Usage of Hemp Products Can Lead To MMC Cancellation

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The US Department of Homeland security has issued a Marine Safety Advisory regarding the potential for positive Drug Test Result from Use of Hemp-Plant Products.  A news report in Splash 247 based on the press release by FDA brings to the fore about the important features to be followed by seafarers.

The Marine Safety Advisory cautions

The Marine Safety Advisory was to ensure that mariners, marine employers, and sponsoring organizations are aware that some products marketed as hemp or cannabidiol (CBD) may contain enough tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) to cause a positive drug test.

What is the consequence of testing positive?

 In accordance with 46 CFR 16.201(c), an individual who fails a chemical test for dangerous drugs must be dismissed from duties directly affecting the safe operation of the vessel, and is subject to suspension and revocation proceedings against his or her credential under 46 CFR part 5.

Use of hemp or CBD products is not accepted as an affirmative defense (acceptable excuse) against a THC-positive drug test result, as mentioned in the article published by saftey4sea.

Precautions to be taken

  • It is crucial that mariners should exercise extreme caution when considering the use of any hemp or CBD product.
  • A positive THC drug test could result in the loss of their merchant mariner credential and immediate removal from safety sensitive duties aboard a vessel.
  • This includes hemp and CBD products in any form whether they are taken by mouth or applied to the skin.
  • Failure to do so would result in the loss of their merchant mariner credential and immediate removal from safety sensitive duties aboard a vessel.

Mariners should be aware of the products

Hemp products and CBD products are marketed to the general public in several forms such as food and medicinal products, dietary supplements, oils, cosmetics, and hair products. In some cases, product manufacturers market these products as low in THC, or THC-free.

Mariners should be aware that over-the-counter hemp products and CBD products have not been approved as medications by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and are not regulated by the FDA. 

What are the dangers of the drug?

THC is the primary psychoactive component of the Cannabis sativa plant. Hemp and marijuana are different strains of the Cannabis sativa plant and both contain varying concentrations of THC and CBD. 

This dangerous drug has an intoxicating effect on the user and can pose safety-risks to vessel operations. 

The U.S. Coast Guard prohibits THC use by mariners because of its known debilitating effects, and all U.S. Coast Guard-required drug tests screen mariners for use of THC.

Recent changes to Federal and State laws have brought about a rise in the accessibility of over-the-counter hemp items and CBD items all through the United States.

The users lack federal assurances of their ingredients, THC-content, quality, effectiveness, or safe use.

Therefore, mariners using these products put themselves at risk of having a THC-positive drug test result. 

Use of hemp products unacceptable

It remains unacceptable for any U.S Coast Guard credentialed mariner or other safety-sensitive worker working aboard a vessel that is subject to U.S Coast Guard drug testing regulations to use THC.

Claimed use of hemp products or CBD products is not an acceptable defense for a THC positive drug test result. 

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Source: safety4sea

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