On Monday, July 20th, the House of Representatives passed an amendment to allow all active military service members the ability to use products containing hemp and any of its derivatives. The amendment which is part of the National Defense Authorization Act passed by a vote of 336-71. The lead sponsor of the measure was Hawaii Representative and former Presidential Candidate, Tulsi Gabbard. Mrs. Gabbard, herself, is a military veteran and had served a 12 month tour in Iraq in the early 2000s. The measure specifically states:
Secretary of Defense may not prohibit, on the basis of a product containing hemp or any ingredient derived from hemp, the possession, use, or consumption of such product by a member of the Armed Forces as long as the crop meets the federal definition of hemp and that such possession, use, or consumption is in compliance with applicable Federal, State, and local law.– Amendment to National Defense Authorization Act
By now you are probably thinking, “If CBD was made federally legal by the 2018 Farm Bill how come the military couldn’t legally use hemp derived products?” Well, that is a great question (Dad is proud of you). This is yet another example of why having so many layers of bureaucracy complicates things. Back in February of this year, the Department of Defense (DOD) announced a new policy banning the usage of hemp derived products by active and reserve service members. The main concern voiced by the DOD was that since the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) does not certify THC concentrations in CBD products that it couldn’t be certain that members of the military would pass a urinalysis test. This may have been a fair point back in 2018 with the Farm bill was passed but since then plenty of quality CBD companies have been established. These companies use legit 3rd party testing and are compliant with all regulations. The military could easily work to ‘qualify’ several allowed brands for their service members. Also, they could simply approve CBD isolate products that have no detectable amounts of THC.
This measure has passed the House of Representatives version of the National Defense Authorization Act. It is unknown if similar reform language will be included in the Senate version of the amendment. Tulsi Gabbard continues to be a leader in all things hemp legislation and legalization. It is clear she sees the benefits having been a former military member herself. Just last year, Mrs. Gabbard introduced the Hemp for Victory Act of 2019 which was broad legislation aimed at more research and education for everything hemp related. Some highlights of that bill:
- Establish grant programs to develop studies on hemp’s potential to be treated as national commodity and to create tools to protect hemp farmers
- Study the nutritional value of hemp foods and beverages
- Study whether hemp products could be used as low-cost, healthy alternatives for public school lunches
- Study whether hemp products can be a substitute for prescription drugs
- Study whether hemp could be used as a substitute for certain plastics
This bill has not been voted on yet, but it is incredibly exciting to see the potential of what hemp could bring to all of our lives with more funding and focus. We support any and all legalization and further promotion and education of hemp-derived products such as CBD. We have heard far too many great stories from our customers in how CBD has changed their lives positively to think anything different. Revolutions take a while. They don’t just happen over night. We are certainly on a path to a hemp revolution and really a return back to when hemp was our nation’s most valuable crop. Back to a time that aligns with our Founding Fathers who knew exactly the benefit of hemp farming due to the product’s diversity. All aboard!