You’ll soon be able to buy something new at Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport — products made from cannabidiol, or CBD.
The move comes on the heels of the 2018 federal Farm Bill, which permits CBD oils to be carried on flights provided they contain no more than 0.3 percent THC.
Such products are already sold in stores across Georgia but state officials emphasize that the FDA still prohibits the use of CBD oil in food and dietary supplements.
Minute Suites plans to sell Aethics brand tincture oils and muscle rub lotion among the other products sold at its locations.
But the CBD products won’t be cheap. The tincture oils cost about $60 to $120 for 500 mg to 2,000 mg bottles, while the muscle rub costs roughly $60.
“CBD in our minds is one of the more beneficial products for travelers in terms of stress, anxiety and insomnia,” said Minute Suites COO Chris Glass, who uses the CBD muscle rub lotion. “Minute Suites has always been focused on total health and wellness in travel.”
When asked why the Atlanta airport was chosen for the launch, Glass said: “They were the first ones to say yes.”
Glass aims to have the CBD products in stock at Minute Suites’ two locations at Hartsfield-Jackson on Concourses B and T by the end of next week.
Atlanta airport officials say they gave written approval for the sale of CBD products at Minute Suites, and also approved advertising contractor Clear Channel to advertise CBD-based products.
If things go well with the Hartsfield-Jackson debut, Glass hopes to expand the CBD products to other airport locations.
“We just want to make sure we’re taking a calculated approach,” Glass said.
The Transportation Security Administration earlier this year updated its website to clarify that medical marijuana is allowed in checked and carry-on bags under certain circumstances.
Specifically, TSA’s website on what travelers can bring through security says marijuana and some CBD products are illegal unless they are under the 0.3 percent limit or approved by the federal Food and Drug Administration.
U.S. Customs and Border Protection says in light of the Farm Bill, it “is working closely” with other federal agencies on the regulatory changes. Until the process is complete and new requirements are finalized, “existing importation protocols” will remain in place.
CBP travelers found in possession of controlled substances at U.S. ports “can face arrest, seizures, fines, penalties or denied entry,” and that marijuana and marijuana products are considered controlled substances. If there’s no prosecution at the local, state or federal level, “travelers could face seizures, fines, penalties or could be denied entry,” the agency says.
Travelers are also “responsible for understanding the laws of the countries they are visiting” or stopping in, an agency spokesman said in a written statement.
There are also differences in laws between states.
A bill signed into law by Gov. Brian Kemp in May will make it legal for farmers to grow hemp in Georgia, allowing CBD to be manufactured in state.
However, some people have been arrested in other states for possessing CBD oil, including at Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport and at Walt Disney World. Changing laws that vary by state and differing levels of enforcement depending on the jurisdiction create gray areas for CBD — particularly for travel.
Gwinnett County’s solicitor general announced this month that he will no longer pursue misdemeanor marijuana cases brought to his offices, because common tests detect the existence of THC and not the quantity, which makes it hard to prove what’s illegal.
Minute Suites plans to open more locations at the Atlanta airport, including on international Concourses E and F and Traveler’s Oasis spots with spa services and a shower.
Support real journalism. Support local journalism. Subscribe to The Atlanta Journal-Constitution today. See offers.
Your subscription to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution funds in-depth reporting and investigations that keep you informed. Thank you for supporting real journalism.