In Indiana, like other states, employers have drug testing policies that are generally designed to create a safe workplace, manage performance, and ensure product quality, as an employment lawyer can explain. However, unlike other states, Indiana does not regulate drug testing that is conducted by private employers, which means employers select and administer what kinds of drug testing procedures they want to use all on their own. If an employee fails a drug test, this can mean a job offer will be taken away or, if currently employed, they will be fired.
CBD in Indiana
Generally, drug screening tests include illicit substances like cocaine, opiates and PCP, but they also include marijuana (THC). The issue with marijuana testing is the fact that many states are legalizing cannabis or some part of the cannabis plant, such as CBD. CBD oil was legalized for sale and use in Indiana on March 21, 2018. This brings up big drug testing issues across the state for employers testing for marijuana and employees who would like to use CBD oil but do not want to fail a drug test.
CBD oil comes from the cannabis plant and is used for many medical purposes. CBD does not have the psychoactive properties that THC does (i.e. it does not get you “high”). To be sold in Indiana, CBD must have less than .3% of THC. So, CBD is quite different from what we think of as marijuana: Even though it comes from the same source, it does not have the same effect. As a result, legalizing this substance has important implications for employment law and the creation of drug testing rules that adapt to new drug laws.
While one drug testing service has said that, because of the low THC levels, CBD use would not cause an employee to register as a marijuana user for the test. Nonetheless, there is still uncertainty around how CBD use would impact an employee’s drug test. Given the big implications of failing a drug test, such as not getting a job or being fired, employees might be wary to use CBD and take a drug test, even though it is now legal. Federally, CBD is technically a marijuana extract, which means it is within the definition of marijuana as a Schedule 1 illegal substance.
As a result, the question remains how employers who want to test for drugs should adapt their policies given legalization of cannabis, in some states, and legalization of cannabis-related products, like CBD in Indiana. Because drug use is an issue that could cause an employee to lose a job, this is a serious matter, and employers – and employees – ought to stay up to date on legal changes on certain substances that have significance for internal policies as time goes on.