“To avoid confusion as to whether families can travel with this drug, TSA immediately updated TSA.gov once we became aware of the issue,“ the agency said in a statement to NBC News.
All forms of marijuana were previously prohibited in both checked and carry-on bags. But Sunday, the agency updated TSA.gov to reflect new regulations that allow FDA-approved medical marijuana and products that contain hemp-derived CBD oil. The CBD oil is allowed “as long as it is produced within the regulations defined by the law” under the 2018 Farm Bill, which federally legalized hemp and hemp derivatives. The development was first reported by Marijuana Moment on Monday.
Hemp derivatives contain little to no tetrahydrocannabinol, or THC, the psychoactive chemical in marijuana that produces a high.
Epidiolex was approved by the FDA last June to treat severe, rare forms of pediatric epilepsy. The TSA spokesperson said the agency recently became aware of Epidiolex and updated its policy accordingly.
The TSA’s new rules still ban other forms of marijuana, including certain cannabis-infused products and CBD oils that have THC, which are still illegal under federal law. TSA officers are required to report any violations of that law. It is not clear how the TSA intends to check whether a product contains THC; a TSA spokesperson said that if there were questions of whether a substance was illegal under federal law, the issue would be referred to law enforcement for further adjudication, but that the TSA would not do the testing.
The TSA did not offer any other details on other CBD oil that its website says is allowed on flights now.
The Transportation Security Administration quietly changed its cannabis policy over the weekend to allow passengers to bring some forms of cannabidiol (CBD) oil, plus an FDA-approved marijuana based drug, on flights.
The change was prompted by the only Food and Drug Administration-approved drug that contains CBD oil, Epidiolex, which is used to treat seizures in children with epilepsy, the TSA said.
Although you may be free to use cannabis products in your home state, the use and possession of such products is illegal under federal law.
Here is what we know for sure: Epidiolex, a drug used for treating epilepsy in children, is permitted in carry-on and checked luggage. The Food and Drug Administration approved it in June 2018. “This is the first FDA-approved drug that contains a purified drug substance derived from marijuana,” its announcement said.
Then TSA had to act. “TSA was made aware of an FDA-approved drug that contains CBD oil for children who experience seizures from pediatric epilepsy,” the TSA said in a recent statement. “To avoid confusion as to whether families can travel with this drug, TSA immediately updated TSA.gov once we became aware of the issue.”
What has happened
Here’s the first roadblock to CBD, which generally derives from hemp: “Hemp cannot contain more than 0.3% THC, per section 10113 of the farm bill,” Hudak’s post said. “Any cannabis plant that contains more than 0.3% THC would be considered non-hemp cannabis — or marijuana — under federal law and would thus face no legal protection under this new legislation.”
The result: confusion about what is legal and what is not and how the Transportation Security Administration, the airport security gatekeepers, will deal with these changes.
As clear as mud
It also may be wrong. At least, for now.
Under TSA’s “What Can I Bring” answer program that lets passengers ask about items that may or may not be allowed on planes, its previous advice on medical marijuana, including CBD oil, was no and no for carry-on bags and checked bags.