The United States House of Representatives overwhelmingly voted to approve an amendment that would allow members of the military to use hemp-derived products, including CBD.
The amendment to the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) was sponsored by former presidential candidate Representative Tulsi Gabbard.
“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,” the amendment says.
Although hemp became legal in the U.S. with the passage of the 2018 Farm Bill, the Department of Defense introduced a ban on CBD and other hemp products for service members in February.
Under Secretary of Defense for Personnel and Readiness Matthew P. Donovan directed all departments to enact the ban on CBD use as it presents itself as “a serious risk to the viability of the military drug testing program.” CBD and other hemp-derived products must contain no more than 0.3% THC in order to be considered legal at the federal level.
Should Gabbard’s amendment make it to the final bill and secure approval from the Senate, it would reverse the Department of Defense’s policy that essentially makes CBD use in the military a crime.
Herself a military veteran, Gabbard says her amendment will help service men and women suffering from insomnia, chronic pain and PTSD find more natural treatment options than prescription drugs.
“Hemp products provide a form of treatment that serves as an alternative option for those who would rather pursue natural remedies rather than prescription drugs. This amendment passed with strong bipartisan support, ensuring our servicemembers have access to the same over-the-counter products that Americans all across the country benefit from today,” Gabbard said in a statement.
Gabbard has previously introduced the Hemp for Victory Act, a comprehensive bill covering all aspects of the nascent hemp industry in the U.S., including research. The bill aimed to mandate studies that would look at hemp as a treatment for veterans with PTSD, among other issues.