Germany’s Health Minister Indicates That Legalization Will Proceed
The German health minister has indicated that adult-use legalization will move forward in the European country, reports Marijuana Moment. Minister Karl Lauterbach said on Tuesday that he has received “very good feedback” from the European Commission and expects his bill to be formally presented “in the next few weeks.”
“We’ll soon present a proposal that works, that is, that conforms to European law,” Minister Lauterbach said. Throughout the lobbying process, the minister has indicated that his efforts aim to improve public health in Germany via regulating adult-use cannabis. In 2022, the Federal Cabinet of Germany adopted a preliminary outline for legalization legislation. Still, the government required EU approval to ensure that adopting the change wouldn’t violate their international duties.
Under the government’s soon-to-be-revised proposal, which is currently only a 12-page framework and not actual legislation, adults 18 and older would be permitted to purchase and possess up to 30 grams of cannabis from establishments with federal licenses, potentially including pharmacies. Moreover, they may raise up to three plants for their own use.
Legalization the Hot Topic at SXSW 2023
Global Cannabis Consultant and Strategic Advisor Andrew DeAngelo, Rep. Earl Blumenauer (D-OR) and Rep. Nancy Mace (R-SC) gathered onstage to discuss federal cannabis legalization at this year’s SXSW conference in Austin. The panel, called “Which Political Party Will Legalize Weed?” gave the two representatives an opportunity for a lively discussion on the end of federal cannabis prohibition. Moderator DeAngelo pushed the politicians on the lack of progress in the Capitol, according to Green Market Report.
Blumenauer is said to be “more optimistic” than last year, referencing President Biden’s pardoning of cannabis prisoners and the fact that Biden is also keeping the possibility of descheduling on the table after initiating a review of cannabis classification. However, he was said to be more critical of Sen. Cory Booker (D-NJ) and Majority Leader Chuck Schumer’s (D-NY) inability to get a voting measure passed by the House, quoted as saying their desire for perfect legislation is behind the continued stalling but believes the two had “learned their lesson” and are more open to compromise.
Mace was reportedly less optimistic, saying if any change is going to happen, it needs to be done before June, as after that, “it’ll be about the presidential election,” she said. The South Carolina Republican also noted that President Biden could use it to his advantage to boost his reelection hopes.
Snoop Extends Death Row Cannabis Product Offering
Following the sold-out first product drop of its debut offerings LA Runtz, Trop Cherry, Strawberry Garry and SFV OG, Death Row Cannabis has launched two new additions, True OG and Strawberry Gelato (Apple Fritter x Lemon Cherry Gelato hybrid), on March 10. Plus, fans of LA Runtz can be reassured that the popular strain also be returning. Like the first fire drop, these new cultivars were carefully by Death Row Cannabis’ Head of Operations, AK, a longtime West Coast legacy cultivator.
“We’re very excited to introduce California consumers to Death Row Cannabis’s newest heavy hitter, Strawberry Gelato,” Travis “Shaggy” Marshall, head of product, said. “It has a loud, unique strawberry nose that’s tart and sharp on the front but sweet and creamy on the back. To me, it’s what I’d imagine a strawberry shortcake-flavored milkshake would taste like. Not only is it uniquely delicious, but testing at over 35% it also packs a punch for heavier smokers like me.”
No Increase in Traffic-Related Hospitalizations Following Cannabis Legalization
The introduction of adult-use marijuana sales in Canada isn’t linked to a rise in hospitalizations for traffic-related injuries, according to data published in the journal Addiction, reports NORML. Researchers compared the national rates of hospital admissions and emergency room visits in the years before and immediately after legalization.
“Overall, there’s no clear evidence that RCL [recreational cannabis laws] had any effect on rates of ED visits and hospitalizations for either motor vehicle or pedestrian/cyclist injury across Canada,” the authors concluded.
The results align with an earlier Canadian study from 2021, which “found no evidence that the implementation of the Cannabis Act was associated with significant changes in post-legalization patterns of all drivers’ traffic-injury ED visits or, more specifically, youth-driver traffic-injury ED presentations.”
