The 2024 California Law on Marijuana Testing of Employees and Job Applicants (AB 2188)

Laws about work are constantly changing in California. Laws regarding marijuana testing at work are no exception. California passed Assembly Bill 2188 (AB 2188) on 8/30/22, bringing some important changes regarding how employers can test employees or job applicants for marijuana use and how they treat positive test results. In this blog post, we’ll break down the legal changes in AB 2188 and what it means for workers in California as the law takes effect in 2024.

AB 2188 made several major changes to work laws in California. One big change is employer testing of workers and job applicants for marijuana use, given that recreational use of marijuana was made legal in California in 2018 (Prop 64).

AB 2188 now prohibits employers from requiring tests for marijuana use for job applicants or randomly while employees are working. As usual, there are some exceptions, such as some positions in the building and construction trades or positions where federal government background investigation or security clearance is required.

Getting Fired for Marijuana Tests

With AB 2188, employers can no longer fire, penalize or otherwise discriminate against workers or refuse to hire job applicants because of marijuana use occurring outside of work and away from the workplace. Such actions would be considered illegal unless the employer could prove that any alleged cannabis use did or would impair the employee’s work performance.

Talk to a California Work Lawyer

It is important to note that AB 2188 does have limits and contains certain exceptions. When in doubt about your situation, consider talking with a California labor lawyer.

In the end, Assembly Bill 2188 in California brings big changes to marijuana testing at work and how people can be treated if they use marijuana. It’s good news for workers and job seekers, and it’s important for employees to understand these new rules for a fair workplace. To get personal help with how AB 2188 affects you, reach out to a skilled California labor lawyer. Your rights are protected, and the law is here to keep a fair balance when it comes to marijuana use outside of work.


  1. Mark Manzano on April 25, 2024 at 2:14 pm

    Can a city hall worker now use Marijuana on their off time with the new law?

  2. Dave S on March 12, 2024 at 5:55 pm

    As a non-sworn employee for a sheriff’s office in California, will I be fired if I use CBD or THC after hours? Our sheriff has not given his official email about this issue so far. But, my supervisors have said for me to not attempt it, or it could lead to dismissal.

    • Lenora P on April 23, 2024 at 11:47 am

      Agreed. Technically you would still be considered a federal employee. Probably won’t be able to freely until its decriminalized federally but you can still partake. It is a big risk for your job IF caught.

      If you are going to only ingest it the day that you are tested. 1 hit stays in the system for about a week, so I doubt you would be tested right away again which is why I say LOL its dumb. But believe there’s fellow employees partaking in the activity it is just hush.

  3. Michael Grimm on January 16, 2024 at 2:46 am

    Big box retail company with branches in California required drug testing previously, is this now illegal?

  4. DJ on January 10, 2024 at 7:48 pm

    Can I be fired for a positive THC urine test from AMR in California? The test was done over an accusation about alcohol. Only substance found was THC. What are my options?

    • Jollie on April 23, 2024 at 11:53 am

      What was the outcome of this? Someone accused you of being intoxicated on the job? I would not think you would have many options given you are technically a ‘federal’ Employee. I know accident wise they don’t test you unless there is 5,000+ in damages.

      Marijuana is legal on the state side but federally is still illegal. Confusing how we can have the two at the same time but it is what it is. The AB2188 is really only for non federal employees.

  5. David s Benson on January 1, 2024 at 7:15 pm

    how will they be able to determine active thc or inactive thc so if i smoke some weed the day before i go to work will ibe fired if i get tested the next day im confused

    • Megan on January 5, 2024 at 1:15 am

      David- when is your job drug testing you, it sounds like you are already employed, so what do you mean day before you go to work?

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