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  • Writer's pictureHolly Rainwater

Drug & Alcohol Testing: Marijuana and CBD

Over the past several years, many questions have come up regarding the use of cannabidiol (CBD) and Medical Marijuana. Many states have regulations that differ from the Department of Transportation's (DOT) drug and alcohol testing requirements. Regardless, all DOT Agencies prohibit the use or possession of marijuana regardless of these state laws. Over the past several years, DOT has issued guidance that addresses these discrepancies.

DOT Guidance

On October 22, 2009, the DOT issued a DOT "Medical Marijuana" Notice stating:

We want to make it perfectly clear that the DOJ guidelines will have no bearing on the Department of Transportation’s regulated drug testing program. We will not change our regulated drug testing program based upon these guidelines to Federal prosecutors.

The Department of Transportation’s Drug and Alcohol Testing Regulation – 49 CFR Part 40, at 40.151(e) – does not authorize “medical marijuana” under a state law to be a valid medical explanation for a transportation employee’s positive drug test result.

Medical Review Officers will not verify a drug test as negative based upon information that a physician recommended that the employee use “medical marijuana.”

On February 18, 2020, the DOT Office of Drug and Alcohol Policy and Compliance (ODAPC) issued a DOT "CBD" Notice stating:

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.

View the recording from our webinar about Marijuana and CBD in the DOT industry at our upcoming webinar.

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