The military branch emphasized that it has a “zero tolerance” drug policy and said that even with the 2018 Farm Bill, which legalized hemp, “Navy policy has not been affected” and “all products derived from hemp or marijuana are still prohibited.”
“While currently deemed 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 being regulated by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and may contain THC that could appear on a drug screening.
“Consequently, Sailors and Marines cannot rely on the packaging and labeling of hemp products in determining whether the product contains THC concentrations that could cause a positive urinalysis result,” the policy says.
Testing positive for THC is grounds for an “Other Than Honorable” discharge that could impact veteran benefits and employment opportunities, the Navy said.
The Press Release in full from the US Navy
Navy Releases Hemp Policy
WASHINGTON (NNS) — Department of the Navy continues to direct Sailors and Marines not to use hemp-derived products in a message released Aug. 7.
ALNAV 057/19 references and reiterates current Department of Navy (DoN) policy (SECNAVINST 5300.28F) regarding substance abuse, and it establishes the prohibition of use, ingestion, consumption or application of cannabinoid formulations made or derived from hemp or marijuana.
December 20, 2018, President Donald J. Trump signed into law the Agriculture Improvement Act of 2018, commonly known as the “2018 Farm Bill”. This includes legislation allowing hemp cultivation and the transfer of hemp-derived products across state lines. The legislation defines hemp as a cannabis plant that contains no more than 0.3 percent of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the chemical compound in cannabis associated with psychoactive effects. With the passage of this legislation, hemp-derived products, including cannabidiol (CBD), have become widely available.
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. While currently deemed legal for civilians in some states, all hemp and CBD products are strictly prohibited for use by Sailors.
Commercially-available hemp products, including CBD, have not been inspected by the FDA and therefore have not been proven to diagnose, treat, prevent or cure any illness. Some of these products do not list all ingredients, making it impossible to know definitively how much CBD, THC or other synthetic cannabinoids they may contain. Use, which is defined as oral ingestion, intravenous use, smoking/vaporization or any other method through which hemp-derived products may enter the body, could expose the user to THC. It is possible to test positive for THC on a urinalysis by using a CBD or hemp product. It can be impossible to determine where a CBD or hemp product was manufactured and what level of THC it may contain. Even trace amounts of THC can accumulate in the body and be detected in a urinalysis screening.
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. Additionally, the Navy reports unlawful drug users to the Federal Bureau of Investigation for inclusion in the National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS), which could impact the ability to purchase firearms or ammunition in the future. It is the responsibility of every Sailor to ensure that he or she is diligent in avoiding intentional or accidental exposure to THC and other prohibited substances.
Information about Navy drug detection and deterrence as well as Navy policy on hemp and CBD products can be found at www.ddd.navy.mil.
For more news from Chief of Naval Personnel, visit www.navy.mil/local/cnp/.