Recent news stories have put the spotlight on the potential hazards of traveling internationally with cannabis, but what about domestic travel? With the laws in flux, many have asked, so we thought we’d do some digging and help, uh, clear the air.
With international travel, it’s obvious: Don’t even think about it. No, non, nyet, nein, não. But what about Canada? While cannabis is legal for adults in Canada, it’s illegal to transport these products across their borders regardless of the amount or any medical authorizations. Even if you’re travelling from a U.S. state where cannabis is legal to a Canadian province where it’s legal, you could be thrown in prison for up to 14 years.1 So, leave cannabis products at home before heading outside of any national border. This goes for cruise ships, too. When the ship docks, they could turn you over to foreign authorities if you’re caught with cannabis on board. So just don’t!
Now, we come to the trickier part: domestic travel. While more and more states are legalizing and/or decriminalizing cannabis possession for either recreational or medicinal use, it is still illegal on the federal level. Even cannabidiol (CBD)? It depends: Many cannabis-infused products, including CBD oil, are illegal at the federal level if they contain more than 0.3% of THC. In 2019, the TSA updated its policy to allow CBD containing less than 0.3% THC.
If you’re using a CBD product that has more than 0.3% THC, you would be violating the law by transporting it across state lines. The only exceptions are the FDA-approved cannabis-derived product, Epidiolex and three synthetic cannabis-related drug products: Marinol, Syndros and Cesamet. These are only available with prescriptions by licensed health care providers.
TSA is focused on security and detecting potential threats; they do not search for marijuana or other illegal drugs. However, if they do find cannabis in your carry-on, packed bag or on you, they will notify law enforcement, even if it’s for medicinal use. Action then depends where you are and how much the officer cares. If it’s just a tiny amount and obviously for your own use, you may be OK; you may simply be asked to throw it away. If you’re transporting a large quantity, you can be arrested for drug trafficking.
If you are driving with cannabis and get pulled over, it may be an issue, particularly if you’ve entered a state where cannabis in not legal. Flower carries a very strong aroma. Just our opinion, but the risk seems high (and not in a good way).
Our recommendation? Until cannabis is legalized on the federal level, don’t fly or drive to destinations where cannabis is not yet legal unless you are carrying CBD products with less than 0.3% THC.
Senior-High is a woman-owned educational and information-sharing resource for seniors and active adults interested in discovering the medicinal benefits of products derived from cannabis. They are based in the Coachella Valley and can be reached at (760) 459.4593 or visit www.Senior-High.com.
References: 1) https://www.justice.gc.ca/eng/cj-jp/cannabis/