cbd oil legal for federal employees

CBD and Security Clearances: What do I need to know?

CBD products are a growing trend in the United States and can be made from either hemp or marijuana. In many states, CBD products are readily available over the counter. Oversight of production, however, has not kept up and product labels are not always accurate. This puts employees at significant risk for an unexpected positive drug test and the loss or denial of a clearance. For federal employees, federal contractors, and military members—especially those holding security clearances—the consequences can be devastating.

Q: What is CBD?

A: CBD, formally known as Cannabidiol, is a natural compound found in cannabis plants. Both hemp and marijuana are classified biologically as cannabis; however, hemp does not produce enough THC (tetrahydrocannabinol – the psychoactive intoxicating compound that results in a “high”) to be intoxicating. In the U.S., industrial hemp is defined as a Cannabis sativa L. plant containing 0.3% or less THC.

Q: Is CBD legal in the United States?

A: CBD products made from hemp are legal under federal law pursuant to the Agricultural Improvement Act of 2018.

CBD products made from marijuana are illegal under federal law because marijuana is a controlled substance under the Controlled Substances Act.

State laws vary for both hemp and marijuana products.

The Department of Defense takes the position that all CBD products are “completely forbidden for use by any service member in any of the services at this point of time.” Various military components have issued separate but consistent policies regarding the use of CBD products. For example, Army Regulation 600-85, The Army Substance Abuse Program, prohibits soldiers from using hemp or products containing hemp oil and are also prohibited from using synthetic cannabis, to include synthetic blends using CBD oil, and other THC substitutes (“spice”), or any other substance similarly designed to mimic the effects of a controlled substance. Likewise, the Navy recently reiterated that “all products derived from hemp or marijuana are still prohibited.”

Q: If I use CBD, will I test positive for marijuana?

A: It is possible. According to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), one study showed that nearly 70% of the 84 CBD products tested contained unlabeled ingredients, including THC. This should be an alarm bell for any employee subject to drug testing. Because of the lack of regulation, even hemp-based CBD products could result in a positive drug test.

Q: Can using CBD affect my security clearance?

A:Yes. Unfortunately, as far as the federal government is concerned, a positive drug test is a positive drug test and using drugs while holding a clearance will usually result in the clearance being pulled or denied. At least for now. In a June 2019 memorandum addressing some of the confusion regarding CBD and federal employment, SAMHSA makes it clear: “. . . there is no legitimate medical explanation for a marijuana positive test result other than a verified prescription for [specific FDA-approved drugs] or generic equivalent.” The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) warns that it has approved only one “cannabis-derived” and three “cannabis-related” drug products, all of which require a medical prescription.

To be sure, marijuana is still illegal under federal law and a positive drug test could have serious consequences for federal employees with or without a security clearance— even in states where recreational marijuana is legal under state law.

On December 21, 2021, particularly in response to the changing landscape of marijuana use under state law, Director of National Intelligence Avril Haines issued a memorandum clarifying the guidance provided to adjudicative agencies regarding an individual’s involvement with marijuana. This guidance addresses:

  1. Recency of recreational marijuana use;
  2. Use of cannabidiol (“CBD”) products, such as CBD oils; and
  3. Investment in marijuana-related businesses.

Q: As an employee with security clearance, what should I do if I am considering using an over-the-counter CBD product?

A: Consult with your physician and consider the risk. Losing a security clearance is not just losing one job—it could result in the loss of a career.

KCNF has a team of attorneys with extensive experience handling all aspects of security clearance law. If you have a security clearance or intend to apply for one and have questions, we can help.

See also  what is cbd hemp oil herbal drops used for

Want to know more about security clearances and your rights and obligations? We literally wrote the book on it.

For more information, please check out Security Clearance Law and Procedure by KCNF partners Elaine Fitch & Mary Kuntz.

OPM cautions feds on marijuana use

Past marijuana use is not disqualifying for applicants to federal jobs, but ongoing use in jurisdictions where pot has been legalized or decriminalized is still off limits, OPM states.

