Now that cannabis has been legal for almost a year, traveling with cannabis for a vacation has probably crossed your mind. But travelling with cannabis can be complicated if you don’t do your research first. Cannabis became legal in Canada on October 17th, 2018 but the laws are constantly changing and evolving. To help you sort out the laws and all the misconceptions surrounding cannabis travel we put together this blog post.
Under the Cannabis Act, provinces and territories are responsible for determining their own rules about cannabis including possession limits, the minimum age requirement, where cannabis can be used in public and any other miscellaneous restrictions. It is the traveler’s responsibility to be aware of these rules and abide by them when using cannabis in the province or territory he or she is in. This means using an excuse like “in my province it’s legal, I didn’t know” won’t work very well.
Can I fly with Cannabis?
Flying with cannabis within Canada is legal as long as you meet the minimum age requirement and possession limit for personal use. Travelers flying within Canada will be allowed to pack 30 grams of cannabis in their carry-on or checked luggage. If it is packed in your carry-on luggage, you should arrive earlier than you normally would just in case security asks you additional questions or flags you for a secondary screening. If you’re carrying more than the recreational legal limit for medical purposes to last the duration of your trip, be prepared to show medical documentation in accordance with regulations.
Can I Travel Abroad with Cannabis?
Transporting cannabis across any international border is illegal without exceptions, even if it’s legal at your destination, like in some U.S. states. This includes any product containing cannabis such as edibles, oils, or concentrates in any amount.
Even if you are authorized to possess cannabis for medical purposes, the Canadian government cannot authorize you to carry cannabis on vacation or during travel in foreign countries. Health Canada can issue permits for importing or exporting cannabis, but those are extremely difficult to obtain, involve a lengthy process and are only given under very limited circumstances.
The safest thing is not to risk it and leave your cannabis at home. It is a criminal offense that can result in severe penalties including fines, jail time, and a possible ban from the destination country. If you forget and do carry cannabis across the border, it is best to be truthful when questioned by a border guard.
Other Cannabis Issues
According to U.S. Customs and Border Protection, Canadians who are affiliated with the cannabis industry, either with ownership of a legal cannabis company or work for a cannabis company, for example, and who are visiting the U.S or another foreign country will be allowed in. However, if you are traveling to the U.S. for a reason related to the cannabis industry, you may be denied entry or detained, depending on the circumstance.
Can I Drive with Cannabis?
Like any drug or alcohol impairment, driving high is illegal. While law officers are still trying to figure out the best way to enforce this, it is imperative you don’t get high and drive. However, what about driving with cannabis simply in the car? The rules differ by province, but generally, similar to alcohol, cannabis should be in closed packaging and not in reach of the driver. In some cases, however, like in the province of Manitoba, it must be stored safely in the trunk. To be safe, keep receipts to show it was purchased at an official outlet, when possible and don’t let it sit unattended in the car.
What About CBD Oil?
CBD oil is non-intoxicating so theoretically; it should be safe to fly with. However, that isn’t the case. As the United States continue to legalize cannabis, the CBD industry is growing. In addition to luxury cannabis tours and dispensaries, CBD-infused coffees, burgers with CBD oil and CBD tinctures are appearing at restaurants, cafes and health food stores. Some companies are even offering topical creams, bath bombs, and other relaxation and pain-relief products with CBD. Shouldn’t those be okay? Unfortunately, as it stands now, you are not allowed to carry any of those products across the border and they should be left at home.
The Bottom Line
While the rules are improving, there still can be difficulties as airlines and border guards adjust to the new rules. Unfortunately, if you carry cannabis with you while traveling there is no guarantee you’ll have a risk-free flight. You should also check the rules and guidelines of the particular airline you’re flying on. You can either call the airline or most of them have cannabis regulations on their website.
If you have trouble with anxiety on flights, it is best to consume cannabis before the flight rather than on it as edibles are still illegal and you cannot smoke on a flight. If you had your heart set on anedible you can make your own, we have a few beginner-friendly recipes likes cannabis brownies orbutter, so you can cook your cannabis into anything you’d like!
One option is if you’re traveling to the U.S. and you’re going to a state that cannabis is legal is simply buy your supply while you’re there, bringing your smoking supplies and then buying the herb itself when you arrive at your destination. A safety case stash box allows you to pack all your smoking essentials like rolling papers, pipes, grinders, lighters and more. If the whole idea makes you uncomfortable, we recommend you do your best to go without on your trip. As the rules and regulations keep changing, we will keep you updated through our social media and newsletter so subscribe today!