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You Can Now Fly with some CBD Oils - TSA Update

You Can Now Fly with some CBD Oils - TSA Update

No doubt that medical and recreational marijuana is legalized in certain States in the U.S. However, the TSA has always maintained that being in possession of any form of marijuana is illegal when boarding a flight.

Nevertheless, this changed days back when the TSA updated one of their webpages (What can I bring?) where it noted that passengers are now allowed to carry only one hemp-derived medication and some forms of CBD oil on the plane. This of course has to be approved by the FDA (Food and Drug Administration). To learn more about Cannabidiol and What is CBD read our tutorial.

The TSA Twitter account (@AskTSA) further advised a traveler that enquired about this that yes, "Products that contain hemp-derived CBD oil or are FDA-approved are generally legal & can fly." They went further to state that this was necessitated by certain FDA approved drugs that contain Epidiolex and CBD oil which can be used in treatment of seizures in children.

The statement on medical marijuana use now reads thus:

"Possession of marijuana and certain cannabis infused products, including some Cannabidiol (CBD) oil, remain illegal under federal law. TSA officers are required to report any suspected violations of law, including possession of marijuana and certain cannabis infused products.

Products/medications that contain hemp-derived CBD or are approved by the FDA are legal as long as it is produced within the regulations defined by the law under the Agriculture Improvement Act 2018.

TSA’s screening procedures are focused on security and are designed to detect potential threats to aviation and passengers. Accordingly, TSA security officers do not search for marijuana or other illegal drugs, but if any illegal substance is discovered during security screening, TSA will refer the matter to a law enforcement officer."

It's worth noting that the TSA never differentiated between some hemp-derived products and marijuana in the past. What differentiates hemp-derived products from marijuana is the little amount of THC (tetrahydrocannabinol) the former contains. This is the chemical element in marijuana that accounts for the intoxication effects.

Nonetheless, this new TSA update does not change its ban on other varieties of marijuana, including CBD oils that contain THC and products made with cannabis. The question now is, how do the TSA officers at the airport know a substance containing THC, since they do not carry out practical on-site testing at checkpoints. According to a TSA spokesperson, this shouldn’t be a big issue as any confusing situation will always be reported to the local law enforcement. 

A Boston attorney, David Bannard of Kaplan Kirsch & Rockwell LLP who consults with various airports on certain regulatory issues as well as on marijuana says that this does not mean one is allowed to fly with products infused with cannabis and that it’s still illegal under the federal law.

Still, the TSA officer at the airport has the final say on what passes through the checkpoint as noted on the TSA webpage (“What can I bring”).

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