FBI officials just announced that anyone who has used CBD within the past year is automatically disqualified from a job at the agency.
The Denver office of the FBI recently clarified its position on legal CBD products in a recent social media Q&A. The agency explained that “although the use of marijuana & CBD may be legal at the state level, their use is an automatic disqualifier for FBI employees and contractors. You must wait for at least one year from your last use of CBD or marijuana before applying to the FBI.”
And while it's true that federal law continues to prohibit the use of high-THC cannabis for any reason, CBD is actually legal. Under the 2018 Farm Bill, it is legal to sell or use any hemp-derived cannabinoid, including CBD, as long as the total delta-9 THC content remains under 0.3%. CBD-infused drinks and foods are still technically prohibited, due to lack of FDA regulation, but the use of CBD tinctures and raw flower is unquestionably legal.
Despite this widespread legality, pretty much every federal agency still prohibits its employees from using natural hemp products. Every branch of the US military bans its personnel from using hemp, and the Navy has even gone so far as to tell its employees not to use hemp-based shampoo or lip balm. NASA bans its employees from using CBD as well, and commercial airline pilots are even barred from using these federally-legal products.
These policies reflect the government's exceptionally outdated views toward the medicinal use of hemp. But beyond just hating cannabis in general, most of these agencies are enforcing these bans over fears that an employee who uses CBD will test positive for THC. Recent research has indicated that pure CBD will not trigger a false positive on a drug test for marijuana, but other studies have found that many popular CBD products actually contain THC levels that are way over the federal limit.
The FBI's anti-CBD policy has actually been on the books for years. According to the agency's general employment eligibility guidance, job applicants “cannot have used marijuana or cannabis in any form (natural or synthetic) and in any location (domestic or foreign) within the one (1) year preceding the date of their application for employment.” The Denver office's recent post clarifies that legal CBD products are still considered cannabis, and are therefore prohibited.
But while the FBI continues to prohibit recent CBD or marijuana use, it has recently relaxed its restrictions against youthful indiscretions. Up until recently, the agency would categorically deny employment to anyone who had used cannabis within the past three years. Last year, officials decided to shorten this period to one year, in order to continue attracting qualified candidates.
FBI officials also recently suggested that they might be willing to accept a job applicant who blazed a lot of bud in high school. Hiring officials are also slightly more willing to accept adult cannabis use – but anyone who has smoked pot more than 24 times since turning 18 is permanently banned from a career in federal law enforcement. The FBI has not mentioned whether they are imposing an arbitrary cap on lifetime CBD use, though.