The Navy issued a notice on Wednesday that it became clear that sailors are prohibited from owning or using hemp-derived CBD, even though the crop and its derivatives are no longer federally controlled substances.
The military emphasized that it has a "Zero Tolerance" drug policy and said that even with Farm Farm 2018, which legalized hemp, "Navy policy has not been affected" and "all hemp or marijuana derived products are still banned. "
"While currently considered legal for civilians in some states, all hemp and CBD products are strictly prohibited for use by sailors."
Part of the reasoning, according to the memo, is that CBD products are generally not regulated by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA)) and may contain THC which may be displayed on a drug screening.
“Consequently, sailors and marines cannot rely on packaging and labeling of hemp products to determine if the product contains THC c Oncentrations that may cause a positive urinalysis result, "the policy states.
Testing positive for THC is the basis for an "Other Than Honorable" spill that could affect veteran benefits and employment opportunities, the Navy said.
"Substance abuse by members of the Armed Forces is incompatible with military standards of good order and discipline, performance and operational readiness," the policy states. "The goal of the Department of the Navy is to eliminate substance abuse.
"Sailors and Marines are prohibited from intentionally using products made or derived from hemp (as defined in 7 U.S.C. 1
However, there appears to be some gray area because products intended to penetrate the skin are prohibited, there is an exception to the guidelines for" topical products such as shampoo, conditioner, creams or soaps. . " It also does not apply to the use of FDA-approved medications such as CBD-based prescription drugs Epidiolex.
The Navy also reports positive drug tests to the FBI for the purpose of including this information in the federal criminal justice system, meaning flagged sailors may be denied firearm purchase applications.
ALNAV 057/19 reminds sailors that products derived from hemp or marijuana are still prohibited. History: https://t.co/Ktzifed2hGebrit19659002??— USN People (@usnpeople) August 7, 2019
“It is every sailor's responsibility to make sure he or she is diligently avoiding intentional or unintentional exposure to THC and other banned substances, "the Navy wrote in a policy release.
It is unclear how the Navy would be able to enforce its anti-CBD policy if the products did not contain THC, or not enough to appear on a Conventional drug screening tests are designed to detect metabolites of THC, not CBD.
The Navy also released a few fact sheets on hemp and CBD to provide additional clarity, including answers to some frequently asked questions:
Q: I am stationed in a state with legalized recreational marijuana. Am I allowed to use marijuana or CBD products?
No. The local law does not apply to sailors as it applies to these substances. zero tolerance for substance abuse, and it was not affected by Farm Farm 2018 and its regulations regarding hemp and marijuana products. Using these products can result in a THC-positive urinalysis result, which could adversely affect your Navy career and future benefits.
Q: Am I allowed to use CBD products labeled “THC-free?”  No. CBD products are not allowed under Navy's drug policy. These products are not FDA regulated or inspected, so they may still contain THC even if their labels claim otherwise.
Q: What will happen if I accidentally get exposed to something that has CBD in it and then test positive for THC?
It is your responsibility to know what is in the products or foods you eat or to which you are exposed. Accidental ingestion is not a legitimate excuse for a drug positive urinalysis. Unless you have a valid prescription to justify a positive result, you are subject to the full range of consequences from any drug-positive urinalysis result.
Legalization of marijuana at the state level, combined with federal legalization of hemp and hemp-derived products, seems to have generated some confusion that has required military branches to issue guidance. The Coast Guard issued an order last month that active duty members are banned from using cannabis or even into a marijuana store even though the business is legal in the state.
But the scope of the Navy memo goes a step further by prohibiting sailors from using a non-intoxicating product that one of seven Americans now use, primarily for therapeutic purposes.
Coast Guard Questions Order Barring Active Duty Members From Visiting Marijuana Shops
Photo courtesy of Flickr / United States Navy.