Does Costco Drug Test?

Costco is known for being a great place to work, with competitive pay and excellent benefits. But as a prospective employee, you may be wondering – does Costco drug test? It’s a reasonable question to ask. The answer is not simply yes or no. 

Costco aims to balance privacy and safety through its drug testing policies. Requirements vary by location and position. Some roles mandate pre-employment testing, while others may test only if there is reasonable suspicion of drug use. 

This approach aligns with Costco’s commitment to maintaining a healthy workforce. But it also raises understandable concerns for employees. However, you need to know what is the right answer and when you will get under drug testing during your employment at Costco. Let’s find out all the answers in this post.

About Costco Company

Costco is now one of the largest membership-only warehouse club retailers in the United States. But it started small, founded on September 15, 1983, by James Sinegal and Jeffrey Brotman. Based in Issaquah, Washington, Costco merged with Price Club in 1993 to expand its warehouse offerings. 

Today, Costco operates over 800 warehouses worldwide, providing members with low prices on everything from groceries to furniture. 

They are known for treating employees well, with generous compensation and benefits. Costco’s business model has clearly resonated with customers looking to save. 

From humble beginnings just 40 years ago, it now boasts over 100 million cardholding members globally. Costco’s growth and success stem from its founders’ original vision back in 1983.

Does Costco Drug Test?

Yes, there will definitely be a drug test when you apply for a job at Costco. There is no way to skip that test and you also have to pass it in order to get the job.

Does Costco Drug Test

Costco has clearly stated in its drug testing policy that you have to pass a drug test if you are willing to work with Costco. If you deny the test you will not get any job position.

However, the time of the drug testing comes when you go for the second interview. In that interview, if you pass it, HR will ask you to take a drug test.

Also, you need to go directly to the drug lab right after completing the interview.

What Does Costco Drug Test For?

When Costco drug tests employees, they screen for a variety of substances. Tests check for drugs both legal and prohibited. Costco aims to ensure a safe work environment free of impairment. 

Standard tests often look for five main drug groups. These include amphetamines like meth and ecstasy, as well as cocaine. Opiates such as heroin, morphine, and codeine are included too. Marijuana is another common drug screened for. 

Finally, tests detect benzodiazepines like Valium and Xanax. Specific test panels can vary. However, Costco wants to deter the use of substances that endanger workers. While details differ by site, standard tests cast a wide net. 

Employees subject to screening should be aware it goes beyond just illegal drugs. Even prescription meds, if abused, could potentially show up.

Do Entry-level Positions Also Have to Take Drug Tests?

Yes, even entry-level employees at Costco are subject to drug testing. Costco wants to ensure a safe, healthy environment for all staff roles. So pre-employment screening applies to positions like cashier, stocker, food court attendant, and more. 

For many applicants, it may be their first job. However, Costco’s standards remain consistent across experience levels. New hires should be prepared to pass a drug test before officially joining the company. 

The policy aims to deter use and impairment in the workplace. Costco makes some exceptions for certain medical marijuana patients. However, recreational use is still prohibited. While drug testing entry-level workers may seem strict, it reflects Costco’s values. They invest in developing employees and want everyone to succeed in a supportive setting.

What Type of Drug Test Does Costco Use?

When Costco conducts employee drug testing, they utilize saliva-based tests. This method analyzes an oral fluid swab to detect recent drug use usually 6 to 48 hours ago. Compared to urine testing, saliva collection is quicker and less invasive. 

The swab can show drug usage within the past few days. Saliva testing has some advantages for employers like Costco. It is harder to cheat and often seen as less embarrassing. However, saliva tests cannot detect long-term use. Urine analysis still plays a role in Costco’s program, depending on the circumstances. 

However, the oral swab allows for simpler and more discreet screening. As drug testing policies evolve, saliva testing offers a balance of accuracy and ease.

Does Costco Allow Marijuana?

Unlike some major retailers like Amazon, Costco does not allow any use of marijuana – including medical marijuana – for its employees. Their drug testing screens specifically for THC, the main active compound in cannabis. 

So even employees in states where medical or recreational marijuana is legal will not test positive at Costco. Their substance abuse policy prohibits being under the influence of THC on the job. Costco maintains that allowing marijuana could impact workplace safety and productivity. While they aim to support employees, the ban reflects their conservative values. 

However, with marijuana laws rapidly evolving, Costco’s strict anti-marijuana stance may need revisiting. As societal attitudes shift, more retailers are reconsidering absolute bans – especially for medical use.

What About Background Check?

In addition to drug screening, Costco also conducts background checks on new hires. This helps ensure a safe, secure workplace. Costco’s background checks are fairly standard for the retail industry. 

They verify identity and previous employment. Most importantly, criminal history is reviewed by court records. Checks flag convictions, charges, or active warrants that could impact suitability. While background checks are common practice today, some critiques persist. 

Critics argue they unjustly penalize ex-offenders trying to gain employment. But companies like Costco use them cautiously – focusing on risks relevant to the position duties. Candidates always get a chance to explain their situation fully. In the end, Costco aims to provide second chances where possible. Background checks just offer one piece of data when evaluating applicants as a whole.


Prospective job applicants at Costco should familiarize themselves with the necessary screening processes such as drug tests and background checks. These procedures are in place to maintain a safe working environment but also have implications for applicants’ privacy. 

Costco strives to strike a balance between security requirements and being a supportive employer. Ultimately, having a clear understanding of Costco’s policies empowers job seekers to make well-informed choices.

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