A lifetime ban from Carnival Cruise Line was imposed on a Texan woman when CBD gummies were discovered in her luggage as she was boarding the cruise ship.
Melinda Van Veldhuizen, a 42-year-old nurse practitioner and chiropractor residing in Dallas, Texas, had intended to commemorate her 21st wedding anniversary and her son’s senior year in high school aboard Carnival’s Horizon Cruise in August. However, her plans took an unexpected turn.
Van Veldhuizen, a seasoned cruise traveler, encountered a situation at the Port of Miami’s security checkpoint. She was halted by agents when X-rays revealed nail clippers in her suitcase. During the search, agents discovered CBD gummies, prompting them to take further action. Van Veldhuizen explained that the gummies were securely sealed and that she had brought them with her to aid in her sleep, as they were advertised to do.
She was then separated from her family and taken to an isolated area, where she underwent questioning by both security personnel and the police. Van Veldhuizen says she waited for two hours before receiving the news that she would not be permitted to embark on the cruise. Shortly thereafter, she received a letter from Carnival, officially notifying her of a ban from all future cruises with the company.
Daren Stabinski, Van Veldhuizen’s attorney, revealed that the initial communication from the company indicated that she would be responsible for the entire cruise fare for her family, amounting to approximately $5,586. However, Carnival later extended an offer to reimburse her $1,665, covering her cruise fare.
Nevertheless, CBD is a compound present in marijuana that is considered non-“impairing” and comes from either hemp or non-hemp plants. In 2018, the CDC highlighted that the U.S. Congress passed legislation to exclude hemp from the federal Controlled Substances Act, effectively legalizing CBD when derived from hemp.