The United States map is turning a lush shade of green; cannabis plants are sprouting out of fertile soils nationwide. As of June 2019, pot has been legalized for medical purposes in 33 U.S. States and the District of Columbia, as well as 11 states for adult-use.
Canada also legalized weed in October; something that is encouraging consumers to venture across the border for a taste of 4/20 tourism. In spite of the ‘stoner stereotype’ propaganda that ensued following the Reefa Madness of the 1930s, it seems that consumers are not exactly lazy, even if they do have access to the green stuff.
By 2030, analysts predict that America’s cannabis market will harvest $75 billion in annual sales, indicating just how rapidly the consumer demographic is growing. A big chunk of those consumers aren’t just keen on weed but also, they’re partial to a spot of traveling.
Statistically,10 percentof the U.S. population travels on an annual basis. As more companies present weed-loving wanderlusters with domestic and international travel options, a growing number of people are curious about the rules regarding transporting marijuana, in whatever way that might be.
With legalization unfurling at such a rapid rate, more cannabis consumers are likely to descend upon the many adult-use tourism hotspots that are blossoming across the nation. Before you go ahead and book a trip, learn the facts about traveling with cannabis.
Flying high: Can I board a plane with cannabis-based products?
Boarding a plane and jetting off to an idyllic destination is not as straightforward for some as it is for others. Stress, fear, anxiety and tension can make an airborne journey nothing but a struggle. Enter CBD, which could help tackle the aforementioned ailments and more.
Even though it’s non-psychoactive, cannabis-derived CBD is still deemed illegal under federal law. Hemp-derived CBD, however, is now federally legal across all 50 states, according to the details of the amended 2019 Farm Bill. Since industrial hemp has now been banished from the illegal Schedule 1 drugs list, CBD derived from hemp should make its way through customs just fine in U.S. airports.
Nonetheless, conducting research on the regulations is essential to sidestep problems during your trip. The first rule of thumb is to buy a legal CBD product that does not exceed THC (tetrahydrocannabinol) threshold of 0.3 percent. THC is a mind-altering substance that may produce psychoactive and/or sedative effects.
Even if your cannabis-containing products are THC-free, it is crucial that you follow theTransportSecurity Administration’s Liquid Rule. The rule published on the TSA’s website clearly states that travelers are not able to take more than 3.4 ounces (100 milliliters) of CBD oil on their trip.
Travelers should refrain from carrying a bottle larger than the maximum allowed amount, even if it is only filled to the limit stated in the TSA Liquid Rule.
Pot Can’t Move Legally Across State Lines Just Yet
Just because cannabis legalization is spreading far and wide across the U.S., it doesn’t mean that you can legally journey across state lines with your stash. Doing so is still considered a felony. After all, you will still be traveling via state lines, meaning that what you do still falls within the boundaries of federal law enforcement.
What about if you’re moving from one cannabis-friendly state to another? The same rule applies. Leaving and entering those states might not be a problem, but the risk lies at the border. Although the idea of being stopped at the border by federal security officers isn’t ideal, don’t let it deter you from travelling.
There’s a fat chance you’ll actually be stopped by the DEA or feds as you cross the U.S. border with your greens. It’s just not worth their valuable time and with so many hints that legalization is on the horizon, things could become more lenient as time progresses.
On the other hand, risking a drug trafficking charge and a hefty fine isn’t worth it. Based on Section 812 of Title 21 of the U.S. Code, no distinction is made between the trafficking of cannabis to legal cannabis states, medical cannabis states or illegal cannabis states.
So if you’re thinking about driving across the border with weed in your car, think again. Aside from the fact that federal law prohibits individuals from crossing the border with CBD and/or THC on their person, cannabis-testing devices remains highly unsophisticated and may deem a motorist intoxicated for days after they consumed weed.
One quick solution for the time being is to see a doctor and get approved for medical marijuana. While interstate travel is still hazy, many states have reciprocity and actually honor out-of-state medical marijuana cards. If you’re planning on leaving your state as a cardholder and entering a decriminalized or recreationally legal state, while the phsyical act of crossing that line is still a grey area, do a little research and make sure everything you’re doing is ok.
Hurdles Yet to Cross Even With Federal Legalization on the Horizon
Cannabis prohibition in the U.S. – which stems from the enactment of the 1937 Marijuana Tax Act- has made the process of traveling with marijuana a tricky one for consumers.
On the business side of things, Canopy Growth’s recent acquisition of New York-based company Acreage Holdings demonstrates how much confidence the Ontario-based cannabis company Canopy has in the federal government legalizing weed soon. After all, the deal is contingent on legislation unfolding and is a sign of what’s to come.
What’s more, Ex Rep. Dana Rohrabacher is optimistic that Trump will encourage the government to lift federal restrictions on the plant by as early as next year. If this does happen, the rules regarding traveling with marijuana will surely be simplified in the near future.
Last reviewed and updated on February 15, 2023