Over the long weekend, the transportation security administration TSA updated its policy on cannabis to stray away from the uncontrollable amount of visitors that would bring it on anyway.
The federal agency changed there, “What Can I Bring?” webpage from reading “no” to “yes” (with “special instructions”).
Before the vast change, the TSA made no connection between marijuana and hemp derived combinations and cautioned on its website that any marijuana products are considered illegal under federal law and TSA agents are required to report any suspected violations such as possession of individual products to law-enforcement regardless of the state law.
“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,” a new section states..
However, it has not been made clear how the TSA plans to enforce the new policy unless it tends to completely re-train its agents to test CBD products for the presence of THC and maintain the correct database of products that are currently approved by the FDA.
“TSA was made aware of an FDA-approved drug that contains CBD oil for children who experience seizures from pediatric epilepsy,” the spokesperson wrote. “To avoid confusion as to whether families can travel with this drug, TSA immediately updated TSA.gov once we became aware of the issue,” stated a TSA spokesperson in a Marijuana Moments email. This statement came after a meeting in regards to the policy change by the FDA’s approval of cannabis-derived anti-seizure medication Epidoilex.
However, many argue that The FDA approved the CBD prescription almost a year ago, questioning the response time of the TSA.
The TSA highlights and notes that they’re, “focused on security and are designed to detect potential threats to aviation and passengers,” it says, so it doesn’t use resources to seek out illicit drugs.
“if any illegal substance is discovered during security screening, TSA will refer the matter to a law enforcement officer.”
The fight between marijuana and legal regulations has been At the forefront of the TSA issues. Since the legalization on April 10, 2017, the agency took everyone by surprise and updated the medical marijuana section of the, "What can I bring" which included the yes signal indicating that medical cannabis was permitted on carry-ons or checked bags.
According to the website page at that time it stated, “TSA security officers do not search for marijuana or other drugs.”
It added, “In the event, a substance that appears to be marijuana is observed during security screening, TSA will refer the matter to a law enforcement officer.”
However, only a few months after the page started to attract attention nationwide, the TSA temporarily took down the medical cannabis section and tweeted that it was a mistake made in the database.
Following the incident and claims the agency later posted an updated version of the page which highlighted that marijuana was not allowed on planes regardless of the previous statements.
“Whether or not marijuana is considered legal under local laws is not relevant to TSA screening because TSA is governed by federal law,” TSA wrote. “Federal law provides no basis to treat medical marijuana any differently than non-medical marijuana.”
Although because of the booming CBD and marijuana industry and the countless medical benefits that stem from the use, multiple Federal agencies are now revisiting their old policies to clarify what is and what is not allowed.
For example, the US patent and trademark office announced this month stipulations that certain hemp products might qualify for a registered trademark. Also, the Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau stated in April that CBD is not able to be added to alcohol beverages as the FDA has yet to release updated guidelines on adding Hemp products into the food supply could change shortly.
A scheduled Public hearing, FDA meeting in regards to the issue is set for May 31
According to multiple reports, the US Department of Agriculture has also announced that the industries stakeholders are allowed to import seeds from other countries, allowing it to also except intellectual property protection applications.
Friday is scheduled for a public hearing set by the FDA on the issue of the process of developing border regulation guidelines for hemp and all other forms.
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