Recently, the TSA quietly updated its “What can I bring?” page noting that passengers can now fly with some forms of CBD oil and one hemp-derived medication approved by the FDA. May 28th, the @AskTSA account on Twitter even advised a traveler that “Products that contain hemp-derived CBD oil or are FDA-approved are generally legal & can fly.” The TSA stated that this change was prompted by Epidiolex, the only Food and Drug Administration-approved drug that contains CBD oil, used to treat seizures in children with epilepsy.
The notation on medical marijuana now reads:
“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.”
The new rule does not change the TSA’s ban on other forms of marijuana, including cannabis-infused products and CBD oils that contain over 0.3% THC. It’s unclear how TSA officers would know whether a substance contained THC, since the TSA does not do on-site testing at airport security checkpoints. If there is any doubt, a TSA spokesperson said the matter would be referred to local law enforcement.
“This is an interesting development, but demonstrates several things,” says David Bannard, an attorney with Kaplan Kirsch & Rockwell LLP in Boston, who consults with airports on marijuana and other regulatory issues.”First, this confirms the split between the federal regulatory regime and those states that have legalized marijuana for certain uses, especially for recreational use. Second, it also shows that Congress is beginning to follow the general public and may presage the devolution of regulation of marijuana to the states. Lastly, it does not mean that it is legal to fly with marijuana products in one’s possession — that remains impermissible under federal law.”
As the TSA’s “What can I bring?” page notes, “The final decision rests with the TSA officer on whether an item is allowed through the checkpoint.”
AskTSA. (2019, May 28). 2: Products that contain hemp-derived CBD oil or are FDA-approved are generally legal & can fly. Pls visit: Https://t.co/Gukb3qAHjz. Retrieved from https://twitter.com/AskTSA/status/1133436158044721154
Kelleher, S. R. (2019, May 29). TSA Update: Flying With Some CBD Oil Is Now Okay. Retrieved from https://www.forbes.com/sites/suzannerowankelleher/2019/05/29/tsa-update-flying-with-some-cbd-oil-is-now-okay/#676910da78af
Medical Marijuana. (2019, June 05). Retrieved from https://www.tsa.gov/travel/security-screening/whatcanibring/items/medical-marijuana