PUEBLO WEST – Jason Lane wanted to become a commercial truck driver. The money was good, the route was reliable, and the work was productive. But three years ago, that dream came to an abrupt end. “He went in for his urinalysis and he popped hot,” said Lane’s wife, Rene Gherardi.
“Popping hot” is another way of saying testing positive on a drug screening. “I’ve never had a drug in my life, no cigarettes, no alcohol, nothing,” Lane said. What he had done was, earlier the day of the drug test, ingest a CBD tincture to help ease chronic pain.
“We were guaranteed it had no THC,” Gherardi said. But when they sent the products to be tested, “Out of six different manufacturers of six different products, every one of them popped hot on THC.”
The regulatory cutoff for marijuana metabolite THC is 50 nanograms per milliliter in a urinalysis. Hemp-based CBD products are supposed to contain 0.03% or less THC. “We’ve had positive drug screens come back for the CBD oils and creams,” said Shelly Haefner, office manager at the United States Truck Driving School south of Fountain. “They were using a cream or something and we weren’t sure if it was going to show up or not, but it did.”
“I didn’t know there was anything in it,” Lane said. “I went whole-heartedly thinking I was safe to go take this test, and I failed it. First time I’ve ever failed a drug test in my life.” Their experience led Lane and Gherardi to research CBD and testing procedures and open their own stores where the CBD products have molecule-counted cannabinoids. “The only way you can really, really know what you’re taking is to have molecule-counted products,” Gherardi said, “and in this industry, it’s very rare.”
“Can you pop hot (after ingesting only CBD)?” Gherardi asked rhetorically. “Absolutely. And it’s a shame, it’s really a shame.”