CBD in flight: Airport travel with hemp products puts you at risk for arrest

CBD in flight: Airport travel with hemp products puts you at risk for arrest

The compound derived from hemp plants that has been spreading like mad through American markets due to its incredible lifestyle benefits and lack of psychoactive side effects, CBD, was legalized in December 2018.

Some federal law enforcement agencies don’t necessarily see things that way, according to their arrest record. Now, it’s important that CBD users know where the contradictions lie to keep them safe from crackdowns and government overreach, especially in airports.

Last week, the Atlantic reported that despite CBD’s ready availability in gas stations, on the web and seemingly everywhere in between, some jurisdictions have seen police actions against peaceful possessors of hemp. [1]

The epicenter of the Atlantic’s report is a set of police actions against CBD shops in the Dallas area and individuals that possessed CBD in the airport at Dallas-Fort Worth.

You can read about the crackdowns on a number of hemp shops across North Texas on the Nothing But Hemp blog by following the link below. [3]

In particular, however, a local NBC affiliate reported that the number of seizures of CBD oils and other products at DFW airport have “skyrocketed” in recent months, where some of the incidents have resulted in felony possession charges for the so-called offenders. [2]

“Until the law is very, very clear, people are going to get arrested for possession of things that aren’t explicitly illegal,” Attorney Griffen Thorne, who specializes on cannabis law in Los Angeles, told the Atlantic. He added that, “Federal authorities in general are much less likely to let people off the hook” than local cops. [1]

Part of the confusion, Thorne said, comes from the lack of clear and proactive protections for consumers and possessors of hemp in the language of the 2018 Farm Bill that legalized the plant as an agricultural product. [1]

In a country that’s been in a raging drug war for the better part of a century and where marijuana busts and no-knock raids are common, especially in certain states with more history of concentrated enforcement, police are likely to assume the tactics they should take toward CBD and hemp are the same as they have for other drugs.

This is especially difficult as hemp flowers, though non-psychoactive and used widely for headaches, insomnia and other common ailments, look and smell rather similar to marijuana buds.

Take care out there, CBD enthusiasts, and remember that in this confusing but exciting time for cannabis across the nation, it is more important than ever that federal agencies and local lawmakers know how normal customers feel about CBD and its positive effects in their lives.

It’s time to speak up for peaceful hemp use!


[1] https://www.theatlantic.com/health/archive/2019/05/cbd-possession-airports-can-lead-arrest/588667/

[2] https://www.nbcdfw.com/investigations/Traveling-With-CBD-Could-Land-You-in-Jail-509075341.html

[3] https://www.nothingbuthemp.net/blog/misled-cbd-crackdowns-come-to-north-texas