Alaska News

Lip balm with THC mistakenly distributed on JBER

Around 400 tubes of lip balm were being discarded on Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson Thursday after officials found they contained trace amounts of THC.

Confirming an initial report from the Air Force Times, JBER spokesperson 1st Lt. Michael Harrington said Thursday, "It's a real thing; kind of embarrassing, I guess."

The lip balm contained hemp seed oil, the use of which is banned in U.S. Army and Air Force regulations.

In an email to JBER employees Wednesday, the base's public affairs team asked that the lip balm be thrown away.

While the lip balm "does not have a significant amount of THC to register on a drug test," the email says, it still falls under the ban on hemp seed products.

The base's Sexual Assault Prevention and Response Office was distributing the lip balm, Harrington said, as it does with other promotional items such as water bottles and calendars.

The lip balm was purchased mistakenly, Harrington said. "Not everybody thinks to check the ingredients list on ChapStick."

While the possibility that JBER staff might fail a drug test due to use of the lip balm is extremely remote, the base must "just take the route of utmost caution," Harrington said.

Laurel Andrews

Laurel Andrews was a reporter for the Anchorage Daily News, Alaska Dispatch News and Alaska Dispatch. She left the ADN in October 2018.