Case Result: Nurse Tests Positive for THC; DOH Dismisses Investigation

Chapman Law Group handles several licensing disciplinary cases involving THC-positive drug screenings. If you follow us, you might already know that we have been investigating the legal environment surrounding disciplinary issues and THC. 

What we know is that licensees cannot test positive for cannabinoids. The Florida Legislature has been pushing for change, and now certain cannabinoids are federally recognized as legal; for example, CBD oil consumption. However, because of ignorance surrounding the science behind cannabinoid consumption and absorption, as well as the use of unsophisticated laboratory testing methods, licensees are being reported to the Florida Department of Health (DOH).

Here is a Scenario:
You are a licensed medical professional. You now work the night shift and are having issues adjusting your sleep schedule. You research natural methods and treatments to help you have a more restful sleep so that you can do your best work when it’s time to go back to your patients.

Through a very simple Google search, you discover CBD oil. You learn that CBD oil is completely legal, you do not need a prescription for it, and it does not cause psychoactive effects. Because it helps, you begin using it, even daily. Then, while at work, you are subject to a random drug screening. You are not worried and voluntarily submit. The test returns positive for THC and you are fired from your job and reported to the DOH or an impaired practitioner program. Is this normal?

Not only can this happen, it actually has. Several of Chapman Law Group’s clients have called us with similar if not identical facts and found themselves risking IPN/PRN monitoring, possible licensure suspension, or other disciplinary action/penalties. All because they used a completely legal substance.

But we at Chapman Law Group can help. Recently, our licensing and regulatory attorneys were able to work on a similar case, which the DOH formally dismissed before formal charges were ever filed.

Our client, a nurse, tested positive of THC because of CBD oil usage. We were able to conduct thorough legal and scientific research to support the defense that the evidence was insufficient for a finding of probable cause, or that the nurse violated the Nurse Practice Act.

The allegations against our client were all dropped, and they now are free to practice without any consequences. Furthermore, the fact that we were able to dismiss this case before an administrative complaint was actually filed, means that our client’s record will remain untarnished, and the investigation completely confidential.

If You Use CBD, You Should Not Be Subject to Discipline
This case is an indicator of what is to come and how future cases can be handled for the win. At Chapman Law Group, we do not want innocent practitioners punished unnecessarily. While CBD is a cannabinoid, federal legislation has recently recognized that hemp or hemp derivatives are legal. Therefore, CBD derived from hemp is legal and not considered a “drug” under federal law. Florida state agencies should not discipline those who make use of this natural supplement.

This information is a sample of our past results. Prospective clients may not obtain the same or similar results. Every case is different and each case must be evaluated and handled on its own merits. The circumstances of your case may differ from the results provided. The information provided has not been reviewed or approved by the State Bar.

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Case Lawyers

Sara A. Bazzigaluppi


Professional Licensing & Regulatory Affairs,

Civil Litigation

Sarasota Office
6841 Energy Court
Sarasota, FL 34240
Phone: (941) 893-3449

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