Will Transportation Security Administration (TSA) let you through security with hemp-CBD products and medical marijuana?


TSA will allow you through with hemp-derived CBD products. Hemp was declassified as Schedule I controlled substance last year. 

Since marijuana is still illegal under federal law, a TSA agent must refer to law enforcement if they find it. However, TSA agents are not looking for small-quantity drugs.


Lisa Farbstein- Transportation Security Administration spokesperson

Transportation Security Administration- "What can I Bring: Medical Marijuana"

Internet Archive- TSA website from May 11, 2019 

U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration- FDA-approved drug Epidiolex placed in schedule V of Controlled Substance Act

FDA Press Release- "FDA approved first drug comprised of an active ingredient from marijuana to treat rare, severe forms of epilepsy"


Can you now bring pot on planes? A tweet from over the weekend says it's true.

First we turned to the Agriculture Improvement Act 2018, colloquially called the "Farm Bill," which Congress re-enacts every five years. The act says hemp cultivation was legalized, and hemp was declassified as a Schedule I controlled substance.

That means hemp, which has low THC levels -- the stuff that gives you a euphoric "high" -- is no longer illegal. It's also OK to pack in your carry-on.

"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," according to the TSA's "What Can I Bring?" website.

A big push for TSA to update its policy came after the FDA approved a drug in June 2018 called Epidiolex used to treat seizures associated with pediatric epilepsy. 

"TSA was made aware of an FDA-approved drug that contains CBD oil for children who experience seizures from pediatric epilepsy," TSA told the Verify team. "To avoid confusion as to whether families can travel with this drug, TSA immediately updated TSA.gov once we became aware of the issue."

People also noticed over the weekend that the TSA’s “What Can I Bring” policy for medical marijuana changed from “no” to “yes.”  

Screengrab from TSA website on May 11, 2019
Screengrab from TSA website on May 28, 2019

Possession of marijuana is still illegal under federal law, but TSA says it isn't looking for your weed. It's looking for weapons.

"TSA’s screening procedures are focused on security and are designed to detect potential threats to aviation and passengers. Accordingly, TSA security officers do not search for marijuana or other illegal drugs, but if any illegal substance is discovered during security screening, TSA will refer the matter to a law enforcement officer." 

So we can Verify, yes, hemp-derived CBD oil is allowed past airport security due to the 2018 Farm Bill.

As for medical marijuana? It's still not federally approved, but agents won't be hunting for it. 

Sign up for the Get Up DC newsletter: Your forecast. Your commute. Your news.