Philadelphia Cannabis: Drug Testing Impacts April 2021

On April 28, 2021 Mayor Jim Kenney signed Bill # 200625, Amending Title 9 of the Philadelphia Code to prohibit most employers from requiring employment candidates to undergo testing for the presence of marijuana as a condition of employment (“Ordinance”). The effective date of this ordinance is January 1, 2022.

The Ordinance generally provides that it will become an unlawful employment practice for an employer, labor organization or employment agency to require a prospective employee to submit to testing for the presence of marijuana as a condition of employment.

This Ordinance includes numerous exceptions however, including: 1) police officers and other law enforcement positions; 2) any position requiring a commercial driver’s license; 3) any position requiring the supervision of care of children, medical patients, disabled or other vulnerable individuals; and/or, 4) any position in which the employee could significantly impact the health or safety of other employees of the public, as determined by the Philadelphia enforcement agency and set forth in subsequent regulations pursuant to the Ordinance. This last exception is akin to the one found in New York City, where exceptions to the rule continue to grow for safety sensitive positions.

Moreover, the Ordinance does not apply to testing required by any federal or state statute, regulation or order that requires testing of prospective employees, including federal contracts.

The foregoing commentary is not offered as legal advice but is instead offered for informational purposes.  First Advantage is not a law firm and does not offer legal advice.  The foregoing commentary is therefore not intended as a substitute for the legal advice of an attorney knowledgeable of the user’s individual circumstances or to provide legal advice.  First Advantage makes no assurances regarding the accuracy, completeness, currency or utility of the following information.  Regulatory developments and impacts are continuing to evolve in this area.


[1] Sources:  Current Consulting Group and the law: (the text of the bill is not viewable online. To access, download the attachment at that link titled “CertifiedCopy20062501”).

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