September 17 2019
The use of Cannabidiol (CBD) oil is on the rise and it seems like a new CBD store is popping up in every shopping center these days. Just how closely is it related to marijuana, and will it cause employment related drug tests to pop positive?
Read on to find out:
CBD oil is derived from cannabis and can include percentages of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), which is the chemical that creates the typical “high” associated with marijuana. According to a recent article by the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM), regulation is ambiguous on the exact percentage of THC that constitutes the “legal” limit in CBD oil. This means that CBD oil can definitely affect employment related drug tests.
Because the regulation is vague, it can be difficult to determine whether a positive drug test stemmed from someone using CBD oil with a higher percentage of THC, or whether it came from someone who is regularly using (or abusing) marijuana. This creates a lot of gray area for employers—particularly regarding hiring and workplace injuries when it is common to send employees for drug tests.
If you live in a state where marijuana is legal recreationally or medically, and you want to demonstrate compassion for those who genuinely need to use it, you should implement a formal company policy to be clear who is eligible and how much leeway employees have. Your policy should address whether using marijuana or CBD oil is permitted on company property, and it should also stipulate that employees are required to carry a valid medical marijuana card and/or provide a doctor’s note supporting their need to use it to treat a particular condition.
It’s also good to know that you may choose to follow federal law which prohibits the use of marijuana all together—and this can include CBD products with higher concentrations of THC. If you have offices operating in multiple states, or even international locations, it is wiser to follow federal law to avoid confusion resulting from having policies that vary by location.
You can also choose to follow federal law even if you have an office in a state where marijuana is legal. This is often the safest option from a risk standpoint.
The bottom line for employers is that you should have a policy on marijuana and related substances like CBD oil. This gives you the most protection when navigating hiring decisions, workplace accidents, and performance issues among employees.
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