Travelling with anything CBD used to be a sure way to land yourself in the lockers if you ended up being caught by the long arm of the law. Thankfully, things have turned for the better, kudos to the legislature that was passed by the Hemp Act, 2018. What this meant was that industrial hemp and its derivatives could now be grown, distributed and possessed by anyone who wishes to. The same could not be considered for marijuana-based CBD, as marijuana is still considered as a Scheduled Class 1 controlled drug, and hence illegal.
However, this landmark CBD law had a few hiccups that showed some glaring hole in its fabric. The act was made legal at the federal level, which although a green light for many, still meant that the individual state governments were not in on it. Consumers travelling with CBD might mistakenly land up in a state such as Texas, which to this day has constricting CBD use laws, and get arrested and tried for possession of illegal substances- even though at the much higher federal level hemp CBD use is considered legal!
The Hemp Act or Farm Act clearly dictates that the CBD derivatives can be obtained from any part of the hemp plant as long as the psychoactive substance called THC (tetrahydrocannabinol) is present in a concentration not exceeding 0.3% by dry weight. As per the act, hemp is not a controlled substance and the state cannot impede the transportation of hemp and its derivatives across state lines for commercial purposes. All in all, to the everyday person, it would seem that travelling with hemp based CBD should not cause a problem, and it’s true that it won’t- with the federal government.
Confusing Times For The Average CBD User In America
The result of legalisation of hemp and its derivatives at a federal level has had an inconsistent effect on the state laws. There are some states that simply took the ruling of the federal legislature and enacted to theirs, others made it clear that hemp based CBD would be regarded in the same league as marijuana, which is illegal.
This has led to mass confusion among the judiciary right from the judges, attorney general, district attorney, the police, state lawmakers and the federal authorities, and no one person knows what the legality of CBD is.
Protecting Yourself: What Can You Do
If you will be state hopping or landing in another state with hemp based products, then there are a few pointers that you can keep in mind to avoid the risk of running into problems. Here are some of them:
- Learn the laws thoroughly and especially of those places/ states that you are heading to. Plan beforehand and research on the legal status. Most of the states are issuing clarifying statements from their respective attorney generals which will help you understand what their stance is regarding the federal law.
- Keep clear of THC in your CBD products. Make sure that not only the THC-free tag is plastered on the labeling, but also go through the CoA (Certificate of Analysis) of these products. The CoA can be obtained from the CBD manufacturer websites. Reputed and well-known CBD suppliers that are transparent about their products have CoA made readily available on their products. If this is not the case, then trash that CBD manufacturer and buy a reputed one’s CBD products. The CoA should clearly say the THC concentration.
- Only carry a reasonable amount of CBD when travelling across state lines. The chances of you getting into trouble when you have a whole suitcase of CBD tinctures will definitely be higher, compared to a small vial that you are carrying for personal use.
- If you find yourself facing agitated authorities after they find CBD on you, don’t argue. Assert the legality of the products that you have to the best of your knowledge. It is better for them to simply confiscate it, rather than you escalating the issue and having you hauled up to the precinct in cuff waiting for someone to bail you out.
- Don’t try to ‘hide’ the CBD product. Keep it in your bag like you would have had it been your toothbrush. If you are travelling via road, then make sure that it is not kept lying around on the dashboard where it can draw the attention of authorities. Keep it in your bag but in a way that it is easily accessible to you.
All in all, travelling in the United States with hemp based CBD need not be stressful. Millions of people are doing the same and chances are that you will go about just fine without an issue. Bon voyage!