Melinda Van Veldhuizen, a 42-year-old nurse practitioner from Dallas, received a lifetime ban from Carnival Cruise Line for having non-psychoactive CBD gummies in her luggage. The contraband was discovered during a routine security check at the Port of Miami, after an X-ray scanner detected metal nail clippers in her luggage, reports The Washington Post.
Van Veldhuizen, who said she packed the gummies for sleep issues, told The Post that she was detained for three and a half hours. "During this time," reports The Post, "she said security weighed the gummies and asked if she had a license to possess them. She was eventually told she would not be allowed on the cruise."
Captain Rocco Lubrano of Carnival Cruise Line wrote her a followup letter informing her of a lifetime ban for violating the ship's rules. "This decision was based on your actions on the current cruise, which were a violation of the ship's rules, interfered with the safety and/or enjoyment of other guests on the ship, or caused harm to Carnival," said Lubrano's letter.
Adding insult to injury, the cruise fare of $5,586 was charged to her account.
From The Post:
CBD, short for cannabidiol, is a compound found in marijuana and can be derived from "hemp or from non-hemp plants," according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Hemp would be considered any part of the cannabis sativa plant that has less than 0.3 percent of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the psychoactive ingredient that produces a high.
The unpredictability of compounds found within CBD products makes it harder and more confusing to regulate. Although Congress legalized hemp products in the 2018 Farm Bill, CBD can derive from both hemp and cannabis. CBD-infused candies are still considered illegal under the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act, overseen through the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.
Daren Stabinski, Van Veldhuizen's attorney, described the emotional impact of Van Veldhuizen's ordeal as grueling and embarrassing. They are considering legal action against Carnival if their internal claim does not result in a satisfactory resolution.