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Indoor Tanning Association and Hemp Industries Association Seek Clarification from Air Force on Hemp Sun Block Policy

Posted on June 10, 2004

Air Force Policy Not Based on Science — Libels Legitimate Businesses

Washington, DC — The Indoor Tanning Association (ITA) representing thousands of businesses has joined with the Hemp Industries Association’s (HIA) 200 member companies to seek clarification on the U.S. Air Force policy on sun block and other personal care products that contain hemp seed oil. In a letter sent this week to the Secretary of the Air Force Dr. James Roche, the trade associations ask for clarification on a policy first published April 23rd in Mach Meter: The Online Publication of Cannon Air Force Base that raised unfounded concerns that sun block products made from hemp seed oil could cause false positive drug tests. The story, which was picked up by the Associated Press and has been reported on over 40 local TV stations, misleads Airmen and the general public to think they should not use hemp sun block because it could cause positive drug tests for marijuana.

“The Air Force’s concerns are not based in scientific research and are further discredited since there is no example of any person failing a drug test after using hemp personal care products including, soap, shampoo, conditioner, moisturizer and sun block,” says Candi Penn, Executive Director of HIA. “We want the Air Force to correct the story and issue a clarification that their policy does not ban the use of hemp tanning lotions or other hemp personal care products by Airmen.”

In the April 2004 issue of Medical Review Officer Update the question of whether hemp seed oil products used on the skin can cause positive drug tests was addressed. According to Dr. Gero Leson who has conducted research on hemp seed oil absorption through skin, one cannot fail a drug test under federal guidelines even after prolonged use of hemp products.

In recent years a handful of people have contested they failed their drug test as a result of using hemp products on the skin. Despite these allegations, there has yet to be a case in which someone was excused in court for failing their drug test due to their use of a hemp seed product.

U.S. hemp companies voluntarily observe reasonable THC limits similar to those adopted by European nations as well as Canada and Australia. These limits protect consumers with a wide margin of safety from workplace drug-testing interference (see hemp industry standards regarding trace THC at www.testpledge.com). “Unfortunately, the Air Force is confusing non-psychoactive industrial hemp varieties of cannabis with psychoactive ‘marihuana’ varieties,” says Penn.

“Concerns reported in the story that drug sniffing dogs could target a person wearing hemp sun block are totally ridiculous,” says Penn. She adds, “Thousands of gallons of hemp seed oil are legally imported into the U.S every year, yet drug sniffing dogs on the border have never confused these raw materials with marijuana. If the dogs on the border leave the unprocessed hemp alone, I cannot believe they will bother someone wearing a few drops on hemp sun block. The Air Force needs to do a better job of reporting the facts about hemp before they do greater damage to legitimate businesses by airing unfounded allegations.”

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