Is It Legal For Federal Employees To Consume Delta 9?


Being a tricky target, navigating marijuana usage in the workplace is quite complicated. The landscape shifted since the US farm bill legalized products containing less than 0.3% THC.

Delta 9, the chemical compound responsible for marijuana’s psychoactivity, is infamous in the cannabis world. It causes euphoric effects and takes the user high upon usage.

That said, is the compound legal for usage by federal employees? Let’s find out.

The federal drug laws and Delta-9

Experts say that a loophole in the federal drug laws has made the production and sale of marijuana products less complicated. The cannabis market is booming in several states. In states where the usage of cannabis is lawful, the number of stores filling their shelves with delta-9 products increases every day.

Gummies and other THC-infused products are becoming the go-to option for cannabis enthusiasts. Since the limitations are restrictions to the dry weight of the products, the subject is getting both constructive and controversial comments.

Reports say that the dry weight basis of the approach might not be accurate as we can infuse ten milligrams of THC into a four-gram gummy and show it to be less than 0.3%.

The laws don’t define the borders very clearly.

Most of these are coming to light as we dig through the drug laws that label certain substances as controlled.

What are controlled substances?

Anything that might lead to addiction with time or is hazardous to the user is what we refer to as a controlled substance. We do know a little about THC’s side effects upon overdosing.

Some of these are available on prescriptions, while others are not allowed to show up on the shelves of stores.

Hemp-derived products are legal as they contain less psychoactive THC. Both hemp and marijuana-derived THC interact with the body’s endocannabinoid system and produce effects. Now, this being the case, why are products containing higher amounts of THC illegal? It is because of the associated side effects that one can experience upon using the compound.

Cannabis for federal employees

Reaching common ground can be complicated as the drug laws are vast than we can imagine. Hemp-derived products are legal for federal employees with a few restrictions and exceptions.

The federal government offers a wide variety of jobs to many people. The sectors of federal jobs include:

  • Administrative
  • Professional
  • Technical
  • Blue-collar and clerical

Civilian employees in the armed forces are not allowed to use cannabis.

In 2015, OPM advised the federal organizations that marijuana is a schedule 1 substance. The summed up points of federal agency drug rules established by Ronald Reagan go like:

  • Federal employees must avoid using marijuana.
  • The use of marijuana is contrary to the service efficiency. It is irrespective of whether the person consumes it when on or off duty.
  • People acquainted with marijuana are unfit for jobs at the federal level.

In 2021, OPM revised these and released a new guidance rulebook for federal employees. The new rules were aimed to relax the hiring practices as the public acceptance of marijuana increased.

It states that it is unfair to disqualify a person because they possess marijuana. It also said that the rules should aim at drawing a line between marijuana possession and usage that might affect the integrity of the government.

Employees at the federal level can use marijuana products as long as they do not affect their efficiency.

Now let us look at how these rules work for people applying for a federal job.

The OPM advises the federal agencies not to disqualify a person only based on marijuana possession. Instead, the agencies are responsible for checking if the applicant will be a threat to the integrity of the federal organization.

Factors under consideration include:

  • The nature of the job: Applicants seeking a job in the air force, navy, or other armed forces are not allowed to use marijuana.
  • The seriousness of the conduct.
  • The circumstances around the applicant show relevance.
  • Age of the applicant

Also, according to OPM, marijuana usage in the past should not affect the applicant unless it’s ongoing.

Most of these laws depend on the legality of marijuana in your state and the product you use. People use gummies and oils that do not have psychoactive effects for medical purposes. Also, it is okay to use oils and salves that contain THC.

Can I use marijuana if I have been working for years for the federal government?

The answer is still a No. According to OPM, the Executive order prohibiting the usage of marijuana by federal employees is still in effect.

Employees addicted to any controlled substances should seek help and undergo rehabilitation.

Things you need to know as a federal employee

1) What will happen if You test positive for marijuana on a drug analysis?

–> Marijuana remains on the list of scheduled substances. If you get tested positive for marijuana, it could result in the termination of your service.

2) Can You use medical marijuana while on duty?

–> Chances are high for you to get into trouble even if you possess a marijuana card. The state forces none to tolerate marijuana usage in the workplace.

3) Can You use delta-9 or other forms of marijuana that are legal in my state?

–> Look for the drug laws of different regions. Laws can be different even in two states where marijuana is legal. For instance, in the District of Columbia, employees are not supposed to test positive for THC after being employed. While in Florida, the state allows agencies to disqualify an applicant if they test positive on a drug test.

The bottom line

As a federal employee or an aspirant, you need to know the drug laws of your state.

Using delta-9 in moderate amounts might not put you at any risk. Yet, it is essential to be mindful while buying or consuming THC products.