently joked that doing so would mean losing too many of their senior executives. So, the company has not conducted pre-employment drug screenings and continues not to. So long as the work is done and marijuana use does not interfere with any work-related duties, Microsoft has no issue with what their employees do in their free time. 


Taco Bell

Taco Bell is one of the largest fast-food chains that does not engage in drug tests for their new employees. This is not to say that drug tests are never conducted by Taco Bell. If there is reasonable suspicion or a workplace accident because of drug use, for example, a test will most likely be required. But most of the jobs offered by Taco Bell are entry-level or unskilled labor, of which many are held by younger people. Like many previously mentioned companies, whether a candidate uses marijuana or not is not a big priority for the company. As a worker rises up the ranks into managerial positions, however, a drug screening may be requested. 


Chipotle

Chipotle, one of the most popular burrito chains in the US, does not drug test new employees. With tens of thousands of employees at countless locations throughout the country, Chipotle routinely makes the list of best places to work in the food industry. The company treats its employees well, offering healthcare, educational perks, and opportunities for advancement. The generosity they provide to the members of their team is exceptional compared to their competitors. Part of this includes excluding drug screenings from their hiring processes. 


Target

When it comes to retail jobs, Target is one of the largest supermarket chains without pre-employment drug tests. This has not always been the case. Changes to their drug-testing program were made in the past few years. Now, besides those who work in safety-sensitive warehouse jobs or the loss prevention department, no Target employee will need to pass a drug test. With thousands of stores in the US and elsewhere, Target is an option for those cannabis users looking for a job. Not to mention the higher starting pay that the company offers its new employees. 


Planet Fitness

Planet Fitness, like some other large fitness brands, does not drug test new employees. If you are a personal trainer or fitness coach that enjoys cannabis, you should consider applying at Planet Fitness. Chances are, given the size of the company, there is a gym in your local area. Nevertheless, it must be remembered that the duties of personal trainers and fitness coaches are to prevent their clients from injuring themselves during workouts. So, while the company may tolerate your personal marijuana use, if you are under the influence in the workplace or your conduct leads to an injury, Planet Fitness may mandate a drug test and take disciplinary action.


Petsmart

Another retail giant that excludes drug testing is Petsmart. Unlike other retail companies, Petsmart has many unique positions for animal lovers, such as groomers or caretakers. A job at Petsmart maybe for you if you both love animals and marijuana. It could also be an excellent jumping point for an animal-related career. 


Types of Jobs That Do Routinely Drug Test

These are, of course, not the only kinds of jobs or companies that do not drug test their candidates. However, in contrast, there are some kinds of employers that always drug test before offering employment. Cannabis users should be mindful of these employers during their job search. 


Safety-Sensitive Positions

While some it is often at the discretion of the employers whether to require drug tests or not, others have no choice. In many cases, companies whose workers are employed in "safety-sensitive positions" are bound by law to conduct pre-employment drug screenings. Routine drug tests during employment are also commonplace for safety-sensitive jobs. A particular position is considered "safety-sensitive" if the job performance of the employee has the chance of affecting the safety of themselves or their fellow co-workers. A forklift operator, flight attendant, and mechanical engineer are all examples of safety-sensitive positions. These workers are barred from ever performing their job duties while under the influence of marijuana. Otherwise, the safety of themselves and others are at risk. Unless you are willing to give up marijuana use entirely, safety-sensitive jobs as a whole are off the table. 


Federal or Government Jobs

Cannabis is still listed as a Schedule 1 substance by the DEA and Federal Government. This means that the Federal Government does not recognize the legality of marijuana legalization laws and consequently bars all their employees from using cannabis. In fact, the US Government has made this explicit with the Drug-Free Workplace Act of 1988, which states that all federal workplaces must be drug-free workplaces. Not only that but any company or organization that receives federal funding must also mandate drug-free workplaces. As such, you should neglect federal and government jobs from your job search if you wish to continue to use cannabis. You should also conduct preliminary research on companies that may receive federal contracts or grants before applying, as they will inevitably ask for a drug screening. 


Drug-Free Workplaces

It should be noted that in most of the marijuana legalization laws, an employer's ability to mandate a drug-free workplace remains unchallenged. Business owners can, if they choose, require their prospective employees to test negative for cannabis use before making an offer of employment, even if they are legal medical patients. Generally speaking, these companies should be easy to spot during the job hunting process. Most include this requirement directly somewhere in the job description. 


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So, there you have it: our overview of the jobs and companies that do not require passing a drug test. It is, of course, not a comprehensive list. Dozens of other professions and organizations are weed-friendly nowadays. As the legalization of marijuana is underway, the stigma that has long been attached to it is slowly disappearing. It has become clear to most companies that the potential loss of talent that comes with mandating a marijuana-free workforce is much too great. Yet, this is not the case everywhere. You can still find plenty of jobs and workplaces that will require a negative drug test result for various reasons. However, with this guide as a starting point, those recreational and medical cannabis users can navigate the labor market and find a position that can suit them.

If you're searching for a new job right now to avoid drug testing, you might want to read our guides on weed tolerance breaks and how to pass a drug test, too. They might be enough to help you keep a clean resume while you find that next job.


Anthony Pellegrino
Anthony Pellegrino is a freelance journalist, writer, and content marketing strategist. He is currently studying to get his B.A. in philosophy at Fort Hays State University. He is a content creator for several marketing agencies, brands, and tech startups. His writing is focused on content marketing, technology, philosophy of mind, metaphysics, politics, career planning, and of course, cannabis. Academically, Anthony is focused on A.I., Consciousness, Social Sciences, and Philosophy.

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