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If you’re flying out of a US airport with CBD medication in your checked bag or carry on, the skies just got a whole lot friendlier.
First reported by Marijuana Moment, in an unexpected adjustment to the official TSA cannabis policy made over the Memorial Day holiday weekend, the federally-run airport security administration has lifted its outright ban on CBD products, making “special instruction” exceptions for legal, hemp-derived medication.
“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,” a new section of the TSA guidelines reads, according to Marijuana Moment.
The rub? As of now, there’s only one CBD medication that’s actually been approved by the FDA — the anti-epilepsy drug Epidiolex. But while the FDA moves towards establishing formal rules for a nationwide hemp CBD market, all over-the-counter CBD extracts are currently in a regulatory grey area.
To complicate matters further, the TSA language notes that passengers can fly with products that “contain hemp-derived CBD or are approved by the FDA.” By placing an “or” instead of an “and” between those two clauses, and with the mention of the Agriculture Improvement Act 2018, or Farm Bill, later in the guidelines, the agency has likely opened the door for traveling with any number of widely available hemp-derived CBD products.
Of course, TSA has announced on multiple occasions that the agency’s purview does not include drug-based searches in the first place. If drugs are found, though, TSA policy requires agents to turn the passenger and contraband over to local law enforcement. It is not exactly clear how TSA will now handle CBD products that it finds, or if the agency will be able to test suspected cannabis products to determine if they are CBD extracts, or instead contain THC.
For now, though, it appears that TSA has given the green light to all CBD products that meet the current bar for federal legality at 0.03% THC or less. We will continue to post updates on this story as we learn more.
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