THC-O is federally legal, but can you travel with it? If flying with THC-O has been on your brain lately, you may be wondering what the law (and airline guidelines) has to say about flying with hemp THC products.
Is it legal to fly with THC-O? And if so, can you take THC-O gummies on a plane? Should you put these items in your checked luggage instead?
We checked with the TSA and with leading airlines to find out. Here’s what you need to know:
Disclaimer: We’re always working to stay informed on the latest hemp laws across the country, but hemp laws are subject to change at any time. We advise that you do your own research to verify the information you find in this article. This information is not intended to be used as legal advice or as a substitute for legal aid.
Before packing up for a flight, it's always a good idea to check with your chosen airline to see what you can and can't pack. This is true even for items that aren't THC products. Remember that you'll likely have to forfeit anything you accidentally pack that's unapproved (and nobody wants to have to throw away that whole bottle of expensive face cream because it's just over the limit for liquids on the flight). You may be surprised what you can and can’t legally carry on a plane (like batteries).
Where you are travelling is also important, so be sure to look into the local regulations of your target destination.
Now, let's dig into the most important questions–Can you fly with THC-O nationally? What about internationally?
Here’s what we know:
THC-O is federally legal, but that doesn’t necessarily clarify the rules on flying with THC-O. The TSA doesn’t address THC-O specifically, but does clarify that they aren’t exactly looking for it:
In other words, the TSA isn’t looking for your THC-O products or any other hemp products you may stash away in your luggage, but does that mean it’s safe to carry them with you?
Maybe so, depending on how you interpret the TSA’s cannabis regulations.
The TSA updated their rules in 2019 in response to the 2018 Farm Bill’s legalization of hemp and hemp products.
The previous rules banned all “marijuana and cannabis-infused products,” but the new rule makes an exception for “products that contain no more than 0.3 percent THC on a dry weight basis or are approved by the FDA,” referencing the Agricultural Improvement Act of 2018 for clarification.
Here, federal law specifies that hemp products, including cannabinoids, isomers, and other extracts that contain less than 0.3% Delta-9-THC, are federally legal. The new laws also removed tetrahydrocannabinols in hemp from the Controlled Substances Act.
That means that THC-O is not a Controlled Substance and is instead a legal hemp product, and there’s nothing specifically barring you from carrying THC-O on the plane. In fact, TSA is not exactly concerned with sniffing out cannabis products. If they do happen to find illicit substances while searching your bags, however, their policy is to turn it over to local law enforcement.
Of course, even if your THC-O products are flagged as Delta-9-THC products by mistake, you’re going to be subject to interrogation while the products are being tested.
It may be handy to carry documentation of your purchase (and any relevant test results) that prove that your THC-O is, in fact, a legal hemp product. Worst case scenario, your hemp products may be confiscated, but you’re unlikely to be arrested or prosecuted.
This is one reason that it's incredibly important to only buy THC-O from a reputable, trustworthy source. If you happen to be carrying THC-O products that have more than the legally allowed amount of Delta-9, you may find yourself in a much stickier situation.
We mentioned earlier that checking local legislation at your final destination is important. Just because carrying THC-O is unlikely to cause you any issues with TSA doesn’t mean you won’t have issued with local law enforcement if you’re caught with your products after you arrive.
To see if THC-O is legal in your destination state, read “Where is THC-O Legal?”
Even if you’ve never taken an international flight, you probably realize that U.S. laws don’t matter once you leave the country. Unfortunately, the U.S. is one of the first areas to legalize hemp and hemp products, so you may have a harder time taking THC-O on international flights than on local ones.
The majority of countries around the globe (including the U.S.) consider cannabis to be an illicit substance, and some countries have incredibly harsh penalties for cannabis possession. Unlike the U.S, unfortunately, many areas do not separate hemp and cannabis products.
That means that cannabis and hemp products, including oils, vapes, and other concentrate products may be subject to harsh restrictions and penalties in place. Even in some areas where cannabis is legal, there may still be penalties for products purchased outside of the local area or for possession of paraphernalia.
If you’re flying with medical cannabis products, it may be worth researching the laws in your destination area. In most cases, carrying any sort of cannabis product on an international flight is risky to say the least and is likely to end in a run-in with customs or local law enforcement. If you’re flying to a country that has legalized cannabis, it may be a better idea to just purchase your products after you arrive.
The penalty for the possession of cannabis is harsh in some areas and may even result in imprisonment. In almost all cases, travelling internationally with THC-O is not worth the risk.
If you decide to fly with your THC-O products, whether in your carry-on or in your checked luggage, you need to make sure you store them in a manner that protects the product and meets TSA guidelines.
Here are some storage recommendations for popular Delta-8 products:
After you’ve checked with your airline and verified local regulations, here are some tips for flying with THC-O that can help make the process go smoothly:
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