Department Of Transportation Issues Notice Clarifying CBD Policy

United States Department of Transportation (USDOT) has outlined its position regarding workers who want to use cannabidiol (CBD).

USDOT on Tuesday issued a notice addressing questions about whether the Department allows safety-sensitive employees, who are subject to drug testing, to use CBD products containing less than 0.3 percent delta-9 tetrahydrocannabinol (THC).

USDOT says that safety-sensitive positions that require drug testing under 49 CFR part 40 include pilots, school bus drivers, truck drivers, train engineers, transit vehicle operators, aircraft maintenance personnel, fire-armed transit security personnel, ship captains, pipeline emergency response personnel, and others.

In the notice, USDOT states that it “tests for marijuana and not CBD,” but encouraged those who decide to use CBD products to exercise caution.

USDOT stressed that it is still against policy for safety-sensitive employees who are subject to drug testing regulations to use cannabis or cannabis products that contain more 0.3 percent THC.

“It remains unacceptable for any safety-sensitive employee subject to the Department of Transportation’s drug testing regulations to use marijuana,” states the notice. “Since the use of CBD products could lead to a positive drug test result, the Department of Transportation-regulated safety-sensitive employees should exercise caution when considering whether to use CBD products.”

According to USDOT, improper labeling and a lack of relevant federal oversight mean that CBD products could contain higher levels of THC than indicated, which the Department says could result in a positive drug test.

USDOT says that CBD use is not a legitimate medical explanation for a lab-confirmed, THC-positive on a drug test, so Medical Review Officers will verify the results that confirm as positive at the appropriate cutoff points, even if an employee claims to have only used CBD.