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Carnival Cruise Line Bans Woman for Life Who Tried to Bring CBD Gummies on Board She said she thought they were a sleep aid.

By Jordan Hart

Key Takeaways

  • Carnival has banned a 42-year-old woman for life after finding CBD gummies in her bag, she said.
  • She said the candies were advertised as a sleeping aid.
  • Now Melinda Van Veldhuizen has hired an attorney in an effort to be refunded for her family's fare.
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AaronP/Bauer-Griffin/Getty Images via BI
The Carnival Horizon left without the family of four after Melinda Van Veldhuizen was told she couldn't set sail.

This article originally appeared on Business Insider.

A Texas woman said she was banned for life from Carnival cruises after security found CBD gummies in her luggage.

In August, Melinda Van Veldhuizen, 42, was preparing to set sail from Miami with her family when security searched her bag and discovered a pack of CBD gummies. In the following hours, Van Veldhuizen was held away from her family and ultimately denied the chance to board, Miami ABC affiliate WPLG earlier reported.

Later, Van Veldhuizen received a letter from Carnival Cruise Line informing her that she'd be prohibited from boarding any Carnival ships in the future — and any future bookings would be canceled, she told the station.

"This decision was based on your actions on the current cruise, which were a violation of the ship rules, interfered with the safety and/or enjoyment of other guests on the ship or caused harm to Carnival," the letter from Carnival Horizon Captain Rocco Lubrano reads. Business Insider obtained a copy of the letter.

Van Veldhuizen told local news that she bought the gummies because they were advertised as a sleep aid.

Carnival didn't immediately respond to a request for comment from Business Insider.

The cruise line responded to WPLG with a statement reiterating that CBD is prohibited from Carnival ships and said it's listed as a controlled substance by federal laws.

"We are not here to ascertain where our guests purchase CBD or what they intend to use it for once on board. Our responsibility is to follow federal guidelines and stop prohibited items from being brought on board our ships," a spokesperson told WPLG.

Daren Stabinski, an attorney hired by Van Veldhuizen, told the Washington Post that she was still being held responsible for the roughly $5,586 fare for her family of four. Business Insider also spoke to Stabinski, who verified the details of the situation.

Later, Carnival sent a follow-up letter offering to reimburse Van Veldhuizen for $1,665 for her own fare, but Veldhuizen's entire family decided not to board after she wasn't allowed to.

Stabinski's office is now working on a claim with Carnival in an effort to get a full refund. He said a lawsuit isn't out of the question.

CBD is short for cannabidiol. It's found in marijuana and can be derived from hemp or non-hemp plants, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

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