June 25 (UPI) -- Military service members can be punished for using products like hemp or cannibidiol, also known as CBD, according to a Pentagon memo that became public this week.
The memo, which was issued in February but published on the DoD's Operation Supplement Safety website, directs all military branches to issue orders by March 1 prohibiting the use of products made from hemp.
Last year, the DoD warned troops against use of CBD products, and individual branches advised service members that some CBD products contain trace amounts of THC -- the psychoactive ingredient in the cannabis plant -- and could cause them to fail a drug test.
That's no longer the case: per the memo, which was signed by Acting Under Secretary of Defense for Personnel and Readiness Matthew Donovan, all active-duty and reserve component personnel are no longer permitted to use the products.
Donovan wrote that the prohibition is necessary for "protecting the integrity of the drug testing program."
The reason, he said, is that under federal law, hemp is no longer a controlled substance and hemp products can contain up to .3 percent THC and still be legal.
"I specifically find a military necessity to require a prohibition of this scope to ensure the military drug testing program continues to be able to identify the use of marijuana, which is prohibited, and to spare the U.S. military the risks and adverse effects marijuana use has on the mission readiness of individual Service members and military units," Donovan wrote.