Drugs are always a hot topic when it comes to questions about the security clearance process. Whether it’s at the news site or our forum at the ClearanceJobs Blog, the topic of drug use and involvement has grown only more complex as more and more states, including the District of Columbia, legalize the recreational use of marijuana. Add in the issue of CBD products flooding the market, and many security clearance holders are wondering what’s okay – and what isn’t.

Here are three of the top questions we get about drugs and security clearances.

1. How Recent is Too Recent When it Comes to Drug Use? In general, the advice used to be abstain for two years prior to applying for a position requiring a security clearance. With so much ‘legal’ drug use out there, however, the advice can change. The one thing that’s certain – if you were a frequent, habitual drug user, you’ll need to show more passage of time between applying. If your use was infrequent, you may be able to apply a ‘nanogram’ defense.

2. Can I Invest In a Marijuana Business? With legal drug use comes new financial investment opportunities. You shouldn’t work (or buy) a marijuana dispensary if you have a security clearance. But if you have marijuana stocks within your 401(k), and you’re not actively a part of the investment, you probably don’t need to be concerned. But keep in mind, the adjudicative criteria refers to drug involvement – so if you’re involved, but not using, that’s still a clearance issue.

3. Can I Use CBD Products If I Have a Clearance? The Farm Bill appeared to legalize the use of CBD products, but that came with a lot of caveats. The Defense Office of Hearings and Appeals has made it clear they’re not particularly concerned with CBD use – the issue comes if you test positive on a drug test. Make sure whatever CBD products you use are within the limits classifying a product as hemp, vs. marijuana. In other words, know your supplier.

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Lindy Kyzer is the director of content at ClearanceJobs.com. Have a conference, tip, or story idea to share? Email lindy.kyzer@clearancejobs.com. Interested in writing for ClearanceJobs.com? Learn more here.. @LindyKyzer