The U.S. House of Representatives has approved a measure from Rep. Tulsi Gabbard, D-Hawaii, as part of an amendment package to the National Defense Authorization Act that passed the House late Monday on a bipartisan vote of 336-71.
The amendment says, “The 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 ingredients meet the federal definition of hemp.
Active service members had been denied the use of products made from hemp, including CBD, regardless of the product’s THC concentration, according to a February memo from the U.S. Department of Defense. the DOD said this was due to the inability of drug testing to differentiate between hemp-derived CBD products and THC marijuana products, which are federally illegal.
“If there are any Americans who most deserve access to wellness products such as CBD, it’s our brave, selfless troops,” the U.S. Hemp Roundtable said in a statement. “Let’s make sure that the men and women who risk their lives for our freedoms have the freedom to use quality, legal hemp products.”
Gabbard is a military veteran and a hemp advocate in Congress. In July 2019, she introduced the Hemp for Victory Act, which called for more research into the applications of hemp. It was referred to the subcommittee on health. That proposed bill was inspired by a World War II-era government film that encouraged farmers to grow hemp for the war effort.
Law360 gives Gabbard an A+ rating when it comes to cannabis. The site wrote, ” Since assuming office in the U.S. House of Representatives in 2013, Gabbard has introduced, signed and voted for numerous bills related to marijuana. In 2017, Gabbard co-sponsored the Ending Federal Marijuana Prohibition Act, a bipartisan bill which, if passed, would remove marijuana from the controlled substances list. The following year, Gabbard introduced the Marijuana Data Collection Act, a bill that would direct the U.S. Department of Justice to research the effects of marijuana legalization. Gabbard hoped that this research to “dispel myths and stigma” surrounding marijuana.
This year, Gabbard has co-sponsored The Marijuana Justice Act, which would deschedule marijuana if passed, and the VA Medicinal Cannabis Research Act, which would direct the Department of Veterans Affairs to research the therapeutic benefits of marijuana.