We all pack for trips differently. Personally, I’m a fly by the seat of my pants type of traveler, and only begin to pack clothes a couple of hours before leaving for my trip. As a frequent traveler, I have a good handle on what the TSA allows and doesn’t allow.
My last flight, however, was a little bit different. I was traveling to Texas for a conference. So far, so good. With 3 hours to go until my flight, I had hastily stuffed my clothes into my travel bag and then ventured into the bathroom to gather my toiletries. Deodorant, toothpaste, and all that good stuff quickly joined my haphazardly assorted clothes.
Then, I saw my Envy Hemp Wellness CBD Tincture.
At this point, I was 2 weeks into daily use of our water-soluble tincture and loving the results. I wanted to take it with me, but I hesitated.
I went to the TSA website – and surprise surprise: I concluded I probably shouldn’t fly with CBD. Based on the arrest of Lena Bartula, and the local Texas laws that forbid only a small percentage of Texans from having CBD, I made the right choice.
I ended up taking that flight without my CBD, both because of the local laws in Texas and the TSA’s stance on CBD, which was confusing, considering that the 2018 farm bill had legalized industrial hemp over 6 months prior.
However – the TSA made a change to its website over Memorial Day Weekend and you can thank them for this one! They have finally clarified their stance on CBD in accordance with the farm bill, and you can now legally fly with federally compliant hemp-derived CBD.
The key clause is the second paragraph which states:
“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”
Bingo. You can fly with legal CBD, and not have to worry about getting yourself into any trouble. What this means, is as long as your CBD is derived from industrial hemp and contains less than .3% THC, you can fly with it either in your checked bag or carry on. If you’re unclear if your CBD is legal, check out the video we did explaining the confusion.
Personally, I recommend flying with your CBD oil or capsules in a pressurized cabin, which means you'll want to pack your CBD in your carry on. This goes double if you’re using a vape cartridge or pre-filled pen, as the TSA only allows those in carry on baggage, not checked luggage.
Previously, the TSA made no distinction between THC products and CBD products, as it was obliged to report any suspect offenses to local law enforcement. While this usually does result in a slap on the wrist, cases like Lena Bartula’s are a prime example of the danger that CBD patients used to face.
Before the update, the TSA policy looked like this:
How the TSA plans to enforce these new rules is somewhat hazy – considering that as recently as late as 2017, the TSA and their scanning equipment failed more than half the time at detecting weapons, and explosives. This is especially pertinent because the TSA have gone on record as stating their purpose is not to search for small quantities of drugs. They remain concerned with weapons and explosives.
The TSA has seesawed on the issue of cannabis, with the agency taking most by surprise after an update to its medical marijuana section in April 2017. The agency added a green yes to medical cannabis, indicating that it was permitted in carry ons and checked bags.
However, the TSA quickly reversed course and clarified that a “mistake was made in the database” and then later updated the page to reflect that medical marijuana was not in fact allowed on planes”.
We’re sorry for any confusion. A mistake was made in the database of our new “What can I bring?” tool.— AskTSA (@AskTSA) April 5, 2017
“Whether or not marijuana is considered legal under local laws is not relevant to TSA screening because TSA is governed by federal law,” TSA wrote. “Federal law provides no basis to treat medical marijuana any differently than non-medical marijuana.”
Given that the TSA is a federal agency – their stance makes sense, especially given that marijuana-derived CBD and THC are both still illegal at the federal level.
However, times are changing. The 2018 Farm Bill that broadly legalized Hemp-Derived CBD has led to the US Department of Agriculture giving stakeholders the power to import Hemp Seeds from other countries as well as register their intellectual property with the US Patent and Trademark Office.
These initiatives will likely pave the way for further legalization, including possible legalization of marijuana and it’s byproducts in the near future.