The TSA is Now Allowing Cannabis-Based Epilepsy Drugs on Flights
Thanks to the Transportation Security Administration (TSA), patients suffering from epilepsy now no longer have to worry about carrying their CBD medications on flights.
The TSA has just updated their guidelines with regards to flying with hemp-based CBD drugs, so that travelers can place them in both checked and carry-on luggage.
The new guidelines state that because of “special instructions,” “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 of 2018.”
The TSA confirmed the changes to Marijuana Moment, who wrote that previously, they “made no distinction between marijuana and hemp-derived preparations.”.
The TSA’s update, though late, followed the legalization of the 2018 Farm Bill, which officially legalized hemp. Additionally, they updated their guidelines to clarify the status of Epidiolex, a CBD-based epilepsy drug that made headlines last year after being approved by the FDA.
“To avoid confusion as to whether families can travel with this drug, TSA immediately updated TSA.gov once we became aware of the issue,” they told CNN.
However, flying with cannabis still isn’t allowed.
“Possession of marijuana and certain cannabis infused products, including some Cannabidiol (CBD) oil, remain illegal under federal law,” says the TSA. “TSA officers are required to report any suspected violations of law, including possession of marijuana and certain cannabis infused products.”
In an Instagram post recently, the TSA said: “Are we cool? We like to think we’re cool.”
“We want you to have a pleasant experience at the airport and arrive safely at your destination. But getting caught while trying to fly with marijuana or cannabis-infused products can really harsh your mellow.”
“Let us be blunt,” reads the caption. “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. This includes items that are used for medicinal purposes.”
With a total of 14 states that have decriminalized cannabis, and recreational pot being legal in 10 states plus the District of Columbia, and medical use legal in 33 states already, federal law states that it’s still illegal. The TSA will still be following their laws, so while travelers can attempt to travel with cannabis at their own risk, they should be prepared to face the consequences if caught with it.
If you do get caught, it really isn’t up to the TSA because they’re going to hand things over to the local cops, wherever you are. This means that even if you’re flying out of Las Vegas, where it is legal to possess as much as an ounce of cannabis anywhere in Nevada, the McCarran International Airport says that it’s still illegal. That’s why the McCarran airport provides travelers with amnesty boxes where they can get rid of their cannabis without worrying about retribution.
Some airports such as those in LAX and Seattle-Tacoma are more relaxed, but travelers should still be warned despite the fact that the federal and state law clashes.
One of the things you need to keep in mind is that how much weed you can travel on a plane with depends on the state possession limits. It’s fairly easy to travel within a state that’s cannabis-friendly, so you can fly with weed that’s equivalent to the recreational or medical limit within the state. But you can still be charged with possession when you arrive at a state that isn’t as cannabis-friendly, and you’re caught with pot.
Now that CBD is legal at the federal level, you can travel with it without worry. However, hemp flower is a whole other ballgame. Traveling with hemp flower, and getting caught with it, will likely have the cops say that it’s cannabis no matter what you say and no matter if it’s really hemp or not. Keep in mind that high-quality hemp flower pretty much looks and smells like cannabis, so unless you can travel with laboratory results proving that it’s legal, you still can get in trouble.