The Department of Transportation recently published a notice clarifying existing requirements under the law concerning CBD oil and their agency policies.
In December of 2018 the Farm Bill or Agriculture Improvement Act of 2018 was passed. This bill removed hemp from the definition of marijuana under the Controlled Substances Act. Under the Farm Bill, hemp-derived products containing a concentration of up to 0.3% tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) are not controlled substances. THC is the primary psychoactive component of marijuana. Any product, including “Cannabidiol” (CBD) products, with a concentration of more than 0.3% THC remains classified as marijuana, a Schedule I drug under the Controlled Substances Act.
Can DOT regulated safety-sensitive employees use CBD products?
User beware. “It remains unacceptable for any safety-sensitive employee subject to the Department of Transportation’s drug testing regulations to use marijuana.” states in the notice. Since use of CBD products could lead to a positive THC (marijuana) drug test result, safety-sensitive employees should exercise extreme caution if and when using CBD products if their use is not already prohibited in your employee handbook.
Currently, it is important for DOT employers and safety-sensitive employees to remember:
- The Department of Transportation requires testing for THC (marijuana) not CBD. With some CBD products having a THC concentration, it is possible for a THC positive drug test result.
- The labeling of many CBD products can be misleading due to the products potential of containing higher levels of THC then the product states. There is currently no governing body verifying levels of THC in CBD products.
- DOT Rule 49 CFR Part 40 states the use of Schedule I drugs, including THC (marijuana) is prohibited for any reason. It also states how CBD is not a legitimate medical explanation for a laboratory-confirmed THC positive result. Medical Review Officers (MRO’s) will verify the drug test confirmed at the appropriate cutoffs as positive even if an employee claims their THC positive result is from use of a CBD product.