How does Colorado rank for cannabis-positive workplace tests? You might be surprised.

An analysis of workforce drug tests by Quest Diagnostics has ranked Colorado 10th in the nation for positive marijuana results.

And the positive marijuana testing rate for Colorado has been increasing for years, Elisa Smith, a public relations professional hired by Quest Diagnostics, said. Quest Diagnostics, a clinical laboratory company, recently analyzed data on the top 10 states for cannabis-positive tests in the workforce.

The analysis stemmed from Quest Diagnostics’ annual Drug Testing Index, which is a study of more than 10 million workforce drug tests conducted by the company. Quest Diagnostics ranked each state based on the test results of the general workforce, which excludes workers such as train conductors who are federally-mandated to get drug tested.

In 2017, 2.94 percent of the general workforce in Colorado tested positive for marijuana. That’s up from 1.86 percent when Quest Diagnostics first started tracking the general workforce’s results.

Between 2011 and 2017, Colorado saw its marijuana positivity test rate increase every year except for 2015 when the rate decreased by .01 percent. Smith said when marijuana is legalized, general workforce positive rates generally increase. In 2014, legal sales of recreational marijuana began in Colorado.

The 2017 Quest Diagnostics analysis found that where both recreational marijuana and medical marijuana is legal — Oregon, Massachusetts, Washington, Nevada and Colorado — all of those states made the top 10 for marijuana-positive rates.

Texas was the only state that made the list of top levels in general workforce marijuana positivity where both medicinal and recreational marijuana remains illegal.

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