DOT Office of Drug and Alcohol Release Policy and Compliance Notice about CBD Products

With changes to the laws regarding the hemp plant and the rise in popularity in products containing CBD, Cannabidiol, the Department of Transportation has released a notice giving guidance in their use.

The notice says that while “hemp-derived products containing a concentration of up to 0.3% tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) are not controlled substances” any product with a concentration of 0.3% THC remains classified as marijuana which is a Schedule I drug under the Controlled Substances Act.

Anyone working in safety-sensitive positions are still subject to drug testing specified under 49 CFR part 40 (Part 40). These positions include pilots, school bus drivers, truck drivers, train engineers, transit vehicle operators, aircraft maintenance personnel, fire-armed transit security personnel, ship captains, and pipeline emergency response personnel, among others. The guidance implies that using products with CBD could result in a positive drug test for THC/marijuana. It also cautions those in safety sensitive positions to verify the contents of all products prior to use as some new products that contain CBD may not clearly indicate that on the label.

The guidance also says, “The labeling of many CBD products may be misleading because the products could contain higher levels of THC than what the product label states. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) does not currently certify the levels of THC in CBD products, so there is no Federal oversight to ensure that the labels are accurate.” And that it “remains unacceptable for any safety-sensitive employee subject to the Department of Transportation’s drug testing regulations to use marijuana. Since the use of CBD products could lead to a positive drug test result, Department of Transportation-regulated safety-sensitive employees should exercise caution when considering whether to use CBD products.” CBD products include oils, supplements, lotions, healthcare items and food products and are being sold in grocery stores, health food stores, salons and spas and online.