Cannabinol State Laws

by Nicole Jupe on March 28, 2017

Chemically complex, the cannabis sativa plant known as marijuana has hundreds of active compounds and cannabinoids. Ratios of chemicals and potency can differ based upon the age of the plant, the origin, and method of cultivation. Some of the more well-known chemicals in marijuana include:

  • Δ9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC): Primary psychoactive ingredient that produces a “high”
  • Cannabidiol (CBD): Antipsychotic, anticonvulsant, antiemetic, and not psychoactive
  • Cannabinol (CBN): weakly psychoactive

The cannabidiol compound found within marijuana has gained recent popularity for its potential therapeutic value. Many believe taking non-psychoactive, cannabidiol-rich cannabis can provide relief for ailments such as nausea, chronic pain, inflammation, spasms, anxiety, and depression. Marijuana growers have even begun crossbreeding marijuana plants to produce higher CBD and lower THC concentrations with the intent of using these plants as medicine.

Limited research is being conducted by a handful of scientists about the risks and benefits of marijuana on health conditions such as, cancer, HIV/AIDS, and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). In August 2016, the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) provided some funding to improve research but reiterated that marijuana remains a Schedule I controlled substance.

In 2013, CNN aired a documentary called Weed that shined a national spotlight on medical marijuana. Investigative journalist Dr. Sanjay Gupta traveled the world to interview doctors, researchers, growers, patients, and families about cannabis. The TV special featured a little girl with Dravet syndrome who suffered from violent epileptic seizures and found relief using a low THC/high CBD marijuana extract that derives its name – “Charlotte’s Web” – from the girl it helps to treat. The doctor’s change of heart regarding marijuana inspired a movement of sorts, and families of children suffering from similar conditions started lobbying state legislatures to provide access to CBD.

In 2014, a number of southern states began passing low THC/high CBD laws. Today, sixteen states have low THC/high CBD laws for limited medical purposes. The allowable levels fluctuate by state as shown in the table below. That said, there is no consensus on a permissible ratio of THC and CBD.

What this means for employers is that CBD itself will not show up as a positive result for marijuana in a workplace drug test. However, a medical marijuana cardholder in a low THC/high CBD state could screen positive for THC because some THC is permitted as an ingredient in various CBD products. Specific examples include the laws in Georgia and Virginia, which permit up to 0.5 percent THC. Employers should stay informed about how low THC/high CBD marijuana laws differ in certain states.

Visit the National Conferences of States Legislatures website to stay current on state marijuana laws.

For resources about marijuana and state legislation, visit our website or contact us online.

This information is not intended to serve as legal advice. All information provided by Quest Diagnostics is qualified by the laws and regulations of the individual states, and such information is subject to change. If you have any legal issues or concerns, we urge you to get advice from your attorney.

Series: An Exploration of Addiction

by Pablo Bolanos on March 21, 2017

The term “recreational” defines as an activity done for enjoyment when one is not working. Skiing, knitting, sporting leagues, and book clubs are examples of recreational activities that can enhance our overall life experience. Recreational is also a word used to describe the casual use of mind-altering substances such as drugs and alcohol. Because these behaviors are often exhibited in social settings, recreational drug and alcohol use is oftentimes perceived as harmless, non habit-forming behavior due to its informal nature and seemingly broad social acceptance.

However, a thin line separates the casual use of drugs and alcohol and the potential steep fall into a serious substance abuse disorder. Substance abuse disorders manifest when the recurrent use of drugs and/or alcohol causes clinically and functionally significant impairment, such as health problems, disability, and failure to meet major responsibilities at work, school, or home according to the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fifth Edition (DSM-5).

Why then, are some people able to casually enjoy a cocktail on the weekend while firing up the grill, while others end up crossing the line from recreational use to addiction? And, when a user’s life is flipped upside down because of their physical and psychological dependence on mind-altering substances, what are they and their loved ones to do?

In this new series, we will take a deeper dive into what decades of psychological and pharmacological research have to tell us about the science behind substance abuse disorders and addiction, how individuals are affected, and what employers can do to both thwart problematic behavior and to offer aid through established Employee Assistance Programs (EAP).

To learn more about drugs of abuse, visit our resources page or our common drugs of abuse literature.

The Case for Maintaining a Drug Testing Policy

March 16, 2017 Drug Testing

Employers conduct drug testing for a number of reasons – pre-employment, random, post-accident, reasonable suspicion, and return-to-duty. Of these, reasonable suspicion can often be the most litigious and, as such, points out the importance of creating and maintaining a comprehensive workplace drug testing policy and program. The case of Layne v. Kanawha County Board of […]

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Winter Storm Stella May Cause Delays

March 14, 2017 News

The National Weather service has issued winter storm warnings throughout the northeast, with likely impacts including Boston, Philadelphia, Baltimore, and Washington D.C. In addition, blizzard warnings have also been issued from northeast New Jersey to far southeast New York and southern Connecticut. Be aware that this hazardous storm may impact the logistics and transportation of […]

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Employee Protections in the Era of Medical Marijuana Legislation

March 10, 2017 Drug Testing

More than twenty states have enacted medical marijuana laws since Proposition 215 was passed by California voters in 1996. The earliest medical marijuana laws typically only provided criminal protections, however in the past two decades, laws are now extending protections to housing, schooling, domestic relations, and employment. State marijuana regulations uniquely address aspects such as […]

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I’m There: Charlie Sullivan

March 6, 2017 We're There

Charlie Sullivan believes that if we take care of our employees, in turn, they will take care of our customers. As a result, he trains and mentors his team to focus on providing a seamless experience at our collection sites so that a donor’s first impression is a positive one. He understands that our frontline […]

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We’re There When You Need Us – 5 Years Strong

March 3, 2017 Drug Testing

While businesses are driven by profits and the necessity to grow, a team is shaped by people and their collective energy and commitment to drive both the business and culture forward. In 2011, we embarked on a journey with the goal of gaining a better understanding about our culture and its impacts on our customers, […]

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Worldwide Economic Development and Drug Use

March 2, 2017 International testing

Regardless of where we live in the world, socioeconomic status can influence our life experiences. From the neighborhoods were we grow up, to the extracurricular activities we take part in, many times the circumstances into which we are born can predetermine our futures and the futures of the generations that follow. According to the American […]

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By the Numbers: Going Green with eCCF

March 1, 2017 By the Numbers

Our By the Numbers blog series takes a closer look at the numbers, facts, data, and outputs that impact workplace drug testing programs. In this post, we examine the environmental impact of moving from paper-based custody and control forms (CCF) to electronic custody and control forms (eCCF). Paper-based CCFs have been a mainstay of the drug testing […]

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Weeding Out the Facts Webinar Recap

February 21, 2017 Webinars

Employers face challenges as states continue to pass marijuana legislation, while the substance is still illegal under federal law.  In our recent webinar, two highly-regarded industry experts, Dr. Barry Sample, Senior Director of Science and Technology, Quest Diagnostics, and D. Faye Caldwell, Attorney at Law, Caldwell Everson, presented facts and insight about marijuana and the workplace […]

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