A lawmaker in Ohio has introduced a bill that would help marijuana users in the state avoid a costly impaired driving charge.
News 5 Cleveland reports that the legislation, introduced by a Republican state senator, “would change the standards of the Operating a Vehicle Under the Influence (OVI) law,” and “help update Ohio laws due to the prevalence of medical marijuana licenses.”
The station said that the bill would help drivers avoid “facing charges for driving with THC in their system as long as they can prove they weren’t impaired.”
“Under the current statute for an OVI, it’s testing whether or not it’s in your system. Now that we have legalized it for medical purposes, I think we need to update the statute to where we’re looking at whether or not somebody is impaired,” GOP state Sen. Nathan Manning told News 5 Cleveland.
“Marijuana in general is a lot different than alcohol, alcohol is lot more black and white,” he added.
Ohio lawmakers passed a bill legalizing medical cannabis in 2016, and sales began in the Buckeye State three years later.
Ohio patients with the following qualifying conditions are eligible for medical cannabis treatment under the state’s law: AIDS, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, Alzheimer’s disease, cachexia, cancer, chronic traumatic encephalopathy, Crohn’s disease, epilepsy or another seizure disorder, fibromyalgia, glaucoma, hepatitis C, Huntington’s disease, inflammatory bowel disease, multiple sclerosis, pain that is either chronic and severe or intractable, Parkinson’s disease, positive status for HIV, post-traumatic stress disorder, sickle cell anemia, Spasticity, spinal cord disease or injury, terminal illness, Tourette syndrome, traumatic brain injury and ulcerative colitis.
Advocates say the medical cannabis law, and the ubiquity of the treatment statewide, has created a dilemma for law enforcement and patients alike.
“In an OVI, we are charged with being medicated on stuff you bought legally from a dispensary or smoke shop,” Ally Reaves with Midwest CannaWomen told News 5 Cleveland. “That’s not fair.”
The bill introduced by Manning “would allow drivers to have up to 25 nanograms of THC per milliliter in their urine instead of the current 10,” and “would raise the concentration from two to five nanograms of THC per milliliter” for blood, according to the station.
Shifting those standards is crucial, given how long THC can remain in a person’s system.
“Our policemen and women that are enforcing these traffic laws are doing a great job and very often are not charging anybody unless they are showing signs of impairment, whether that’s through their field sobriety tests or their own observations,” Manning told News 5 Cleveland. “But there are situations where somebody is arrested and has consumed marijuana in the previous few days and technically would be above that ‘per se’ level, even though there’s no impairment whatsoever.”
“The consensus of the scientific community is clear that there is no acceptable limit of marijuana that automatically makes a person impaired,” Manning added. “Impairment must be considered on a case-by-case basis considering all of the available evidence.”
As the number of enrolled medical cannabis patients has grown in Ohio, so too is the number of places where they can legally obtain the product.
The National Transportation Safety Board is recommending that states require cannabis warning labels on all marijuana products that warn drivers of the risks of impaired driving, writing in a report released last week that impairment from drugs, “especially cannabis, is a growing concern that needs to be addressed.” The agency noted that while dozens of states have legalized sales of cannabis, the continued prohibition of marijuana at the national level prevents the federal government from setting a national labeling requirement.
In the NTSB report, released on January 12, the agency wrote that researchers have determined that alcohol is the most commonly detected substance in impaired driving incidents, followed by cannabis. They also found that while alcohol is most often detected alone, cannabis was most often detected in combination with alcohol or other drugs.
“We’ve long known about the devastating impact of alcohol-impaired driving, but this report shows that impairment from other drugs, especially cannabis, is a growing concern that needs to be addressed,” NTSB member Tom Chapman said in a statement from the agency.
The report observed that the states that have legalized cannabis don’t have uniform labeling regulations. While many states require some form of warning label on regulated cannabis products, several states don’t specifically mandate warnings that include the dangers of driving while impaired, the agency maintains.
“An NTSB analysis of laws in the 50 states, the District of Columbia and the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, identified 23 jurisdictions where cannabis sales are legal but where cannabis label requirements are not required or are inadequate,” the report notes. “This includes 12 jurisdictions that have no driving-related label requirements, 4 that have label requirements for only certain cannabis products, and 7 whose labeling requirements do not explicitly warn against driving after cannabis use.”
