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CBD Oil: What Does the Law Say?

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What is CBD Oil?

Cannabidiol, or CBD oil, has become a trendy product with retailers such as Walgreens, CVS, and even Family Video, stocking it. CBD has had a confusing regulatory history, and the use of these products impacting the workplace is creating concern among Michigan employers.

CBD oil is a derivative of hemp, a close relative of marijuana. Hemp products contain less than 0.3% tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the psychedelic ingredient found in both plants, compared to up to 30% in marijuana. The product is quickly growing in popularity and is marketed as an alternative remedy for various ailments, although the scientific research is not well-established.

What does the law say?

Early this year, the Michigan Legislature passed laws protecting the use of CBD oil. The law clarifies that CBD oil and other products of hemp are classified as industrial hemp, not marijuana, and therefore do not need to follow Michigan Medical Marijuana regulations. This means individuals are not required to have a medical marijuana card to get CBD oil or other similar industrial hemp products.

Edible products containing CBD, however, can only be sold to medical marijuana patients. This is extremely likely to change in the near future and reflects the confusing regulatory environment around hemp, medical marijuana, recreational marijuana and the law changes currently being implemented.

Any dietary supplement, food or drink additive must be approved by the FDA, which has remained apprehensive to the approval of CBD products and additives due to limited findings on effects. According to FDA regulation, any interstate commerce of food or drink with CBD additives as well as the marketing of CBD as a dietary supplement is currently illegal.

Michigan’s own industrial hemp program is currently experiencing its first harvest with more than 32,000 acres at 825 locations. These growers are operating as a pilot under the 2014 Farm Bill. The 2018 Farm Bill legalizes hemp production, but federal rules have not yet been put into place.

CBD Oil in the Workplace

Most resources state that employees are extremely unlikely to be impaired by CBD use. However, some experts say there is a risk an employee could fail a drug test for THC. This is important to note for those in fields where a failed test for THC could require termination of employment or other corrective actions, such as for truck driving or operating heavy machinery.

What’s Going on with Marijuana?

Grand Rapids has begun approving dispensaries and other marijuana facilities under Michigan’s medical marijuana law on a regular basis. Over the next several months many more will be approved, and the City will be considering the rules it needs to put in place for recreational marijuana. The framework for medical marijuana in Grand Rapids is extremely likely to set the foundation for recreational use, but they will also consider things such as facilities where customers can smoke the products recreationally.

Under Michigan’s recreational marijuana law, employers still have the ability to set their own policies related to marijuana use. If you have specific questions, please contact Andy Johnston at 616.771.0335.

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