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Bill would change THC limits for state drug tests

Posted at 10:39 PM, Feb 07, 2020
and last updated 2020-02-07 23:44:07-05

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WTVF) — A new bill filed to the Tennessee legislature would change the state's requirements for drug tests.

The bill is sponsored by Rep. Bryan Terry (R-Murfreesboro) and would increase the limits for THC. Right now, 50 ng/ml of THC triggers a positive drug test. The bill would increase the limit to 150 ng/ml. The change would impact drug tests for government employees, students, people who receive government benefits and people who are on parole, probation or bail.

The proposal comes as some have complained about legal hemp products, like CBD, triggering drug tests. Experts say it's something that can happen, because although CBD products don't get users high, they contain small amounts of THC, the active ingredient in marijuana.

David Duncan, the owner of Music City Hemp Store, said even though hemp products like CBD are legal, he gets plenty of customers concerned about drug tests.

"What it always comes back to is people say, 'I really want to take CBD, but I'm really concerned about testing positive,'" Duncan said.

Attorney Joey Fuson said the change can make a significant difference for hemp and CBD users. Fuson said that THC levels can build up in people who frequently use CBD or hemp products, and sometimes those levels can exceed the current 50 ng/ml limit. He said studies have shown it would be very unlikely for somebody who is using only CBD products to exceed the proposed 150 ng/ml limit.

Fuson said that if the limit changes people who have smoked marijuana may be able to more easily pass a drug test, but people who have used pot recently or frequently would still exceed the limits and test positive.