The Carnival Cruise Line Bans Passenger for Packing CBD Gummies

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In a surprising turn of events, Carnival Cruise Line has handed a lifetime ban to a Texas woman for packing CBD gummies in her suitcase. The woman, Melinda Van Veldhuizen, had purchased the gummies from a drugstore in Texas and intended to use them to help with sleep troubles. However, when the gummies were discovered during a routine security check at the Port of Miami, Carnival Cruise Line deemed them prohibited. The company’s guidelines state that CBD products are not allowed on board because they are “not legal in all the ports we visit.” As a result, Van Veldhuizen was not only banned from future cruises but also faced the possibility of being held responsible for the cost of the trip for her husband and two teenage sons, who would still be going on the cruise without her. The woman has hired a lawyer to help fight the ban and seek a full refund for her family.

Carnival Cruise Line Bans Passenger for Packing CBD Gummies

Carnival Cruise Line Bans Passenger for Packing CBD Gummies

If you’re planning to take a cruise any time soon, you might want to double-check what you pack in your suitcase. Carnival Cruise Line recently made headlines when they issued a lifetime ban to a Texas woman for packing CBD gummies.

Background

Melinda Van Veldhuizen, a 42-year-old nurse practitioner and chiropractor from Dallas, found herself in hot water when security at the Port of Miami discovered a pack of CBD gummies in her suitcase in August. While CBD products may be legal for “medicinal purposes” in parts of the United States, Carnival Cruise Line considers them prohibited at sea because they are not legal in all the ports they visit.

Incident at the Port of Miami

Van Veldhuizen’s troubles began when metal nail clippers were detected in her suitcase during the X-ray scan at the Port of Miami. Security workers then conducted a bag search and found the pack of CBD gummies she had purchased in Texas. Although the gummies were sealed and claimed to help with sleep troubles, their presence led to a series of events that would change Van Veldhuizen’s cruise plans.

Security personnel had Van Veldhuizen wait in a boarding terminal area away from her family for approximately 3½ hours. The gummies were weighed, and she was asked if she had a license to possess them. Ultimately, she was informed that she would not be allowed to board the cruise.

Lifetime Ban and Cancellation of Future Bookings

In August, Carnival Cruise Line sent Van Veldhuizen a letter stating that she would be banned from all of their ships. Additionally, any future cruise bookings would be canceled due to her actions on the current cruise, which were a violation of the ship rules and interfered with the safety and enjoyment of other guests.

Legal Action and Reimbursement

Van Veldhuizen was initially told that she would be responsible for her cruise fare and the cost of the trip for her family, totaling roughly $5,586. However, after hiring an attorney, she received a follow-up letter from Carnival offering to reimburse her $1,665 cruise fare. Despite this, Van Veldhuizen and her attorney believe that this offer is inadequate and plan to pursue further reimbursement for her family’s fare.

If Carnival does not address the issue “appropriately,” a lawsuit may be on the horizon. Van Veldhuizen and her attorney hope that Carnival will rectify the situation and lift the lifetime ban.

CBD: Definition and Regulation

For those who may not be familiar, CBD stands for cannabidiol. It is a compound found in marijuana and can be derived from both hemp and non-hemp plants. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention state that hemp refers to any part of the cannabis sativa plant that contains less than 0.3 percent of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the psychoactive ingredient that produces a high.

Photo by Pixabay:

CBD regulation can be quite confusing, as it can be derived from both hemp and cannabis. While hemp products were legalized by Congress in the 2018 Farm Bill, CBD-infused candies are still considered illegal under the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act, which is overseen by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. Regulations surrounding CBD are further complicated by the fact that over-the-counter CBD products are not regulated by the FDA, potentially leading to inconsistencies in THC levels.

Confusion in CBD Regulation

The unpredictability of compounds found within CBD products makes it difficult to regulate and enforce consistent rules. While the CBD gummies in Van Veldhuizen’s possession were derived from hemp and not advertised as containing THC, Carnival Cruise Line maintains that it is their responsibility to follow federal guidelines.

Cruise Lines and Federal Regulations

Cruise lines, including Carnival Cruise Line, continue to adhere to federal regulations, which prohibit the possession of marijuana regardless of state legalization for recreational or medical purposes. Disney Cruise Line, for example, explicitly prohibits marijuana, cannabis, hemp, THC, and CBD products in their guidelines, complying with federal regulations and local laws at all destinations.

Van Veldhuizen’s Previous Cruise Experience

Carnival Cruise Line Bans Passenger for Packing CBD Gummies

Prior to this incident, Van Veldhuizen and her family had taken over a dozen Carnival cruises. She had meticulously followed the rules and enjoyed annual trips with her husband and two sons, often including airfare and other travel expenses. This particular cruise was intended to celebrate her 21st wedding anniversary, her son’s last year in high school, and her upcoming birthday.

Conclusion

In conclusion, Carnival Cruise Line’s decision to ban a passenger for packing CBD gummies has sparked controversy. While CBD regulation remains confused and inconsistent, cruise lines continue to prioritize following federal guidelines and ensuring the safety and enjoyment of all guests. The outcome of Melinda Van Veldhuizen’s legal battle with Carnival remains uncertain, leaving many to question the future of CBD-related incidents and regulations on cruises.

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