Vigilant Blog

News, trends and analysis in employment law, HR, safety & workers' comp

Mar 10, 2020

DOT confirms CBD use doesn’t excuse positive marijuana test

Drug and Alcohol 

The U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) recently issued a bulletin confirming that using a product containing cannabidiol (CBD) isn’t a valid excuse for testing positive for tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) under DOT rules. Both products are derived from marijuana; THC has psychoactive effects, while CBD doesn’t. The cannabis industry is poorly regulated and as we previously reported, it’s not unusual for CBD products to contain undisclosed amounts of THC.
Tips for Employers: If you employ DOT-regulated workers such as commercial motor vehicle (CMV) drivers who need a commercial driver’s license in their job, share DOT’s bulletin with them. “Buyer beware” should be their motto when purchasing products containing CBD. They need to understand that even in states where recreational or medical marijuana is legal, testing positive for marijuana on a DOT-required drug test is a violation of DOT rules. For CMV drivers, as we previously reported, positive test results are now reported to a national database, the Drug and Alcohol Clearinghouse, which is administered by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), an agency within DOT. See our Legal Guide, Federal Motor Carrier Safety Requirements and Model Form, DOT Drug and Alcohol Testing Policy for Drivers.

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