October 23, 2019
Flying with Cannabis – Do’s and Don’ts
Smuggling weed on your flight will soon become passé, as the federal cannabis legalization in Canada made flying with Cannabis totally legal.
Now that flying with cannabis is legal in Canada, consumers are learning all about the new rules of marijuana. If you partake, what do you need to know while traveling across the country? We’ve got you covered.
Quick Tips for Flying with Cannabis
- Keep it in your carry-on
- Only bring 30 grams
- Bring your documentation
- Show up a little early
- Keep it odour-free
Flying with Cannabis – Domestic
The reason behind some substances not being allowed on a flight is due to a fire hazard. Which is a case with alcohol and deodorants, Cannabis is in no way similar to neither of those. In fact, it is more similar to cigarettes or better yet raw tobacco, because you could probably poke someone’s eye out with a cigarette.
What you can bring
Whether in your checked luggage or carry-on, you’re permitted to carry up to 30 grams of recreational marijuana. Cannabis oils fall under general liquid restrictions. Remember, you can only pack up to 100mL in your carry-on. If you have a greater amount due to a medical marijuana prescription, you’ll need to have your documentation ready. Make sure that your medical marijuana documentation aligns with the guidelines of the Access to Cannabis for Medical Purposes Regulations so that you don’t run into any hassles during travel.
How much is 30 grams of cannabis? Most joints contain between a third of a gram and a full gram of cannabis—so the new limit allows for about 60 modestly sized pre-rolls. At more than an ounce (28.5 grams), the limit also exceeds nonmedical possession limits in a number of US states.
According to CATSA, passengers are permitted to travel with any form of cannabis so long as it is in accordance with Health Canada’s regulations and your unique prescription. That means topicals, tinctures, oils, and edibles are technically fair game (so long as you’d regularly be allowed to use them)
Officials are still working to finalize procedures around the new rule for flying with cannabis. The Canadian Air Transport Safety Authority, which oversees the nation’s airport screeners, has said it expects to iron out details in the coming days.
Watch your age
The legal age for marijuana usage varies across Canada, as it does for alcohol consumption. Before you fly across provinces and territories, check to be sure that you’re allowed to land in your destination with cannabis.
What do airlines say about flying with cannabis?
The airlines operating within Canada are subject to the Canadian Air Transport Security Authority (CATSA).
CATSA is mandated with protecting the public through effective and efficient screening of air travelers and their baggage. If you are traveling within Canada, CATSA has established specific limits for bringing cannabis on a plane.
Air Canada warns its passengers that despite adhering to CATSA regulations on domestic flights, in the event of an unexpected flight diversion to a U.S. airport the onus of responsibility is on the traveler if denied entry due to cannabis possession.
West Jet has not issued any policy differing from CATSA regulations. In fact, they openly posted on their Twitter account in 2014 that they simply differ to CATSA with respect to cannabis limits for domestic air travel.
Porter Airlines adds that even when traveling within Canada, it is your responsibility to learn and adhere to the laws of the province you are traveling to. Some areas are more restrictive than others.
Can I just roll one up for when I land?
Porter also reminds travelers that whatever form of cannabis you are bringing on a plane “must be kept in stowed luggage at all times and cannot be consumed, rolled or otherwise exposed to the cabin or other passengers at any time.”
Need More than the Legal Carrying Limit?
Current regulations generally provide enough leeway for most users to survive a short trip. But don’t worry, if you need more than the legal maximum, you’ve still got options.
Planning on Flying with Cannabis outside of Canada?
Cannabis is legal for adults in Canada. However, it is still illegal to transport cannabis and all products containing cannabis across the Canadian border:
- no matter how much cannabis you have with you
- even if you are authorized to use cannabis for medical purposes in any form, including CBD
- even if you are traveling to or from an area where cannabis has been legalized or decriminalized
If you are entering Canada and you have cannabis with you in any form, you must declare it to the Canada Border Services Agency.
Not declaring cannabis in your possession at the Canadian border is a serious criminal offense. You could be arrested and prosecuted.
Flying with Cannabis while Leaving Canada
It is illegal to take cannabis across the Canadian border, whether you are entering or leaving the country. You could be charged with a criminal offence if you try to travel to other countries with any amount of cannabis in your possession. This includes edible cannabis, cannabis topicals and cannabis extracts, as well as products containing CBD. This applies to all countries, whether cannabis is legal there or not.
Cannabis is illegal in most countries. If you try to travel internationally with any amount of cannabis, including CBD products, in your possession, you could face serious criminal penalties both at home and abroad. You could be denied entry at your destination country if you have previously used cannabis or any substance prohibited by local laws. You could also be denied entry to other countries in the future.
Canadians traveling to the U.S. for reasons related to the cannabis industry may be denied entry.
It is your responsibility to inform yourself about the laws of the country you intend to visit. This includes the legal status of cannabis use and possession in any country you may travel to.
There are better things you could do with your time abroad than spending it in a foreign jail! All because you decided to fly with cannabis outside of Canada. For example, you could be out there enjoying your time abroad and looking for some foreign strains native to the area.