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Updated TSA Rules for CBD Oil and Medical Marijuana

TSA Rules don’t get major (or even minor) changes very frequently. When they do, it tends to draw attention. That’s particularly true when it impacts one of the day’s buzzword topics, such as CBD oil.

Updated TSA Rules

On 28 May, the “What Can I Bring” section of the TSA’s website was updated, changing Medical Marijuana from a firm no, to “Yes (Special Instructions)” for both checked and carry-on luggage.

Of course, there are some caveats:

Marijuana and certain cannabis infused products, including some Cannabidiol (CBD) oil, remain illegal under federal law except for products that contain no more than 0.3 percent THC on a dry weight basis or that are approved by FDA. (See the Agriculture Improvement Act of 2018, Pub. L. 115-334.) TSA officers are required to report any suspected violations of law to local, state or federal authorities. … The final decision rests with the TSA officer on whether an item is allowed through the checkpoint.

What does this mean for CBD Oil?

This update to TSA Rules refers to a USDA decision which approved a cannabis-derived medication (Epidiolex) for children who experience seizures from pediatric epilepsy. Since the USDA approved the medication, the TSA (nearly a year later) agreed that patient families can fly with the drug.

Further, the rule seems to exempt products that fall below a certain threshold (0.3% by dry weight) for THC, which cannabidiol-infused consumer products do. In fact, hemp must be below this threshold in order to be legally cultivated. This provision clears non-medicinal CDB oil products. However, since most products don’t explicitly state on the label what their THC levels are, it’s unclear how this policy change will impact enforcement.

What does this mean for Medical Marijuana?

Here the TSA Rules are much easier: If you have a doctor’s prescription, and the original packaging for the medical marijuana, you should be good to fly. As with all prescription medications, keep them in the original packaging, which generally shows the patient’s name, the prescribing doctor, and the source pharmacy or dispensary.

What are the Special Instructions

In short: Hard to say. The TSA site does not link to any specific instructions regarding Medical Marijuana or CBD oil. However, medications (presumably including Medical Marijuana and CBD oil) are covered on the Special Procedures page.

Among other things, they recommend that medication is clearly labeled, and the TSA inspector is informed that you care flying with medicine. Also, medicines should be separated from your belongings before screening.

It’s also worth noting that larger amounts of medically necessary liquids, gels, and aerosols are allowed by the TSA, within “reasonable quantities.” Just know that this may require additional screening or testing to clear security.

Tips for Flying with Medical Marijuana or CBD Oil

TSA security checkpoints can be tricky. Sometimes you fly through with barely a glance. Other times you get the “Full Monty” of security screening, seemingly with no rhyme or reason. Our advice is always to prepare for the worst, mentally and physically.

  • Keep prescribed medicine in the original prescription container. Also bring any supporting documentation that shows it is medically required.
  • If it is not a prescribed CBD oil product, be sure the label or packaging clearly indicates the THC levels are below the 0.3% threshold.
  • Don’t forget that non-prescription liquids and gels are subject to the 3-1-1 rule.
  • Don’t think that putting your CBD oil products in checked bags will get you a free pass; same THC threshold applies.
  • Local and state laws regarding marijuana and CBD oils do not apply; the TSA operates on the federal level.

First-Hand Experience

We have not yet seen reports of TSA screeners enforcing the new rules. If you have first-hand or eye-witness experience, please let us know in the comments below. It helps everyone who has questions about CBD oil and the TSA. Thanks in advance!

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