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Use of cannabis, marijuana products still prohibited at Norfolk Naval Shipyard after July 1

FILE – In this Aug. 15, 2019 file photo, marijuana grows at an indoor cannabis farm in Gardena, Calif. In what could be a temporary victory for California’s legal cannabis industry, a state judge has dismissed a lawsuit that sought to overturn a state rule allowing home deliveries statewide, even into communities that banned commercial marijuana sales. (AP Photo/Richard Vogel, File)

PORTSMOUTH, Va. (WAVY) — The use of cannabis and other marijuana-related products will still be prohibited at Norfolk Naval Shipyard after July 1, officials say.

In a post on social media Wednesday afternoon, on the Eve of marijuana legalization in Virginia, officials from Norfolk Naval Shipyards say federal employees are still required to “refrain from use of any federally illegal drugs, whether on-duty or off.”

According to Executive Order 12564, Drug-Free Federal Workplace, federal employees are still required to refrain from the use of marijuana which is still considered illegal under federal law.

NNYS says possession or use of the drug is still not allowed for federal employees as marijuana remains a controlled substance under Schedule I of the Controlled Substance Act.

Come July 1, Virginia is set to be the 16 state to legalize small amounts of marijuana and allow adults ages 21 and older to possess up to an ounce of marijuana.

“Individuals who use illegal drugs are not suitable for federal employment,” says the post on social media. NNSY employees who test positive for marijuana in the Federal workplace are subject to a full range of consequences, including loss of security clearance and removal from federal service, regardless of state law.

This includes hemp products containing over 0.3% of tetrahydrocannabinol, also known as THC.

“If there’s any doubt about the THC content in any hemp products, it’s best not to use them at all,” officials say.

As for Cannabinol (CBD) products, it still remains on the list of marijuana products that are classified as Schedule I controlled substances under the Controlled Substance Act which makes them illegal under federal law.

Many CBD oils and similar products are not regulated by the FDA for content and could be contaminated with THC.

Starting July 1, people 21 and older across the commonwealth will be allowed to have up to an ounce of marijuana on them and grow up to four cannabis plants in their homes, but those hoping to go into a dispensary to pick some up will have to wait until 2024.

Adults caught with more than an ounce on them in a public place will face a $25 civil penalty. Those with more than a pound of marijuana in their possession can be convicted of a felony that comes with at least a year in prison and up to a 10-year sentence and a $250,000 fine.

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CBD products could still lead to trouble for service members

BREMERTON — It might not get you high. But it could still get you canned.

An increasing number of wellness products promote Cannabidiol, better known as CBD, a part of the cannabis plant proponents say is rich in medical benefits as an anti-inflammatory and anxiety reducer. Emboldened by the federal legalization of hemp — from which many CBD products are based — oils and CBD-infused waters have started showing up in local stores and even restaurants.

Public health officials in Washington caution residents that such products remain unregulated for now. An additional worry for Washington state’s thousands of service members is that CBD-infused drinks can sometimes still contain certain amounts of THC — the psychoactive ingredient in pot — even though you won’t get high. It’s possible it could show up in a drug test.

“The use of CBD by a servicemember is prohibited,” said Navy Region Northwest spokeswoman Sheila Murray.

Department of Defense officials have the authority to even blacklist, or place “off-limits,” establishments to service members. The list, obtained by the Kitsap Sun this week, includes five businesses in Pierce County but none in Kitsap — other than stores that allow the sale of marijuana.

Given the rise of CBD products, it’s likely servicemembers will encounter them more frequently around the state.

“It is the CBD substance that is off limits, not necessarily the business or establishment,” Murray added.

For the military — even in Washington, where marijuana was legalized by voters in 2012 — weed’s still considered a Schedule 1 controlled substance by the DEA, among other drugs the feds say have no medical value and the highest potential for abuse. The World Health Organization has concluded that CBDs, however, exhibit “no effects indicative of any abuse or dependence potential.” And, with the passage of the federal farm bill in December, hemp, which can be harvested for CBDs, has now become a legal agricultural product.

Businesses are not allowed to reuse CBD oil derived from marijuana and sold within the state-regulated market, said Brian Smith, spokesman for the Washington State Liquor and Cannabis Board.

Most of the CBD products are coming from hemp.

The CBD craze hit Bainbridge Island last May, when Cafe Hitchcock advertised a CBD-infused latte. That led to a call from the Kitsap Public Health District, which asked the cafe to stop selling them.

The district, in conjunction with the state’s Department of Health, is awaiting guidance from the Food and Drug Administration on how to regulate the emergence of CBDs in products, according to Jim Zimny, assistant director of environmental health for the Kitsap Public Health District.

The district doesn’t have enforcement jurisdiction over such a bottled product locally, Zimny said. His advice to local consumers: wait to see what the FDA decides. As an unregulated product, “We don’t know what’s in it,” he said.