- 115th Congress House Bill 5485
- Please note that the law specifies that hemp means the plant Cannabis sativa L. “that has a total delta-9 tetrahydrocannabinol concentration that does not exceed 0.3 percent on a dry-weight basis.
If you make use of CBD oil for anxiety, or back pain, or as a sleep-aid, you may run into troubles with your employer and with the Department of Health. If you test positive for THC because of your CBD use, the Department will open an investigation against you, and you might even be asked to refer to an impaired practitioner program like IPN or PRN. It may seem logical that making use of a completely legal product such as CBD should not result in the referral to a drug treatment program, but this is not the reality. Under Florida law, you cannot test positive for a “drug” as defined by the “Drug Free Workplace Act.”7 Under the Act, cannabinoids are still considered a drug, therefore CBD is considered a drug and cannot be used. 8 There is clearly an argument to be made as to the intent behind the Act – whether the legislature truly meant to punish those making use of non-psychoactive drugs – however, this issue of interpretation has yet to be addressed formally. Consequently, both sides are open to argue their positions: whether the Act encompasses all cannabinoids or not…what the Boards will decide remains to be seen.
While it may seem unfair that loyal employees are being terminated and reported to the Department, employers are required by law to report a practitioner if impairment is suspected. In fact, if a licensed healthcare practitioner knows that a person is unable to practice with reasonable skill and safety due to an impairment, that practitioner is obligated to report such impairment to the Department or the proper impaired practitioner program.9 Failure to report can result in discipline. This puts employers and coworkers in a difficult situation. We at Chapman Law Group get phone calls almost daily from people who are referred to these programs for a positive test even though the veracity of the results is questioned.
If you find yourself in such a position, please call an attorney before signing anything or talking to anyone – you will need legal representation to argue the merits. Your license matters and your career matters so hire an attorney who understands the issues.
- S. 456.072(1)(aa) ”Testing positive for any drug, as defined in s. 112.0455, on any confirmed preemployment or employer-ordered drug screening when the practitioner does not have a lawful prescription and legitimate medical reason for using the drug.”
- S. 112.0455(5) (a) “Drug” means alcohol, including distilled spirits, wine, malt beverages, and intoxicating liquors; amphetamines; cannabinoids; cocaine; phencyclidine (PCP); hallucinogens; methaqualone; opiates; barbiturates; benzodiazepines; synthetic narcotics; designer drugs; or a metabolite of any of the substances listed herein.
- 456.072(1)(i) “failing to report to the department any person who the licensee knows is in violation of this chapter, the chapter regulating the alleged violator, or the rules of the department or the board. However, a person who the licensee knows is unable to practice with reasonable skill and safety to patients by reason of illness or use of alcohol, drugs, narcotics, chemicals, or any other type of material, or as a result of a mental or physical condition, may be reported to a consultant operating an impaired practitioner program as described in s. 456.076 rather than to the department.”