The Transportation Security Administration [TSA] recently made modifications to its already existing policy on travel with hemp-derived CBD products.
The medical cannabis section of the official website of the TSA has been updated to inform that travelers can carry FDA-approved medications consisting of medical cannabis along with them. The organization is sending out a clear message that medical cannabis products can now be carried by the passengers on planes but under specific circumstances.
Earlier, the TSA did not make any distinction between hemp-derived formulations and marijuana.
TSA security officers do not actually search for drugs or any marijuana products specified on the page clearly. If a substance appears to be marijuana during security screening, then TSA usually refers the matter to a law enforcement officer.
What the TSA Policy looked like earlier:
A new section on the website states that the medications or products that consist of hemp-derived CBD or that have been approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration as legal as long as the production has been done with the guidelines framed under the Agriculture Improvement Act 2018.
And here’s the TSA Policy after being changed:
It is still not clear as to how the department intends to enforce its latest policy. A TSA spokesperson stated that the modifications in the policy came after the FDA offered approval of Epidiolex, medical cannabis derived anti-seizure medication.
The spokesperson also stated that TSA was informed of the FDA-approved drug for children that consists of CBD oil. This drug helps children who suffer from seizures due to pediatric epilepsy.
TSA immediately updated its rules to prevent any lack of clarity as to whether families can carry the drug while traveling or not. All other sections on the TSA page remain unchanged on cannabis. The agency is solely focused on security and detection of potential risks to passengers.
TSA has considered revising its marijuana policy often as more and more US states turn to legalize hemp-derived products. The agency earlier took the advocates by surprise in April 2017 when it changed its policy on the website and permitted travelers to carry medical cannabis.
As soon as the page started gaining press attention, TSA later removed the updated section temporarily and tweeted that the modification was due to a mistake in the database. The page was later updated and it specified that medical cannabis was not permitted to be carried on planes.
— Canna Advisors (@cannaadvisors) April 5, 2017
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
TSA then wrote that they is governed by the federal law and it does not take local laws into consideration while framing its policies. The federal law offered no basis to treat medical cannabis any different from the recreational variant.
With legalization of medical cannabis and its derivatives, the federal agencies are now reconsidering and updating their policies to clarify what is considered to be legal and what is not.
A memo was released by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office earlier during this month specifying that certain hemp products may be eligible for registered trademarks. The FDA is yet to release any guidelines on addition of hemp-derived products into the food industry.
The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) has informed the stakeholders that they are permitted to import hemp seeds from other countries. The agency also mentioned that it was open to accept applications pertaining to intellectual property protection.
Both the USDA and FDA are working on developing a broader regulatory framework for hemp and its derivatives. The FDA is set to hold a public hearing on this matter in the coming week.