Members of the United States military are now allowed to use CBD after the U.S. House of Representatives approved a measure to end the ban on hemp products for anyone serving in the Armed Forces. This means that U.S. troops can now use hemp products and hemp derivatives without fear of being arrested or discharged from the military. What could this news mean for the cannabis market, cannabis companies, and cannabis investors?
CBD-Based Hemp Products Can Now Be Used by Active Duty Troops
CBD stands for cannabidiol, which is one of the active ingredients in cannabis. Hemp has a high concentration of cannabidiol and a low concentration of THC, which differentiates hemp from cannabis. Many retail dispensaries sell CBD hemp flower and buds in a variety of different strains and flavors.
As a result of the recent legislation passed by Congress, active duty U.S. service members and U.S. military veterans will now be able to use hemp-based CBD products without fear of arrest or prosecution. As set forth by the new law, the U.S. Secretary of Defense cannot prohibit “the possession, use, or consumption” of hemp or any ingredient derived from hemp by anyone currently serving in the military or by military veterans. Previously, the Pentagon had continued to enforce a policy that restricted use of hemp by active duty soldiers despite hemp CBD being declared legal by the 2018 Farm Bill.
There are some restrictions in the new law, which was one of several amendments to the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA). The legislation approved by Congress stipulates that the possession, use, and consumption of any hemp-derived products by members of the Armed Forces must meet federal standards and be “in compliance with applicable Federal, State, and local law.”
Bipartisan Support for Law Allowing CBD and Hemp Use by U.S. Troops
The house measure to allow U.S. troops to use CBD was overwhelmingly approved with bipartisan support from both Republicans and Democrats: the final vote was 336 to 71 in favor of the legislation.
The law was spearheaded by Hawaii Rep. Tulsi Gabbard, who recently ran for President as a member of the Democratic Party and who is a U.S. military veteran. Gabbard suspended her presidential campaign in March 2020, but she remains a sitting member of the U.S. House of Representatives. As a member of the House, Gabbard has long been an advocate for the hemp industry. For instance, Gabbard previously introduced the Hemp for Victory Act to call for research into the different applications of hemp and how hemp products might be used by Americans in their daily lives.
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