Here’s everything you need to know about catching a flight with cannabis.
With so many states and territories opting to legalize cannabis, it seems like it would be easy to bring weed from one state to another. However, there’s still a lot to consider before you pack a few grams of hash and your Puffco into your checked bag. Here’s everything you need to know about catching a flight with cannabis.
In short, no. The federal government still classifies cannabis as a Schedule I substance. Even though there’s a contradiction between individual state laws and federal laws, cannabis can still get you into a lot of trouble in federal buildings. Even if you’re flying to a state that also allows for recreational marijuana, there’s a chance you’ll have to deal with law enforcement at the airport, which is something you’ll want to avoid if you’ve got to catch a plane.
Even though most airports are privately run or owned by local or state bodies, they receive federal grant funding for things like maintenance and improvement. Regardless of who owns the airport, they have to keep up with federal regulations to keep getting their grant money. That said, they tend to be less lenient when people breach federal law by bringing weed into an airport.
Yes, with a few restrictions. Your CBD products have to be hemp-derived and not cannabis-derived. Hemp-derived CBD oils or products are legal to travel with as long as they contain less than 0.3% THC, which is the federally legal limit. However, you can’t fly with marijuana-derived CBD. Even though some states and areas allow legal cannabis products, they’re illegal on a federal level since they can test higher than 0.3% THC.
With that in mind, you should always keep your CBD products in their original packaging with their label and testing information intact. TSA agents won’t be able to tell if your product is hemp or cannabis-derived without it, so they may confiscate it or turn it into law enforcement just to be safe. It’s usually up to the TSA security officer’s discretion to inspect your product and allow you to pass or confiscate it and get law enforcement involved. But if your product is clearly labeled and in a TSA-compliant container, you shouldn’t run into any trouble with hemp-derived CBD.
All that said, flying with CBD oils, creams, vapes, and gummies is legal as long as they’re kept in travel-approved 3.4oz bottles and not in any glass or metal containers. You can keep them in your carry-on or your checked bag.
While it isn’t illegal to have weed in two different recreational states, it is illegal to transport it.
The biggest hurdle will always be dealing with the airports themselves, since transporting weed across state lines is a federal crime. Even if you’re going to a state that allows for legal weed, you can still run into trouble at the airport or on the ground.
Each state also has different laws for which products can be consumed and in which quantities. If you leave Denver with the legal limit of two ounces of flower, you could get into serious trouble when you land in Los Angeles where you’re only legally allowed to have one.
At the end of the day, it’s illegal to fly with weed, and you don’t want to have to deal with law enforcement at the security checkpoints or on the ground at your destination. It’s best to keep it at home.
The TSA is looking for potential threats, and weed is at the bottom of the list. However, they also stated, “TSA officers are required to report any suspected violations of law, including possession of marijuana and certain cannabis-infused products.” However, if they see weed in your bag, it’s up to the individual TSA agent how to proceed. On the TSA’s website, they wrote "The final decision rests with the TSA officer on whether an item is allowed through the checkpoint."
Basically, they’re looking for potentially dangerous items. The TSA will conditionally allow travelers to bring cannabis products through security, but they’re not actively searching for it. They also write “TSA security officers do not search for marijuana or other illegal drugs, but if any illegal substance is discovered during security screening, TSA will refer the matter to a law enforcement officer."
If you choose to fly with weed, keep in mind that even though you may do it once, all it takes is a TSA agent having a bad day for you to have to deal with law enforcement over a personal supply of weed.
The decision to fly with weed is ultimately up to you. You should familiarize yourself with the cannabis laws in the state you’re flying to as well as the state you’re already in before you make any concrete plans. While it’s technically illegal to fly with weed, the TSA isn’t actively searching for it and they don’t care much if you choose to fly with it. But you should do whatever it takes to protect yourself in the event you choose to fly with weed.
If you want to take the risk, have a lawyer’s name and contact information ready to go in case you have to deal with law enforcement, and make sure the products you’re flying with are clearly labeled, in travel-approved containers, and tested under the 0.3% THC legal limit.
While we don’t recommend flying with weed due to its legal status and confusing local and state laws, there are a few things you can do to make it easier to get from point A to point B with weed if you choose to take the risk.
1. Keep your stash in your carry-on
Checked bags are more likely to be randomly inspected. Random inspections can lead to random confiscations and trouble with local law enforcement on the ground after your flight. You can bring a lot of stuff in a carry-on bag. Concentrates slip into makeup bags easily. You can also put a few joints into a pack of cigarettes, or put flowers in an opaque Tylenol bottle with a few pills and cotton balls. Keep in mind that you’ll want to only travel with a small, personal supply if you choose to fly at all. It’s unwise to bring large quantities of weed since you can get stuck with a federal smuggling charge. Try to always keep it below an ounce.
2. Divide the stash
Most airlines allow for a carry-on bag and a personal item, such as a laptop case or small backpack. If you’re nervous about putting all of your eggs in one basket, put a few items in each bag. That way if one gets confiscated, you still have a backup in the other bag. Again, it’s risky to travel with too much weed. You don’t want a federal drug trafficking charge, so never travel with more than an ounce.
3. Comply with the TSA regulations
Sneaking cannabis through security is much harder if you’re breaking the TSA travel regulations. You can’t have any liquids over three ounces in your carry-on bags, and you’ll have to separate laptops and iPads from the rest of your stuff. Make sure your carry-on bag is organized so that it just has to go through the scanner instead of being searched. Remove your electronics and make sure you’re using TSA-approved travel containers to avoid drawing unwanted attention to your bag.
4. Avoid liquid cannabis products
The TSA isn’t fond of liquids in the slightest. That said, you should avoid packing in THC-infused beverages, tinctures, oils, or otherwise, even if you put them in TSA-compliant containers. Vape cartridges and edibles are your safest options by far. They’re both discreet and don’t smell like weed, so they’re less likely to get you flagged by security. You can also sneak through small amounts of concentrates or flower as long as the smell isn’t overpowering. Just remember— small amounts only.
5. Familiarize yourself with the laws, and get a lawyer
You should be aware of the cannabis laws wherever your final destination may be. Be aware of how much weed you can legally possess in both places, and what kind of products are accepted. For example, some states with legal cannabis don’t allow for using flower, so you’ll want to make sure that you avoid packing it in before you go or risk getting into trouble on the ground. It helps to have a lawyer’s name and phone number handy too, in case things go wrong.
If you’re traveling internationally, take extra precautions because you’re even more likely to get into trouble. Take Canada, for example. Even though weed is legal there, it’s still super illegal to transport any amount of it across the border, even if you’re taking it to another legal country. You’ll also want to opt for edibles and cartridges instead of flower or concentrates entirely since the screening procedures for international flights are much more complicated. We really don’t recommend flying with weed in general, but especially if you’re flying internationally.
Your stash will still be at home when you get back. But if you’re flying to a different state that already has legal weed, you should save yourself from possible legal persecution and try the local flavors instead. Not only is it much safer than flying with weed, but you can rest easier that you’re not going to get yourself into a pickle in a foreign place. You can use Vana to shop safe, legal, and compliant cannabis and CBD products for delivery nationwide. Choose from over 5000 different products and brands and find your feelgood without the stress.
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