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Health Law & Policy Brief


Contemporary attitudes toward cannabis use in the United States have shifted from War on Drugsera prohibition toward decriminalization over the past two decades. As states that do not seek to decriminalize marijuana nonetheless enact legislation legalizing CBD, policy tensions arise. In 2019, Texas joined the ranks of states that legalized hemp and hemp-derived products with the passage of House Bill 1325. In light of this legislation, this Article discusses the implications of legalized cannabidiol (CBD) on employment drug policies in Texas. The benefits of CBD legalization must be weighed against the practical implications to effectively balance policies that aim to protect employees and employers with potentially divergent interests. This Article examines the various sources of employment protection in Texas and advocates for an amendment to H.B 1325 that raises the threshold of delta-9 tetrahydrocannabidiol (THC) content permitted in hemp, an adoption of administrative rules modeled after those established by the Utah Department of Agriculture and Food, and an amendment to the Texas Labor Code. This approach places the burden on CBD sellers to verify that their products are consistent with claimed CBD content, ensures that the products produce no psychoactive effects, allows room for error in the event of inconsistent THC content, and protects individuals who are mistakenly deemed as using illegal drugs.

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Washington College of Law

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