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Synthetic Cannabis Detection for Workplace Drug Testing


home_picDetection for synthetic cannabis amongst the workforce can now be accurately tested in New Zealand workplaces, says the NZ Drug Detection Agency’s chief executive Chris Hilson.

Mr Hilson says, “This week the NZDDA received confirmation that the test strips we will use in workplace drug testing to detect synthetic cannabis metabolites have passed verification by an independent accredited AS/NZS 4308 laboratory and have passed the stringent FDA (US Food & Drugs Administration) testing. Until now we haven’t offered this service to our clients as the test strips had not received these verifications. Other providers are promoting this type of testing, but the tests aren’t verified by an accredited laboratory nor are they accurate enough to stand up to a court challenge.

“We believe it’s vitally important that any workplace drug testing is accurate and is undertaken by an accredited provider – to protect both the employer and their workers being tested. We work to the AS/NZS 4308:2008: Procedures for specimen collection and the detection and quantitation of drugs of drugs of abuse in urine. Until this verification was received NZDDA wasn’t prepared to use these test strips for our clients, and their employees, who deserve the best.

“Whilst we don’t have any official figures of the use of synthetic cannabis in New Zealand, we’ve strong anecdotal evidence that its use is on the rise. This means that some synthetic cannabis users will be going to work with the drug’s effects still in their systems – and this can profoundly affect a person’s judgement, particularly in safety-sensitive industries.

“Employers have a responsibility to provide a safe workplace for all. Having the ability to accurately detect synthetic cannabis users in the workplace has got to be good for business and ultimately the New Zealand economy. It’s not something anyone wants to take a chance on.

“With this new accurate synthetic cannabis test now available, New Zealand employers can be assured that testing at their workplaces for synthetic cannabis is carried out to the highest possible standards,” says Mr Hilson.

NZDDA is New Zealand’s only accredited AS/NZS 4308:2008 on-site testing provider; it is considered to be a leader in its field. The company supplies specialised services for organisations that conduct on-site workplace drug and alcohol testing, as well as pre-employment drug testing.

Background: New Zealand Drug Detection Agency (NZDDA)

NZDDA supplies specialised services for companies that conduct on-site workplace drug and alcohol testing. It is the only fully compliant ISO accredited AS/NZS 4308:2008 on-site testing provider in New Zealand and is considered to be the leader in its field.

NZDDA staff are experts in the drug and alcohol testing industry, and include former NZ police officers with significant experience in drug investigation. NZDDA has specialist on-site testing vehicles and are New Zealand’s only accredited on-site drug testing company.

Established in 2005, NZDDA is a New Zealand-owned and operated company; there are 19 branch offices throughout the country.

Last year the NZDDA conducted 52,124 on-site workplace drug tests, up 77.8% from the 29,313 tests carried out in 2010. Of those tested in 2011, 90% were men, compared with 92% in 2010.

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