Although the agency acknowledged that it’s not clear if labels warning of the risks of driving while impaired by cannabis would influence drivers’ behavior or improve safety on the nation’s roadways, the NTSB recommended in its report that all states that have legalized cannabis should mandate warning labels on regulated cannabis products.
“The NTSB concludes that including driving-related warnings on cannabis products, similar to those on alcohol and many prescription and OTC drugs, would increase awareness of the risks of cannabis-impaired driving,” the agency wrote in its report. “Therefore, the NTSB recommends that the District of Columbia, the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, and the 21 states where cannabis use is legal but driving-related cannabis warning labels are not required or are inadequate require a warning label on cannabis products advising users not to drive after cannabis use due to its impairing effects.”
NTSB Report May Be Flawed
But Andrea A. Golan, an attorney with the cannabis law firm Vicente Sederberg and a member of the practice’s Regulatory Compliance and Hemp and Cannabinoids Departments, disputes some of the report’s findings, writing in an email to Cannabis Now that some of the information presented in it is inaccurate.
“I think to some extent, this report lacks knowledge of state cannabis laws,” Golan wrote. “Footnote 92 lists jurisdictions with no driving-related label requirements and lists seven states that don’t explicitly warn against driving after cannabis use, including Alabama, Arizona, California, Colorado, Maryland, Pennsylvania and West Virginia. This is simply not accurate.”
Golan cited the warnings required in Arizona, California and Colorado, noting that others could also have similar labeling requirements. She added that while investigating the 12 states alleged to have no labeling requirement is warranted, most states with legal medical marijuana or adult-use cannabis have regulations requiring impaired driving warnings similar to the government warning mandated for alcohol. Golan agreed that there are risks associated with driving while impaired by cannabis, but she questioned whether amending labeling requirements is the most effective way to address the issue.
“More warranted is educating the consumer,” she wrote. “For the inexperienced user, they may not know when the effects will kick-in, how long the effects last, or understand the extent of impairing effects. Here, additional safety advisory language educating the consumer on the effects of consumption would be warranted.”
Justin Kahn CEO and co-founder of Reepher, a company that offers coverage for costs related to cannabis-related DUIs, also questioned the NTSB’s recommendation for warning labels, noting that he is unaware of any data showing they are an effective deterrent to impaired driving. He added that moving to uniform labeling requirements among the states with legal cannabis would be a hardship with small businesses already dealing with strict regulations and high taxes.
“Similar labeling requirements exist for alcohol, and the measurable impact on intoxicated driving has been little to nothing,” Kahn says. “Changes in labeling requirements are burdensome for small businesses, requiring capital investment to change packaging design, without demonstrating a benefit to society.”
The NTSB also included other recommendations to improve safety on the nation’s streets and highways, including the standardization of toxicology testing for the detection of drug use and a call for research on how to improve compliance with driving-related warnings on prescription and over-the-counter drugs that have the potential to impair driving.
“Impaired driving leads to tragedy every day on our nation’s roads, but it doesn’t have to,” said NTSB Chair Jennifer Homendy. “To create a truly safe system—one where impaired driving is a relic of the past—states and federal agencies must implement our recommendations, and fast. Further complacency is inexcusable.”
A Montana-based company called Gaize has developed a device which can scan the user’s eye and utilize crazy futuristic robot intelligence to detect THC impairment.
According to the company’s founder, Ken Fichtler, American law enforcement agencies have already agreed to use the technology, though he could not specify which ones.
“I’ll preface all of this by saying I am pro cannabis. I’m pro cannabis legalization. I’m doing this because I see a distinct need at the federal level to have some product to detect impairment so we can keep roads safe,” Fichtler said.
The device is akin to a virtual reality headset of sorts that a police officer would hypothetically place on the head of a driver suspected of reefer smoking. It shrouds the suspect in darkness for a few moments before shining a bright light to electronically scan the movement of the suspect’s eyeballs.
