DOT Warns Workers About Use of CBD Products

The U.S. Department of Transportation has issued a warning that locomotive engineers and other transportation safety sensitive workers who use legal Cannabidiol products are still subject to being tested for the use of marijuana, which is not permitted by those workers.

In a statement issued by the DOT Office of Drug and Alcohol Policy, the agency said a 2018 federal law removed hemp from the definition of marijuana under the Controlled Substances Act.

However, CBD products may have a concentration of more than 0.3 percent of tetrahydrocannabinol, which is the primary psychoactive component of marijuana.

Federal law now considered products with concentrations of 0.3 percent or less of THC to not be marijuana as defined by federal law.

However, DOT warned that the contents of CBD products is not regulated by the Food and Drug Administration and therefore the amount of THC in a product may be higher than what is indicated on the product’s label.

“It is important for all employers and safety-sensitive employees to know: The Department of Transportation requires testing for marijuana and not CBD,” DOT said in its statement.

The statement said federal law does not allow safety sensitive to use Schedule I drugs, including marijuana, for any reason.

It added that use of CBD is not a legitimate medical explanation for a laboratory-confirmed marijuana positive result.

“Therefore, medical review officers will verify a drug test confirmed at the appropriate cutoffs as positive, even if an employee claims they only used a CBD product,” DOT said.

DOT said safety-sensitive employee subject to drug testing regulations should use caution when consuming CBD products.

Aside from locomotive engineers, other safety sensitive transportation employees subject to drug testing include aircraft pilots, school bus drivers, truck drivers, transit vehicle operators, aircraft maintenance personnel, fire-armed transit security personnel, ship captains, and pipeline emergency response personnel.

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