Congress approves bill to allow military members to use CBD

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Hemp-based CBD is now on the menu for military service members

All the efforts made to promote cannabis reforms and measures that were planned for this year’s spending bills are starting to pay off. This can be seen in the latest amendment approved by the House of Representatives on Monday. This new bill would allow military service members to use hemp-based products, including its derivatives like cannabidiol (CBD). The bill, which also includes dozens of other non-cannabis amendments that will be made to the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), found major support from the House and it was passed with a 336-71 vote.

The measure was introduced by Representative Tulsi Gabbard, and the bill states that 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” but the products must follow the federal definition of hemp and that “such possession, use, or consumption is in compliance with applicable Federal, State, and local law.”

Another measure included in this bill – approved in committee earlier this month – will allow military branches to issue reenlistment waivers for those individuals who admitted using marijuana or were once convicted for a minor marijuana offense. Gabbard, who is a military veteran herself, has been working on related bills and one of them aims to modernize the hemp industry, including the implementation of federal research to explore the wide range of potential applications the crop has.

This latest amendment comes to address a conflict that has emerged in recent months. Several military branches issued statements to service members to warn that neither CBD nor hemp is allowed to be used by members, regardless of its federal legalization under the 2018 Farm Bill.