Cannabis is still illegal under federal law, and although several states have legalized it either recreationally, medically, or both, traveling with medical cannabis can get complicated quickly. Technically, transporting cannabis across state lines is a federal crime, and one should never try to travel to a foreign country with it. However, if you must travel with your medical marijuana, we have a handy, straightforward guide to traveling with it.
Keep in mind that if you travel into a state or country where marijuana is illegal, you will face specific penalties if you are caught.
Flying with Cannabis
Before booking your trip with an online travel agency, take some time to think about how you’ll be transporting your medical marijuana. The good news is that the TSA isn’t exactly looking for your hidden bud in your suitcase. They’re more concerned with chemicals and things that can hurt someone or go boom in midair. However, if they do catch a little cannabis in your carry-on, they’ll likely confiscate it. They’ll also probably hand you over to the local authorities rather than the feds, which is a plus.
If you travel by air, the best way to pack it is in a vacuum-sealed package placed in a small mason jar. You’ll also want to pack it in your carry-on rather than your checked luggage. Checked luggage is more likely to undergo dog detection.
Follow Federal Law
Unfortunately, this means that you are better off not traveling with your marijuana. However, packing a vape pen with disposable or refillable cartridges may be easier than transporting dried flowers. Remember, hemp-derived CBD that contains less than 0.03% THC is entirely legal. If you can, try to transition to CBD for your vacation to keep in the good graces of federal law enforcement.
Driving with Cannabis
It may sound counterintuitive, but it is easier to fly with medical marijuana than driving with it. The reason for this is that if you’re traveling from a state where cannabis is legal to a state where it’s not, authorities are often looking to catch people transporting cannabis this way. So they’ll target out-of-state license plates specifically.
However, if you must take that road trip and bring your weed with you, there are a few things that you should always do.
Keep the cannabis stored in a closed container, preferably somewhere you or your passengers cannot reach, such as the trunk. Many legal states require it to be transported this way.
Follow all traffic laws, drive safely, and ensure your vehicle is up to code. Broken lights, such as that pesky tag light, or a broken taillight, should be fixed. Also, make sure everyone is wearing their seatbelts. Finally, do not give law enforcement a reason to pull you over.
General Tips for Traveling with MMJ
- Don’t be greedy Travel with the smallest amount possible. Many places have decriminalized possession, but if you’re carrying large quantities, you may get busted and face serious charges.
- Always keep your MMJ card with you. Many states have MMJ reciprocity, and even if the state you’re traveling through doesn’t, it may help your case to have it known you’re a patient.
- If you are pulled aside by TSA or pulled over by law enforcement, be respectful. Copping an attitude doesn’t help your situation and might make them more willing to search your person or vehicle. Remember, you have the right to remain silent, and they will need probable cause to search.
- Stay sober Even if you’re traveling in a state where both recreational and medical cannabis is legal, driving under the influence is still illegal in every state. So don’t chance fate by driving while intoxicated.
- Never try to travel abroad with any controlled substance. Getting locked up in another country is a sure-fire way to ruin a vacation.
If you have a vacation coming up, following the above tips can help you travel with your cannabis. However, the biggest thing to remember is that you are doing so at your own risk. So take the precautions but be aware that you may have to pay the consequences if caught.
Michael is a writer and content marketing strategist with 10+ years of experience currently enjoying his work at GotVape. His idea is to break some of the stereotypes people have towards health. He gets motivation by doing things he always assumed he couldn’t do but secretly wanted to try. Work hard, challenge yourself, stay focused, take a rest, and surround yourself with good people – this is the path to a balanced life.
A Guide to Traveling with Medical Cannabis
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