Doctors of Natural Medicine

Can CDL Drivers Have Medical Marijuana?

Table of Contents

Considering how quickly state marijuana regulations are changing, a new court ruling raises concerns regarding cannabis use among people with commercial driver’s licenses. As more truck drivers test positive for medical marijuana, it may harm their jobs. The increase in positive tests is mostly a result of the legalization of marijuana for recreational and therapeutic uses in more states, as well as misleading data about its use. So, can CDL drivers have medical marijuana? This article will answer the most common questions regarding CDL drivers and medical marijuana use will be answered.
Can CDL drivers have medical marijuana?

Overview of CDL requirements

To drive big, hefty, or placarded hazardous goods transporters in the U.S. for commercial purposes, one must have a commercial driver’s license. A legitimate commercial driver’s license is necessary to operate several various types of industrial automobiles.

Here are the classifications that must adhere to Federal medical requirements:

  • Noncommercial operators with Class A and Class B authorization
  • Firemen
  • Business drivers who drive industrial automobiles

The FMCSR lays out the requirements for determining whether an individual is physically capable of operating a commercial vehicle. The following prerequisites must be examined and passed by a CDL applicant.

  • Loss of or limited use of extremities
  • Insulin-Dependent Diabetes
  • Cardiovascular system
  • Respiratory system
  • Blood pressure
  • Musculoskeletal system
  • Seizure or loss of consciousness or control
  • Mental or functional disorder
  • Vision
  • Hearing
  • Drugs
  • Alcoholism

While the DMV may determine certain flaws can be corrected to ensure proper driving and, thus, will not bar an applicant from receiving a license, the DMV can only award a CDL to those who fulfill the necessary medical standards.

State Laws on Medical Marijuana and CDL Drivers

Can CDL drivers use medical marijuanas?

The DEA lists medical marijuana as a Schedule I restricted substance, even in a blend or product containing other drugs. A person who consumes any Schedule I substance is not physically fit to operate a commercial motor vehicle, according to the FMCSR.

Can CDL Drivers have a medical marijuana card?

Yes, they can obtain the card, but legally, they can’t partake in medical marijuana without risking their license. By state law, the DOT’s “Drug and Alcohol Testing Regulation” (49 CFR Part 40) expressly prohibits the use of medical marijuana. This law implies that if the driver is checked positive for marijuana, they could lose their CDL regardless of the state. Sadly, this is still a risk for people who lawfully purchase medicinal marijuana because they need it.

Can CDL Drivers get temporary medical marijuana cards?

Yes, getting the card isn’t the issue. Plenty of truck drivers and CDL drivers would benefit from medical marijuana. Yet, the law and the nature of the job make partaking in medical marijuana risky.

Federal Regulations on Medical Marijuana and CDL Drivers

Federal law applies to truck drivers, and marijuana use is strictly prohibited. The THC ingredient in marijuana can linger in the bloodstream for up to a month and appear in random tests.

Can truck drivers have medical marijuana? No, not really.

Consuming CBD with a THC content of 0.3% or less is permitted. The DOT, however, makes no distinction between THC from CBD and THC from marijuana. If THC from CBD gets identified, it will still appear on a drug test, which means the person will lose his CDL license.

The U.S. Department of Transportation, which governs CDL holders, including trucks and bus drivers, creates an encrypted online database or Clearinghouse. Employers of CDL drivers are legally required to search this database to see if a candidate has ever gotten arrested for driving under the influence of alcohol or other drugs.

Verdict: CDL drivers can't use medical marijuana 

Even with medical marijuana being legal in some states, its use is still prohibited among CDL drivers to ensure road safety. Moreover, in applying for a CDL, one must prepare and pass the medical exams required.

If you’re considering using medical marijuana for any reason, it’s always best to consult a doctor first.


Can CDL drivers use medical marijuana?

Currently, the use of medical marijuana by CDL drivers is subject to federal regulations, and marijuana remains classified as a Schedule I controlled substance. This means that, according to federal law, CDL drivers are generally prohibited from using medical marijuana.

What are the potential consequences for CDL drivers using medical marijuana?

CDL drivers who use medical marijuana may face serious consequences, including the suspension or revocation of their commercial driver's license. It is essential for CDL drivers to be aware of the legal implications and potential impact on their careers.

Can CDL drivers have a medical marijuana card, and does having one allow them to use medical marijuana legally?

Yes, CDL drivers can obtain a medical marijuana card. However, it's crucial to understand that, legally, CDL drivers cannot use medical marijuana without risking their license. While obtaining the card is possible, federal regulations, such as the DOT's "Drug and Alcohol Testing Regulation" (49 CFR Part 40), expressly prohibit the use of medical marijuana. This means that even in states where medical marijuana is legal, CDL drivers may face consequences, including the potential loss of their CDL, if they test positive for marijuana. Unfortunately, this remains a risk for individuals who lawfully purchase medicinal marijuana for therapeutic purposes.

Author: J.P. Carrol

J.P. is an accomplished writer with a lifelong passion for a range of subjects, including medical marijuana. As lead copywriter at, he writes daily for an audience of 100k+ and is deeply committed to helping businesses achieve their full potential with his guidance and expertise.