  • Hiring
  • OPM
  • Workforce Management

Protesters rally in support of marijuana legalization in front of the White House in April, 2016. (Image credit: Rena Schild / Shutterstock.com)

The Democratic Party platform in 2020 called for the decriminalization of marijuana use, but that doesn’t mean the Biden administration is welcoming recreational use among federal employees – even where the substance is legal.

The use of marijuana and cannabis-derived products for medical purposes has a legal basis in all but three states; 15 states and the District of Columbia have passed laws decriminalizing or legalizing the recreational use of pot. Virginia is on the cusp of conferencing marijuana bills passed in the state’s House and Senate in the closing days of the legislative session.

If Virginia’s law passes, then in the National Capital Region alone there will be more than 415,000 federal jobs located in jurisdictions where recreational pot use is permitted. California, where recreational use is permitted, is home to more than 148,000 federal jobs.

Past marijuana use is not necessarily a barrier to federal employment, according to a Feb. 25 memo from Kathleen McGettigan, the acting director of the Office of Personnel Management, but current or ongoing use is another matter.

“Heads of agencies are expected to continue advising their workforce that legislative changes by some states and the District of Columbia do not alter federal law or executive branch policies regarding a drug-free workplace,” McGettigan wrote. “An individual’s disregard of federal law pertaining to marijuana while employed by the federal government remains relevant and may lead to disciplinary action.”

The report cautions in a footnote that even use of cannabis-based products that have low concentrations of THC could lead to positive drug test results. The Food and Drug Administration “does not certify the level of THC in these products and the percent of THC cannot be guaranteed,” the report states.

Marijuana is illegal under federal law and classified as a Schedule I drug alongside heroin, LSD and methamphetamine. A Reagan-era executive order mandating a Drug-Free Federal Workplace stated that feds “are required to refrain from the use of illegal drugs,” that the “use of illegal drugs by federal employees, whether on or off duty, is contrary to the efficiency of the service” and that “persons who use illegal drugs are not suitable for federal employment.”

That order is still in place, the OPM memo notes.

For applicants to federal jobs with a history of marijuana use, there is more leeway – as long as that use is in the past.

McGettigan advised agencies to consider the sensitivity of the job in question, the extent and circumstances surrounding marijuana use, the age of the person in question at the time of the use and how recently it occurred.

“Past marijuana use, including recently discontinued marijuana use, should be viewed differently from ongoing marijuana use,” the memo states. The memo also advises agencies to consider “the absence or presence of rehabilitation or efforts toward rehabilitation” when making a decision to hire an individual with a history of marijuana use.

Feds aren’t exactly being singled out. A Congressional Research Service report on federal drug laws released earlier this month notes that “people who use marijuana, even for medical purposes, generally enjoy little or no legal protection from adverse employment consequences.”

Do Not Sell My Personal Information

When you visit our website, we store cookies on your browser to collect information. The information collected might relate to you, your preferences or your device, and is mostly used to make the site work as you expect it to and to provide a more personalized web experience. However, you can choose not to allow certain types of cookies, which may impact your experience of the site and the services we are able to offer. Click on the different category headings to find out more and change our default settings according to your preference. You cannot opt-out of our First Party Strictly Necessary Cookies as they are deployed in order to ensure the proper functioning of our website (such as prompting the cookie banner and remembering your settings, to log into your account, to redirect you when you log out, etc.). For more information about the First and Third Party Cookies used please follow this link.

See also  best rated cbd oil for back pain and anxiety

Manage Consent Preferences

Strictly Necessary Cookies – Always Active

We do not allow you to opt-out of our certain cookies, as they are necessary to ensure the proper functioning of our website (such as prompting our cookie banner and remembering your privacy choices) and/or to monitor site performance. These cookies are not used in a way that constitutes a “sale” of your data under the CCPA. You can set your browser to block or alert you about these cookies, but some parts of the site will not work as intended if you do so. You can usually find these settings in the Options or Preferences menu of your browser. Visit www.allaboutcookies.org to learn more.

