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Navy Expands Ban of Hemp Products

Navy Expands Ban of Hemp Products

Posted by Lori Ann Reese on 09/24/2020 in News

Medical content reviewed by Dr. Joseph Rosado, MD, M.B.A, Chief Medical Officer

navy, Hemp, Federal Marijuana, CBD, Military CBD

The federal stance and prohibition of cannabis extend to hemp, even while states are legalizing hemp agriculture production.  Another contradiction between federal and state law that has both commercial hemp producers and consumers confused.

The Department of Veterans Affairs announced in 2020 that veterans who used medical cannabis (medical cardholders) would still qualify for benefits.  The VA (federal branch) has no problem with retired military personnel using hemp or medical cannabis. 

We know that military men and women in active service are prohibited from using any controlled substance.  For now, that includes medical marijuana. But a recent announcement from the U.S. Navy surprised many.  The Navy has banned the use of all hemp products. 

The Concern About Errors in Testing for THC Consumption

The Navy stated that it had banned sailors and Marines from using any products that contain hemp or cannabidiol. That includes personal sundries like soap, creams, and shampoos, and also dietary supplements.  

The justification for the U.S. Navy ban on hemp revolves around testing for marijuana.  Soldiers that are using hemp products can test positive for THC use.  That is a felony offense. Any amount of THC that is found during random drug testing of military personnel will result in charges.

The Uniform Code of Military Justice Article 92 allows for a maximum amount of 0.1% THC.  Hemp products that are legalized have a restricted cap of 0.30% THC. All branches of the U.S. military have expressed concern about the growing accessibility of CBD and hemp products.  There is no FDA approval of CBD or hemp products, which means the THC levels can vary.

Unlike civilians protected by state laws, where cannabis is legalized for medical or adult-use, military members have no civil defense.  As employees of the federal government, the rules are cut and dry.  Use CBD or cannabis and end your career. And face serious legal consequences for doing so if you are a military member in active duty.  This also applies to the National Guard and the Reserve soldiers who are enlisted for emergency response.

Is the Navy Right For Banning Hemp?

Even while CBD and hemp products are everywhere, from your local convenience store to licensed dispensaries, and even Amazon, it’s banned for military soldiers.  Is it fair?  The contradiction between state and federal legalization of hemp is confusing at best.  It puts not just military personnel but average consumers in legal jeopardy.

A problem that could be quickly rectified by the decriminalization of cannabis. In that scenario, military men and women may be free to use hemp and CBD products for personal wellness

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