The U.S Department of Navy has reiterated directions that sailors and marines are not permitted to use hemp-derived cannabinoid formulations – and to do so could have serious consequences.
Section 12619 of Farm Bill 2018 removed hemp-derived products from Schedule I status under the Controlled Substances Act, but some say cannabidiol’s (CBD’s) status still remains a grey area at the federal level – and the Navy certainly isn’t taking any chances.
“Navy policy has not been affected by the passage of the Agriculture Improvement Act of 2018, and all products derived from hemp or marijuana are still prohibited,” says the Department. “While currently deemed legal for civilians in some states, all hemp and CBD products are strictly prohibited for use by Sailors.”
Those considering ignoring the Department’s directive are putting a lot at stake.
“Sailors who test positive for THC or other controlled substances for which they have no valid prescription are subject to mandatory administrative processing and could receive a discharge characterized as “Other Than Honorable” (OTH), which can affect future veteran’s benefits and employment opportunities.”
Furthermore, such instances will be reported to the FBI for inclusion in the National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS), which the Department says could impact the person’s ability to purchase firearms or ammunition in the future – not that the USA really needs any more guns and bullets floating about the place.
The Navy regularly runs urinalysis tests to detect substance use and says it has “zero tolerance drug use standards”.
While standard urine drug tests are unlikely to pick up cannabidiol, it doesn’t mean the Navy isn’t now looking for it. Additionally, other cannabinoids may be present in CBD medicines and products such as THC that could be detected. This has become a concerning issue with the explosion of CBD products available in the USA, some of which have questionable quality control and labeling concerning cannabinoid levels – and what type.
Shaw Air Force Base issued a CBD warning earlier this year, although less sterner than the Navy’s, stating “CBD oil and related products are thus prohibited under the Uniform Code of Military Justice (UCMJ) and AFI 36-3208.”