Just when you thought you had a handle on how your company policies align with laws on medical marijuana, along comes CBD oil.
Cannabidiol, or CBD, comes from either the marijuana plant or the hemp plant. It was made available to consumers by the 2018 Farm Bill, which allows for production and sale of CBD products.
CBD is advertised as an anti-convulsent, anti-diabetic and anti-psychotic, as well as an aid for pain relief, anxiety, depression and sleep.
As a result, the market is booming for CBD products in oil form, vapors, beverages (e.g., coffee K-Cups) and infused edibles (chocolates and gummies).
CBD is not psychoactive, so employees are generally not at risk of getting intoxicated or impaired with use. It can, however, show up on a drug test as marijuana. That’s where your workplace policies come in.
The CBD rub
CBD isn’t regulated by the FDA, although some states, like Texas and Georgia, are starting to legalize and regulate it. In most of the U.S., your employees don’t really know what they’re ingesting with CBD products.
Furthermore, pure CBD oil won’t report a positive result for marijuana in a drug test because tests typically look for tetrahydrocannabinols (THC) levels that are higher than those present in pure CBD.
But some of these unregulated products that tout themselves as “THC-free” or “CBD pure” have been tested to have THC.
That’s why CBD presents the same challenges to employers as medical marijuana, as indicated on JD Supra:
• Do job applicants know what’s in their CBD product? And what impact, if any, does the CBD use have on their employment?
• What if a worker gets a positive drug test result? Even if an employee presents you with a “CBD pure” product as proof, how will you know what really caused the positive result? Are they also using recreational marijuana or unknowingly using CBD spiked with THC?
What to do
Before taking action against CBD users, here are some guidelines when developing a CBD oil company policy:
• Consider revising policies to address CBD use. Employers in states with medical marijuana laws in place may have a duty to accommodate the underlying condition prompting CBD use.
• Train managers. They’ll need to know how to address situations where an employee defends a hot test by using CBD.
Finally, in this evolving landscape, review the laws of your state, work with employment counsel and prepare to be flexible until more CBD rules and regs are in place