Narcotic Detection in Marijuana Legal States

To be eligible to certify a K-9 in narcotic detection you must fall under one of the following:

1) Full time law enforcement or corrections, active military, DOJ, HLS officers with duties as a canine handler.
2) Commissioned part time, reserve officers, with duties as a canine handler. These officers shall upon request for membership provide a written letter of endorsement, on department letterhead, signed by the department head. This letter will outline the canine duties and responsibilities of the officer. The letter must be submitted each year to the official when the handler certifies. The membership is not valid unless the letter is current and on file with the NNDDA.
3) Non law enforcement person/s employed by a private security company or school security department. The company must have appropriate state and DEA licenses or a state private investigator’s license and a background check that must come from their state police agency. Private security personnel must provide the required documentation each time they certify.

You must be 18 years of age or older to certify.

This test will determine the proficiency and reliability of a canine team in the detection of narcotics. No canine team will be dual certified in Narcotics and Explosives by the NNDDA

This addendum certification is only to be used for states that have legalized marijuana and/or hemp.


All K-9’s must find Cocaine and at least one other type of narcotic to certify. Additional types of narcotics can be hidden but they are optional. There will be two (2) stashes of each narcotic in each given area.

Cocaine: minimum amount to be used ten (10) grams per stash, maximum amount to be used twenty-eight (28) grams per stash
Marijuana Minimum amount to be used one fourth (1/4) ounce per stash
Maximum amount to be used two (2) ounces per stash
Other narcotics may be, but not limited to Heroin, Methamphetamine, or Opium.
For these other narcotics the quantities will stay within the limits for Cocaine.

EXAMPLE: A certifying official may hide one (1) stash with ten (10) grams and the second stash must weigh a minimum of (10) grams and up to a maximum of twenty-eight (28) grams. It is the official’s decision on how much each of the stashes will contain, as long as he or she remains within the minimum and maximum amounts set out in the certification standards.

Each handler is responsible for notifying the judges of the type of alert (aggressive or passive), the judges can expect.
There will be only one (1) negative response allowed. The handler will be notified of positive or negative response.

There will be three (3) minutes for each drug search area, once the tree minutes is called the search of that area is over.

The area shall be of indoor nature (building), this area shall be no larger than one thousand (1000) square feet. Inside this area there shall be a section for each narcotic.
EXAMPLE: If a K-9 team is going to certify on four (4) narcotics, there will be four (4) sections, each one containing the respective narcotic.

There will be no narcotic contaminated rewards during certification. EXAMPLE: A K-9 team is in the certification area, the K-9 gives a positive alert, the handler rewards the K-9 with only a non-narcotic contaminated reward. A contaminated reward might be a ball or towel scented with marijuana, cocaine, heroin or any other narcotic.

Certification is valid for one calendar year. There will be thirty day waiting period to attempt to certify again if you fail certification.

All rulings by the certifying officials are final.

Either a NNDDA Judge, Board of Director, Regional Certifying Official or Regional Representative may certify a K-9 team. There may be more than one (1) of these officials at any certification but only one (1) is required for certification.


NNDDA will certify canine teams to a federal, state, or department standard. The team must submit a copy of the standard to the certifying official who must approve the standard prior to certifying the team. The standard must meet or exceed NNDDA Standards. The certifying official will attach a copy of the standard to the yellow certification sheet and retain it for future courtroom testimony. The certification will assist in validating other agencies’ standards.

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