The legal status of CBD has always been complicated. Although traveling with CBD may seem like a wonderful idea, especially to those who have travel anxiety, transferring CBD from state to state is a very complex legal issue. You might be thinking that surely it shouldn’t be a problem since it’s legal to sell, purchase, and use CBD in most states. But don’t be too sure. Essentially, CBD is a cannabis extract, which means that it falls into a legal gray area, and this leaves some room for doubt when it comes to traveling across state lines.
Here’s the thing; whether you are going by bus or train, driving yourself, or using any other method of land travel, you should be fine traveling with CBD, so long as you stay within state lines. Once you cross the border, that’s when things get tricky. For starters, different states have different laws for CBD and cannabis products. While it may be completely legal in your home state, it could be illegal in the state that you are traveling to.
Secondly, possession of CBD or any other cannabis-infused product is still illegal under federal law. This means that even if you are travelling to Oregon, where cannabis in all forms is legal, you might still run into legal trouble. It’s not so much about visiting in a state that has cannabis laws; it’s more about the act of transporting CBD across state lines.
Is CBD Completely Legal in the State That You Are Traveling to?
Thanks to the 2018 Farm Bill, hemp and thus hemp-derived CBD has been made legal on a federal level. This means that selling, possessing, and distributing hemp and hemp-based products is now legal. However, individual states are still allowed to make the sale and possession of CBD illegal. So while CBD may be completely legal in West Virginia, you could run into legal issues as soon as you cross over into Ohio, if law enforcement agencies realize that you are in possession of CBD.
This is why it’s so important to do your research ahead of time. You need to know the laws of the state that you are traveling to. There is currently only a small handful of states that still view CBD as an illegal substance, but you need to make sure that it’s not one of them that you are traveling to.
While the 2018 Farm Bill has made the transportation of hemp across state lines legal, it doesn’t help you if you are found in possession of the product in one of the states where it’s still considered to be illegal.
What the Law Says About Transferring THC-free CBD Products
Since CBD is non-psychoactive, many would assume that it’s ok to transport the product as long as it is THC-free. But, as we mentioned above, the answer to this question is quite complex (we will try to simplify it): It depends on where the CBD is derived from.
If the product that you’re carrying on you contains less than 0.3% THC and the CBD is derived from the stem of hemp plants, then technically speaking, it should be legal to carry into any state. But remember, CBD that is derived from plants that the DEA and FDA don’t consider to be hemp, but rather deem as “psychoactive” cannabis, is considered to be illegal.
So if the CBD product that you are carrying is derived from what is considered to be psychoactive cannabis plants – many from dispensaries are – then it is classified as illegal, even if it contains no THC in it. The reason for this is that the CBD is being extracted from the resin of the cannabis plant, as opposed to the stems of non-psychoactive hemp plants. Essentially, if the US government deems a product to be “marijuana” or “CBD from marijuana,” then it’s illegal. The government makes the decision on whether something is hemp or hemp-derived CBD, in which case it would be technically legal.
However, while this may sound pretty straightforward, all is not as it seems. After all, CBD is a cannabis derivative, and therefore the DEA considers it to be illegal. So as you might have guessed, this means that CBD is listed as a schedule 1 drug, even though it doesn’t have any psychoactive effects, and to our knowledge is completely safe to use.
Case in point. It’s illegal to carry CBD-based products that are purchased from medical marijuana dispensaries over state lines, even if the product doesn’t contain any THC. This is because on a federal level, CBD is illegal, and the CBD would have been derived from a “marijuana” plant rather than the stalks of a hemp plant.
Can You Fly with CBD?
If you are flying domestically, then technically speaking, you can bring CBD onto the plane as long as the product is under the 3.4oz limit for liquids, as stated by the TSA. As we’ve already discussed, hemp-derived CBD is legal on the federal level, and therefore it should create no risk for an individual flying with it. However, you could face an issue if you are flying out of state where CBD is still considered to be illegal. So do your research, because TSA agents have to follow local laws as well.
The TSA guidelines are clear. It states that the possession of marijuana and cannabis-infused products, like CBD oil, is illegal under federal law. The TSA officers are legally required to report any suspected violations of the law, including the possession of marijuana and cannabis-infused products. Although the TSA doesn’t actively search for cannabis, they are required to inform local law enforcement if they do find CBD or cannabis products on a person during screening.
So while CBD oil is legal in just about every state, the above makes it clear that you are taking a risk if you choose to bring CBD onto an airplane with you. But ultimately, it depends on the airport. If you aren’t technically breaking any state laws, the police are likely to let you go – although they may ask you to dispose of the CBD before you go through security. However, if cannabis isn’t legal in that state, you could be prosecuted.
What Does This All Mean?
Confused yet? We certainly are. The whole legal issue surrounding CBD is still a very much debated topic. There are also many loopholes which means that it is possible to travel between states with CBD and for businesses to distribute their CBD products across state lines.
CBD products that are made from the hemp plant are legal and therefore, technically speaking, you shouldn’t have any legal problems when traveling with them. However, all it takes is one overzealous person checking bags or incoming packages. They might use their discretion and destroy the product, claiming that it contains “prohibited substances” or “drugs.” They are unlikely to arrest you for it, but they will probably throw it away. Getting your technically legal hemp-based CBD product confiscated is an unusual thing to happen, but it isn’t completely unheard of.
To clarify, if you haven’t gotten the legal point yet, don’t ship any CBD products that you need a medical marijuana card to purchase. They aren’t derived from the stem of hemp plants and therefore are deemed as illegal. Don’t send it via post. Don’t order it to your house or wherever you’re staying – only a brave or very bad company would ship it to an illegal place in the first instance. Lastly, don’t have it with you when crossing state lines, even when moving between two recreationally and/or medically legal states.
Final Thoughts on Transferring CBD from State to State
CBD that is hemp-derived is not illegal, and technically you should be allowed to transfer it across state lines. However, individual states are still allowed to implement their own laws, which is why it’s so important that you do your research before traveling to another state with your CBD. But, if a product is hemp-based CBD then you shouldn’t get arrested for traveling with it – these products are already legal to ship to all 50 states. There is always the possibility that the product could be confiscated, but that’s highly unlikely.
If you have a medical marijuana card to purchase your CBD in your state, it’s illegal to travel with it. This holds even if it claims to have no THC in it, so don’t carry these kinds of products across state lines.