The United States Department of Transportation issued a bulletin Tuesday, February 18th, 2020 addressing growing concerns regarding CBD use by commercial drivers.
Having received numerous inquires on whether or not the DOT-regulated safety-sensitive employees can use CBD products. Safety-sensitive employees who are subject to drug testing specified under 49 CFR part 40 includes: pilots, school bus drivers, train engineers, transit vehicle operators, aircraft maintenance personnel, fire-armed transit security personnel, ship captains, and pipeline emergency response personnel and of course, truck drivers.
The bulletin clarified that the DOT requires testing for marijuana, but not CBD products and reminds drivers that the Food and Drug Administration for not certify the levels of THC in CBD. CBD is required to have less than .3% concentration of THC to be legal. Anything above these limits remains a Schedule I drug.
The issue is many drivers who are testing positive for THC in DOT-regulated drug tests after using CBD products that contain higher levels of THC than what the label states. Several drivers have had their employment terminated after testing positive and have filed lawsuits against CBD companies for misleading advertising. Those cases are ongoing.
The bulletin lays out their guidelines. “The Department of Transportation’s Drug and Alcohol Testing Regulation, Part 40, does not authorize the use of Schedule I drugs, including marijuana, for any reason. Furthermore, CBD use 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.
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.”