The debate on whether or not marijuana or weed can be brought onto a plane has been ongoing for years. With the legalization of marijuana in Canada, certain states in the US, and around the world, it’s important to know the laws and regulations surrounding traveling with the plant.
This blog post will explore the legality of bringing weed on a plane and enlighten you on what marijuana is and its derivatives.
What is Marijuana?
Marijuana, also known as weed or pot, is a greenish-grey mixture of dried leaves, stems, flowers, or seeds of the plant cannabis sativa.
The plant contains two main chemicals: tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and cannabidiol (CBD).
THC is the primary psychoactive compound responsible for the plant’s hallucinogenic effects, while CBD is mainly used for medical purposes.
Marijuana is usually smoked but can also be consumed through edibles and CBD oils.
Can You Bring Weed on a Plane in the United States?
Since marijuana remains illegal at the federal level in the US, including CBD oils and cannabis-infused products, TSA officers must report any suspected law violations to local, state, or federal authorities.
However, the recreational use of cannabis has been legalized in 23 states plus the District of Columbia, with eight states decriminalizing its use. In all states, TSA security officers do not search for illegal drugs, but if found, they will report the matter to law enforcement officers.
The law differs for CBD oil and cannabis-infused products, such as edibles that have less than 0.3 THC on a dry weight basis or those approved by the FDA. These products are not illegal to be carried on a plane.
Bringing weed on a plane on international flights to or from the US is illegal despite the destination country’s marijuana laws. The US government’s law trumps that of any other country regarding air transportation.
Can You Bring Weed on a Plane in Canada?
In Canada, recreational cannabis use was legalized on October 17, 2018. While this allows for possession and use within the country, strict regulations surround its transportation, especially regarding air travel.
Transportation Security Administration (TSA) Regulations
While the TSA is a U.S. agency, its regulations can impact those traveling to and from Canada. The TSA states that carrying marijuana, even medical marijuana, across state lines or international borders is illegal.
Air Canada and WestJet permit passengers to carry cannabis within Canada in accordance with local laws and limits (30 grams or under of cannabis). It’s crucial to remember that you must adhere to the laws of your destination province.
Each province in Canada has different regulations regarding the amount of cannabis a person can carry. For instance, in most provinces, adults can carry up to 30 grams of dried cannabis, or its equivalent, in public.
Regardless of whether cannabis use is legal in your destination country, it is illegal to transport cannabis across the Canadian border. This applies whether you are entering or leaving Canada.
Risks and Consequences
Attempting to transport cannabis across the Canadian border can result in serious legal repercussions, including criminal charges. If traveling domestically, exceeding provincial possession limits can also lead to penalties.
- Always check the cannabis laws and regulations of your destination province before traveling.
- Keep cannabis in your carry-on luggage when flying domestically within Canada, as checked luggage can sometimes end up in international territories.
- Do not attempt to bring cannabis across the Canadian border, even if you are traveling to a location where it is legal.
- If you’re a medical marijuana user, always carry relevant documentation with you.
In summary, traveling with weed on a plane can be confusing due to the different rules in different states and countries.
Even though some American states and territories have legalized or decriminalized marijuana, bringing weed on a plane falls under the federal government’s jurisdiction. Therefore, it’s best to keep any marijuana products under 0.3% THC and liquid edibles or CBD oils under 100ml when flying within the United States.
However, TSA officers do not search for cannabis or cannabis-infused products, including CBD oils.
In Canada, you are allowed to fly domestically with up to 30 grams of marijuana on a dry-weight basis. Flying internationally to and from Canada with weed is illegal.
Still, it is advisable not to bring any weed on a plane domestically or internationally.
Frequently Asked Questions
Can TSA dogs smell THC cartridges?
Transportation Security Administration (TSA) dogs are highly trained to detect various substances related to cannabis products. While the primary focus of these dogs is not to sniff out drugs, they can detect THC cartridges due to the specific compounds found in cannabis.
Training of TSA Dogs
TSA dogs undergo rigorous training to detect a wide range of scents, including explosives and narcotics. These dogs are taught to detect caryophyllene oxide and beta-caryophyllene, two compounds found in cannabis. This means they can potentially detect THC cartridges containing concentrated cannabis oil.
However, it’s important to note that drug dogs are not specifically trained to find vape cartridges. The accuracy in detecting THC vape cartridges is not guaranteed and may vary among individual dogs.
Can I travel with THC or CBD internationally?
While some countries have legalized or decriminalized cannabis, it remains illegal in many places, and its legality can change rapidly. In most cases, traveling internationally with THC and CBD remains illegal. We recommend reading the story about Britney Griner.