The United States Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) recently exercised its emergency scheduling authority to control five chemicals (JWH-018, JWH-073, JWH-200, CP-47,497, and cannabicyclohexanol) used to make so-called “fake pot” products. Except as authorized by law, this action makes possessing and selling these chemicals or the products that contain them illegal in the United States. This emergency action was necessary to prevent an imminent threat to public health and safety. The temporary scheduling action will remain in effect for at least one year while the DEA and the United States Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) further study whether these chemicals should be permanently controlled.
The Final Order was published in the Federal Register to alert the public to this action. These chemicals will be controlled for at least 12 months, with the possibility of a six month extension. They are designated as Schedule I Substances, the most restrictive category under the Controlled Substances Act. Schedule I substances are reserved for those substances with a high potential for abuse, no accepted medical use for treatment in the United States and a lack of accepted safety for use of the drug under medical supervision.
Employers that utilize drug testing as a standard practice to hire and retain employees will need to wait and see what further actions will be taken regarding these chemicals. Currently, the major drug testing labs do not test for these chemicals. As an industry advocate, EBI will keep you posted of any changes to these newly controlled substances. Click here to learn more about EBI and how we can support your workplace drug-free initiatives.