Air Force Warns Federal Employees Not to Use CBD Products

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By on November 20, 2019 in Human Resources with 0 Comments
Marijuana leaves pictured on a solid black background with white letters reading 'CBD' overlaid towards the bottom of the image

The Air Force is reiterating a familiar position that the government has taken recently in the wake of the rise in popularity of CBD products: federal employees should stay away from them.

The Air Force made the statement in a recent press release about CBD, also known as Cannabidiol oil. The Air Force added that these products also contain tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) in small amounts which can lead federal employees or military members to fail a drug test. Certain federal employees are also subject to random drug testing based on the requirements of their positions and could be subject to discipline in the event of a positive test result.

The warning was issued in light of the fact that hemp is now legal at the federal level after President Trump signed the Agriculture Improvement Act of 2018, commonly known as the “2018 Farm Bill” into law last December.

The new law allows hemp cultivation and the transfer of hemp-derived products across state lines and defines hemp as a cannabis plant that contains no more than 0.3 percent of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the chemical compound in cannabis associated with psychoactive effects.

With the passage of this legislation, hemp-derived products, including CBD, have become widely available, and the industry is forecasted to take in $16 billion in sales by 2025. Consumers use them to treat various medical conditions ranging from seizures to anxiety to general aches and pains.

But, since marijuana is still illegal at the federal level, and federal employees work for the federal government, the risk is that there could be disciplinary action taken for federal employees who use these products and then fail a drug test as a result.

“It’s important for both uniformed and civilian Airmen to understand the risk these products pose to their careers,” said Maj. Jason Gammons, Air Force Office of The Judge Advocate General spokesperson. “Products containing unregulated levels of THC can cause positive drug tests, resulting in the same disciplinary actions as if members had consumed marijuana.”

He added, “The important point for Airmen to consider is the level of uncertainty for these products. We want to ensure we arm them with the facts so they can make informed decisions and not inadvertently jeopardize their military careers.”

The position taken by the Air Force echoes the same warning issued not long ago by the Navy in which it clarified that its policy has not changed with passage of the Farm Bill, and use of all products derived from hemp or marijuana are still prohibited from use by Sailors and Marines.

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Ian Smith is one of the co-founders of FedSmith.com. He enjoys writing about current topics that affect the federal workforce.

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