JULY 24, 2019
Recently, the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) announced that it is now legal to have CBD oil in your luggage. However, there’s a lot of “gray-ness” around this new policy.
For your CBD to be legally carried on a plane, it has to meet certain requirements defined by the TSA. And these requirements couldn’t be more complicated.
Found on the TSA’s “What Can I Bring” page it says, “Marijuana and certain cannabis infused products, including some Cannabidiol (CBD) oil, remain illegal under federal law except for products that contain no more than 0.3 percent THC on a dry weight basis or that are approved by FDA. (See the Agriculture Improvement Act of 2018, Pub. L. 115-334.) TSA officers are required to report any suspected violations of law to local, state or federal authorities. TSA’s screening procedures are focused on security and are designed to detect potential threats to aviation and passengers…”
There are so many parts to this statement that many are perplexed by. Let’s break it down:
First, why the change of laws?
Until this last Memorial Day, the TSA essentially told flyers to leave their CBD oil and products at home. However, this all changed after the FDA approved the first CBD drug (Epidiolex) to treat seizures.
Now that we have that covered, it’s 100% legal to fly with CBD right?
Maybe. As of December 2018, hemp was legalized under the Farm Bill. Now, with the recent changes to TSA’s regulations, traveling with CBD derived from hemp is legal. But there are still a few instances where it can still be technically illegal.
Flying with CBD oil that contains THC remains illegal.
TSA Agents would have to involve local law enforcement if a traveler were found to be possessing cannabis. However, don’t panic. The TSA is not going out of their way to search for marijuana or CBD products.
The TSA shared this on their official Instagram account, “Let us be blunt: TSA officers DO NOT search for marijuana or other illegal drugs. Our screening procedures are focused on security and detecting potential threats. But in the event a substance appears to be marijuana or a cannabis-infused product, we’re required by federal law to notify law enforcement.”
What makes it even more confusing is that the most popular field tests used by authorities can’t tell the difference between CBD and THC products. These tests can test positive for THC in CBD products because it is technically legal for there to be no more than .3% of THC in CBD products. However, these tests are not showing the percentage of THC in these CBD products, instead, it just indicates that there is THC present.
This is about as clear mud, right?
We recommend looking up the local laws in your state to ensure you won’t have any issues flying. Also, it wouldn’t hurt to double-check your CBD is TSA compliant even though it’s still very “grey”. If you’re still feeling unsure and anxious, try taking your favorite CBD product upon airport arrival!
Others have also recommended having your third-party testing results for the products you’re taking handy to show in the case of being questioned. These test results should be readily available on most retailers’ websites.
While the TSA’s guidelines about CBD have changed, the agency warns on their site that “the final decision rests with the TSA officer” on duty.