Sale of Personal Data, Targeting & Social Media Cookies

Under the California Consumer Privacy Act, you have the right to opt-out of the sale of your personal information to third parties. These cookies collect information for analytics and to personalize your experience with targeted ads. You may exercise your right to opt out of the sale of personal information by using this toggle switch. If you opt out we will not be able to offer you personalised ads and will not hand over your personal information to any third parties. Additionally, you may contact our legal department for further clarification about your rights as a California consumer by using this Exercise My Rights link

If you have enabled privacy controls on your browser (such as a plugin), we have to take that as a valid request to opt-out. Therefore we would not be able to track your activity through the web. This may affect our ability to personalize ads according to your preferences.

Targeting cookies may be set through our site by our advertising partners. They may be used by those companies to build a profile of your interests and show you relevant adverts on other sites. They do not store directly personal information, but are based on uniquely identifying your browser and internet device. If you do not allow these cookies, you will experience less targeted advertising.

Social media cookies are set by a range of social media services that we have added to the site to enable you to share our content with your friends and networks. They are capable of tracking your browser across other sites and building up a profile of your interests. This may impact the content and messages you see on other websites you visit. If you do not allow these cookies you may not be able to use or see these sharing tools.

If you want to opt out of all of our lead reports and lists, please submit a privacy request at our Do Not Sell page.

A cookie is a small piece of data (text file) that a website – when visited by a user – asks your browser to store on your device in order to remember information about you, such as your language preference or login information. Those cookies are set by us and called first-party cookies. We also use third-party cookies – which are cookies from a domain different than the domain of the website you are visiting – for our advertising and marketing efforts. More specifically, we use cookies and other tracking technologies for the following purposes:

See also  cbd oil for poison ivy on face

Strictly Necessary Cookies

We do not allow you to opt-out of our certain cookies, as they are necessary to ensure the proper functioning of our website (such as prompting our cookie banner and remembering your privacy choices) and/or to monitor site performance. These cookies are not used in a way that constitutes a “sale” of your data under the CCPA. You can set your browser to block or alert you about these cookies, but some parts of the site will not work as intended if you do so. You can usually find these settings in the Options or Preferences menu of your browser. Visit www.allaboutcookies.org to learn more.

We do not allow you to opt-out of our certain cookies, as they are necessary to ensure the proper functioning of our website (such as prompting our cookie banner and remembering your privacy choices) and/or to monitor site performance. These cookies are not used in a way that constitutes a “sale” of your data under the CCPA. You can set your browser to block or alert you about these cookies, but some parts of the site will not work as intended if you do so. You can usually find these settings in the Options or Preferences menu of your browser. Visit www.allaboutcookies.org to learn more.

We do not allow you to opt-out of our certain cookies, as they are necessary to ensure the proper functioning of our website (such as prompting our cookie banner and remembering your privacy choices) and/or to monitor site performance. These cookies are not used in a way that constitutes a “sale” of your data under the CCPA. You can set your browser to block or alert you about these cookies, but some parts of the site will not work as intended if you do so. You can usually find these settings in the Options or Preferences menu of your browser. Visit www.allaboutcookies.org to learn more.

Sale of Personal Data

We also use cookies to personalize your experience on our websites, including by determining the most relevant content and advertisements to show you, and to monitor site traffic and performance, so that we may improve our websites and your experience. You may opt out of our use of such cookies (and the associated “sale” of your Personal Information) by using this toggle switch. You will still see some advertising, regardless of your selection. Because we do not track you across different devices, browsers and GEMG properties, your selection will take effect only on this browser, this device and this website.

Social Media Cookies

We also use cookies to personalize your experience on our websites, including by determining the most relevant content and advertisements to show you, and to monitor site traffic and performance, so that we may improve our websites and your experience. You may opt out of our use of such cookies (and the associated “sale” of your Personal Information) by using this toggle switch. You will still see some advertising, regardless of your selection. Because we do not track you across different devices, browsers and GEMG properties, your selection will take effect only on this browser, this device and this website.

We also use cookies to personalize your experience on our websites, including by determining the most relevant content and advertisements to show you, and to monitor site traffic and performance, so that we may improve our websites and your experience. You may opt out of our use of such cookies (and the associated “sale” of your Personal Information) by using this toggle switch. You will still see some advertising, regardless of your selection. Because we do not track you across different devices, browsers and GEMG properties, your selection will take effect only on this browser, this device and this website.