Long before authorities outlawed the cultivation, processing and sale of hemp, fabrics made from hemp were all the rage. People have used hemp fabrics in a wide variety of applications for hundreds of years, with its strength and coarseness making it a perfect fabric for ship sailcloths, canvas, rope, socks and even paper. Sailors of old also used hemp cordage to hold ships and sails.
The U.S. Army is now exploring ways it can use industrial hemp to develop uniforms for snipers. This is despite the fact that service members are absolutely prohibited from using federally legal CBD that has been derived from hemp and isn’t psychoactive. The military branch has issued a request for information about how it can use hemp yarn to give snipers better camouflage.
The Army posted a request for information (RFI) last week stating that it would like to look into alternative yarns to provide better camouflage for snipers who need to remain hidden when close to enemy combatants. The Operational Clothing and Individual Improved Ghillie System (IGS), as the Army calls it, would benefit a great deal from materials such as hemp and jute, the RFI said.
This is a “new and improved sniper concealment system” that is designed to address the snipers’ need for concealment, the notice said. It stated that materials such as jute and hemp could be used to change a sniper’s appearance and allow them to stay undetected. According to the notice, the army is specifically interested in a twine, yarn or thread that could be used to break up the hemp, jute or natural fiber outline and prevent the sniper from standing out against the background.
It states that the Product Manager Soldier Clothing and Individual Equipment Division is seeking about 400,000 yards of hemp, jute or natural fiber in a natural color. The Army states in the notice that the jute will have to be spun in the Unites States, even if the fiber itself was imported, while hemp yarn can either be imported or spun domestically.
Furthermore, the notice emphasizes that these materials should be compatible with direct and prolonged skin contact and should not present any health risks to the wearer, or add a lot of weight, which could hinder their mobility. Interested parties have until July 27, 2022, to respond and make their submissions. The army requests that participants provide all the relevant cost and performance data alongside their submissions.
As U.S. federal government entities such as the Army warm up to the utility of different cannabis varieties, such as hemp, the time may not be far off when reforms will be made and marijuana companies such as American Cannabis Partners are allowed to operate nationally.
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