CBD/Hemp Culture Health Travel

You Probably Shouldn’t Bring CBD Oil to an Airport

GENA MELENDREZ / SHUTTERSTOCK
Most Americans probably know it’s a bad idea to bring weed to the airport. Cannabis has been federally illegal since the 1930s, and one of modern air travel’s most prominent features is the layers of federal law-enforcement inspection one must traverse in order to board a plane. Even in states that have legalized marijuana for recreational use, carrying too much of it through TSA can get you arrested; the agency’s official policy is that travelers can’t even bring medically prescribed cannabis through security.

But what about cannabidiol? CBD, as it’s more commonly known, can be derived from both hemp and marijuana plants, and it has exploded in popularity among American consumers in the past two years as a purported salve for almost any ailment you can think of, including anxiety, chronic pain, inflammation, nausea, epilepsy, and acne. It can be eaten, vaped, or applied to the body in lotion, and even Coca-Cola has shown interest in entering the market. But like tetrahydrocannabinol, or THC—the psychoactive ingredient in marijuana—CBD exists in a state of conflicting legality, depending on your jurisdiction.

CBD doesn’t get you high, and products containing it can be bought on websites and in storefronts across America, which has lent the chemical a veneer of consumer normalcy that belies its purgatorial legal status. CBD oil gets squirted into lattes and baked into vegan brownies, and it’s added to calming treats for nervous pets. But no matter how legal and mundane it might seem in your local health-food store or bakery, CBD’s quasi-contraband status and nonexistent regulatory standards mean that you should probably leave it out of your carry-on.

According to local news reports, consumer confusion over CBD has had serious consequences for travelers at the Dallas airport. Federal authorities at the airport told the Dallas–Fort Worth NBC affiliate KXAS that the CBD interception rate has “skyrocketed” in the past year, although it’s not clear how often people are being intercepted, or if other airports are dealing with similar spikes. A spokesperson for U.S. Customs and Border Protection told me that there was no immediately apparent nationwide trend. But some of the incidents in Dallas have resulted in felony charges.

That doesn’t surprise Griffen Thorne, a Los Angeles–based lawyer at the firm Harris Bricken, where he specializes in cannabis law. “Until the law is very, very clear, people are going to get arrested for possession of things that aren’t explicitly illegal,” he says. “Federal authorities in general are much less likely to let people off the hook” than local law enforcement.

To Read The Rest Of This Article By Amanda Mull on The Atlantic
Published: May 03, 2019
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