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FBI: CBD Users Need Not Apply

FBI: CBD Users Need Not Apply

Thinking of joining the FBI? If you’ve used cannabidiol (CBD) any time in the past year, you’ll need to wait a bit.

The USA’s Federal Bureau of Investigation received a question asking why marijuana and CBD are legal in Colorado, but the person asking couldn’t apply for employment with the FBI.

Responding on Twitter, the FBI said last week:

“Although the use of marijuana & CBD may be legal at the state level, their use is an automatic disqualifier for FBI employees and contractors. You must wait for at least one year from your last use of CBD or marijuana before applying to the FBI.”

Given the uptake of CBD in the USA, this will narrow down the FBI’s potential talent pool somewhat. According to the FBI employment eligibility policy:

“Candidates cannot have used marijuana or cannabis in any form (natural or synthetic) and in any location (domestic or foreign) within the one (1) year preceding the date of their application for employment.”

.. and

“Candidates cannot present “medical marijuana cards” or other prescriptions as mitigating factors for marijuana or cannabis use.”

The use of the words marijuana *and* cannabis is important. While marijuana is illegal at a federal level, some forms of cannabis, i.e. hemp, are legal. By legal definition at a federal level, hemp has less than 0.3 per cent THC, but can be high in other cannabinoids such as CBD.

Given CBD isn’t intoxicating perhaps the FBI needs to get with the times. But it’s by no means the only government agency with bans or issuing warnings on CBD use. Some of these warnings are well-founded.

For example, the US Forest Service recently clarified its stance; warning employees should exercise caution in using CBD products as they can contain THC – even very low levels – that can result in a positive drug test and subsequent penalties.

With quality control of CBD products still a major issue in the USA and third-party lab testing sometimes dodgy, it’s a tricky situation for consumers using CBD who work in sectors where there is regular drug testing.



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