TSA updates their policy to allow CBD oil on flights
Over the Memorial Day weekend in America, the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) altered their policy on cannabis and cannabis-derived products, allowing for a greater number of them to brought on domestic flights.
How has the CBD legislation changed?
Whilst many are still prohibited, the TSA updated its What Can I Bring? FAQ page to list medical marijuana as “Yes, Special Instructions'. On a practical level that means that cannabidiol (CBD) oils that match the legal requirements can be brought aboard, as well as any FDA-approved form of medical marijuana.
Due to the manner in which legislation can shift on a state-by-state basis in the US, CBD oil has often occupied a shady area of legality. Whilst industrial hemp has long been legal due to its useful uses including paper, rope, textiles and fuel, it was only after the 2018 Farm Bill that a clear federal stance emerged on CBD products.
Under their new guidelines the TSA state:
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.
What are the practical impacts?
The implications of this are far-reaching, since the TSA is an agency that works at a federal level. Even though hemp derived CBD oil that met the 0.3% THC limit in its hemp extract (as explained in our piece on flying with cannabidiol here) would probably have been legally admissible on a flight, this move to legitimise CBD shows that government bodies are listening to the general public.
Since the TSA have qualified their approval with ‘special instructions’, most marijuana, and CBD oils with a high percentage of THC will still be illegal to bring aboard. However, how TSA officers will go about assessing whether a CBD oil meets the THC limit is unclear, given the difficulty of on-the-spot testing.
The TSA have suggested that if the situation was uncertain then a TSA agent would not test the sample themselves, and would instead refer such products to law enforcement for further analysis. At Vitality CBD we recommend ensuring you have documentation with any CBD products you carry outlining their complete ingredient profile.
Our commitment to transparency is why we provide comprehensive batch reports here.
In a statement outlining the motivations for the changes, a TSA spokesperson explained it was spurred on by the FDA’s approval of Epidiolex:
TSA was made aware of an FDA-approved drug that contains CBD oil for children who experience seizures from pediatric epilepsy. To avoid confusion as to whether families can travel with this drug, TSA immediately updated TSA.gov once we became aware of the issue.
This news coincides with a wider push amongst regulatory bodies in the US to provide clear regulations for hemp-derived products. As we reported yesterday, the FDA are set to hold a public hearing on the issue this Friday.
If you're new to the world of CBD and have questions that weren't resolved here, our experienced team are always on hand to field any questions. Reach out to us on our contact page here.