The U.S. Federal Aviation Administration has issued an advisory to clarify the agency’s cannabis policy for pilots. In a medical advisory published in the current issue of FAA Safety Briefing, FAA Federal Air Surgeon Dr. Michael Berry noted (in dated language) that as cannabis legalization in its various forms continues to spread across the country, the flying community has repeatedly shown interest in marijuana and CBD.
“The Federal Air Surgeon’s office has received a number of inquiries about marijuana, due to the recent increase in the number of states around the country that have approved its use for medical and recreational purposes,” Berry wrote. “Specifically, airmen are concerned about the safety of cannabidiol (CBD) oil use and how such use impacts an airman’s medical certificate. Be aware that federal law — not state law — governs FAA medical and pilot certification.“
Berry reminded pilots that they could be subject to drug screenings that detect the use of marijuana and could affect their certification to fly.
“The U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) drug test includes THC, and its presence at defined levels constitutes a positive drug test,” he wrote in the advisory.
Pilots Warned Against CBD Use
Berry also acknowledged the