The U.S. Navy has prohibited the use of products made or derived from hemp, including cannabidiol (CBD), regardless of the products’ THC concentration and regardless of whether such products may lawfully be bought, sold, and used under the law applicable to civilians.
A memorandum issued by the Navy last Aug. 19 stated that abuse by members of the Armed Forces is incompatible with military standards and it is the goal of the Department of the Navy to eliminate substance abuse.
According to the memorandum, the use of products containing or derived from hemp, may interfere with the Navy and Marine Corps Drug Testing Program and result in the reporting of unlawful THC levels in Sailors and Marines.
“In order to ensure military readiness and the reliability and integrity of the Drug Testing Program, the knowing ingestion (orally, intravenously, through smoking/vaporization, or through other means) of products containing, or products derived from, hemp is prohibited. Failure by military personnel to comply with this All Navy Message (ALNAV) is a violation of the Uniform Code of Military Justice (UCMJ), Article 92, Failure to Obey a Lawful General Order, and any other UCMJ article that may apply. Violations may result in administrative and/or disciplinary action,” the memorandum stated.
According to the Navy, the prohibition does not apply to the ingestion, consumption, or application of cannabinoid formulations approved as drugs by the Food and Drug Administration for which service members have valid prescriptions, such as dronabinol (Marinol, Syndros) and cannabidiol (Epidiolex).
In addition, a prescription will be deemed valid if issued by the service members’ assigned Department of Defense approved medical service provider or a civilian medical professional whose care the service members were referred or directed to seek.
The prohibition also does not apply to the use of topical products such as shampoos, conditioners, lotions, or soaps.