The Department of Defense (DOD) has made it clear that military members are prohibited from using hemp-derived products, including cannabidiol (CBD). This includes durable goods such as ropes and clothing, as well as FDA-approved cannabis-derived drugs like Epidiolex. The Navy has recently issued updates on a new utility boot for its sailors to use, as well as other uniform adjustments. The DOD's memorandum codifies what appears to have been an informal policy that resulted in a series of updates by various military branches on the policy on hemp and CBD.
The memo states that regular use of legal hemp products could lead to a positive urine test for THC. In February, the DOD announced a new policy that prohibited all active and reserve service members from using hemp products, including CBD. Both the DOD and the Air Force have previously intervened on the issue and have stipulated that members are prohibited from consuming hemp-derived CBD. FDA officials say that the hemp and CBD regulatory plan is months away, as a review of the marijuana programming is underway.
In the year and a half since hemp was legalized at the federal level, several military branches have published a guide that broadly prohibits active duty members from using products derived from cultivation, despite the change in legal status. However, service members will not be punished if they consume a product “without knowing that the product is manufactured or derived from hemp, including CBD, when that lack of knowledge is reasonable.” The department also said that, since so many hemp products are being introduced, it's not practical for them to draw up a list of individual brands that meet their standards. Under Army Regulation 600-85, soldiers are prohibited from consuming hemp or products containing hemp oil, synthetic cannabis, synthetic blends that use CBD oil, and other THC substitutes. The memorandum ordered the military branches to issue a guide for their ranks highlighting the prohibition of hemp before March 1.The Department of Defense reaffirmed that CBD is prohibited for service members, regardless of the federal legalization of hemp and its derivatives, in previous notices published earlier this year. The DOD's policy on hemp and CBD is clear: military members are not allowed to use any products derived from hemp or containing CBD.
The DOD's memorandum codifies what appears to have been an informal policy that resulted in a series of updates by various military branches on the policy on hemp and CBD.