Now cleared to fly: Hemp products and CBD meds, TSA says

Samantha J. Gross
Miami Herald
In this March 26, 2019, file photo, a baggage handler waits for luggage to arrive at Dulles International Airport in Dulles, Va. The Transportation Security Administration has changed its cannabis policy to allow passengers to travel with some forms of CBD oil and a drug derived from marijuana that has been approved by the Food and Drug Administration.

Heading out of town? Now your cannabis can come along, too.

In an update to its website’s “What Can I Bring?” section, the Travel Security Administration clarified that Food and Drug Administration-approved hemp products like certain CBD medications are now allowed in both carry-on and checked bags.

The clarified language was quietly posted Sunday.

In the past, TSA did not differentiate between marijuana and other hemp derivatives and warned that cannabis products wouldn’t be allowed in carry-on bags or checked luggage.

Marijuana Moment, a marijuana policy blog, first reported the update.

In December the $867 billion federal Farm Bill, among other things, classified hemp as an agricultural commodity and took it off the federal controlled substances list. Hemp, a form of the cannabis plant, contains only trace amounts of THC – the naturally occurring component in marijuana that produces a high. Cannabinoid oil, or CBD, can be extracted and processed from the hemp plant to be used for medicinal purposes.

Possession of marijuana and some other cannabis products is still illegal under federal law, and TSA officers will still be required to report any suspected possession violations, a TSA spokeswoman said. If any illegal substances are found during the routine security screening, the TSA refers the matter to local law enforcement.

TSA confirmed that its officers were being briefed on the change, which came about after the FDA approved a cannabis-derived seizure medication called Epidiolex.

“TSA was made aware of an FDA-approved drug that contains CBD oil for children who experience seizures from pediatric epilepsy,” the TSA spokeswoman wrote in an email. “To avoid confusion as to whether families can travel with this drug, TSA immediately updated once we became aware of the issue.”