The Navy made the announcement in a memo issued this past Friday
The Navy is expanding its CBD and hemp ban for sailors and marines to cover topical products like shampoos and soaps derived from the federally legal crop, going beyond a previous prohibition focused on consumable preparations such as oils and tinctures.
The update was released just four days after the House of Representatives approved an amendment to a spending bill that would allow all military service members to use products containing hemp and its derivatives including cannabidiol.
In its new Friday memo, the Navy clarified that “use” of banned products “includes the use of topical products containing hemp, such as shampoos, conditioners, lotions, lip balms, or soaps.” That language did not appear in either of its earlier hemp policy notices, including one released earlier this month.
It’s not clear what’s behind the rule’s expansion, but military branches have been consistently warning service members about consuming hemp-derived cannabinoids despite the crop’s federal legalization under the 2018 Farm Bill.
They’ve expressed concerns that, because the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) does not currently regulate commercially available CBD products, there’s a risk of mislabeling and members inadvertently taking a product that contains excess THC that could show up on a drug test.
“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 latest memo, signed by Navy Secretary Kenneth J. Braithwaite, says.
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