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Air Force Says Hemp Skin Care Products Not Prohibited

Posted on August 19, 2004

USAF Letter Refutes Reports of Ban by Numerous TV Stations

Washington, DC — The Indoor Tanning Association (ITA) representing thousands of businesses and the Hemp Industries Association’s (HIA) 200 member companies received written clarification this week from the United States Air Force Surgeon General’s Office that hemp skin care products are “not prohibited” under a policy dating back to 2001 that bans ingestion of hemp foods by Air Force personnel. The North American trade groups sought clarification of the Air Force policy on hemp sun block and other personal care products that contain hemp seed oil after reports first published April 23rd in Mach Meter: The Online Publication of Cannon Air Force Base raised unfounded concerns that items could cause false positive drug tests. See the Air Force Hemp Skincare Policy in PDF format.

The false story was picked up by the Associated Press and then reported on at least 27 local and cable TV stations in May of this year, damaging various American body care businesses. The reports mislead the general public to think they should not use hemp oil sun block and tanning lotions because they allegedly could cause positive drug tests for marijuana and trigger drug sniffing dogs at military check points. A list of TV stations that aired the false report is at the end of this release.

“We are grateful the Air Force clarified their policy on hemp personal care products, which include soap, shampoo, lip balm, lotions and sun block, among others” says Candi Penn, Executive Director of HIA. “Although the Air Force policy on hemp foods is similarly ill-founded, the Air Force clarification on skin care will certainly help dispel the myth that someone could fail a drug just from using hemp tanning lotion. We hope news media will report this clarification since earlier reports this year damaged legitimate business, especially hemp sun block manufacturers, just as the summer buying season began.”

Of all vegetable oils, hemp oil contains the highest proportion of the omega 3 & 6 Essential Fatty Acids (EFAs) which nourish and replenish the skin in personal care products. U.S. hemp companies voluntarily observe reasonable trace THC limits similar to those adopted by European nations as well as Canada. These limits protect consumers with a wide margin of safety from workplace drug-testing interference even when eating unrealistic quantities of hemp oil and nut on a daily basis. (see hemp industry standards regarding trace THC at

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