“The eyes are the window to the soul. The eyes offer a remarkably clear picture into the mental state of a person. They’re full of involuntary micro-movements and reflex responses that transmit information about someone’s impairment or sobriety,” the Gaize website states.
According to Fichtler, the scan cannot be used as evidence in court, much like a traditional breathalyzer, but police officers can use it in the field if they suspect someone is high so as to take their own bias or out of the equation completely. Gaize cannot yet quantify impairment like a traditional breathalyzer does, but it can essentially indicate if the person is intoxicated enough for their eye to respond to stimulus differently than it normally would.
“You can’t simply measure THC and say, ‘Yeah, okay, this guy’s high because he’s got five nanograms of THC in his body,’ right? It just doesn’t work that way,” Fichtler said. “What we’re doing is actually directly measuring how impairment manifests in the body, which I think is a much more rational, measured and fair path forward.”
Fichtler said the test is based on several different studies which have spanned the last 40 years, including a 350-participant clinical trial Gaize conducted themselves. A cursory search of “how cannabis affects eye movement” does indeed show several peer-reviewed studies on the matter dating back to at least 1979. As with most scientific studies there’s a lot of room for misinterpretation or error but try as I might I could not find much to dispute the science behind this technology. It turns out eyeballs are just dirty little snitches that will sell stoners out at every turn.
“There’s a lot of changes that happen and a lot of them happen at a scale that a human couldn’t necessarily see unless they were looking really close or even using a magnifying glass or something. Our product is sensitive enough that we can detect these really minute changes,” Fichtler said.
Fichtler did make a point of saying Gaize will not be selling the technology arbitrarily to be used for nefarious purposes but if you work a dangerous job or like to get high on your morning commute, you may find yourself staring into the bright light of a Gaize headset soon.
Fichtler was not able to provide High Times with an estimated date that law enforcement agencies might begin to roll out the use of these headsets but for what it’s worth he seemed to speak with the voice of a man who had signed one or more non-disclosure agreements, rather than a man waiting for orders to start coming in.
“It’s being evaluated by some really high profile departments,” Fichtler said. “They haven’t all adopted it yet, but some have. My hope is that within a couple of years, maybe this is sort of standard practice.”
Virginia authorities announced the results of a recent survey on the dangers of cannabis-impaired driving, but things didn’t go exactly as planned: Officials said that the survey shows “unsettling” and “alarming” attitudes about how safe it is to drive when under the influence of pot.
Stratacomm, a public affairs consulting firm, conducted the survey and received over 750 responses representing a demographic cross-section of Virginia residents ages 16 and older.
About 23% of respondents reported consuming cannabis in the past three months and about 14% of Virginia drivers who were surveyed said that they have driven high a few times or more in the past year.
Almost one-third of those surveyed believe cannabis makes them a safer driver. It is important to remember, however, that some respondents are only 16 years of age, barely old enough to drive. It might make the loose attitudes about driving safety easier to imagine.
The data shows that Virginians do not perceive cannabis-impaired driving to be nearly as dangerous as other risky behaviors—like drinking and driving: 60% of respondents view texting and driving and 49% regard alcohol-impaired driving to be “extremely dangerous,” but only a quarter of Virginians—26%—view cannabis-impaired driving as “extremely dangerous.”
The CCA will use the survey results to develop a safe driving campaign mandated by the 2021 General Assembly that will highlight the dangers of cannabis-impaired driving, which is set to launch in January 2023.
The CCA has their work cut out for them. “These results are worrying and underscore the General Assembly was right to direct the CCA to undertake a safe driving campaign,” said John Keohane, CCA Board Chair and retired Police Chief of Hopewell, Virginia.
“As a public safety and public health agency, the CCA currently has no greater priority than creating a well-funded, aggressive, and sustained campaign aimed at reducing the incidence of marijuana-impaired driving,” added Jeremy Preiss, the CCA’s Acting Head and Chief Officer for Regulatory, Policy, and External Affairs.
The findings also suggest that not all Virginians who consume cannabis do it responsibly: 47% of cannabis consumers who were surveyed reported they do not always have a plan for a sober ride and 24% of respondents indicating they have been a passenger in a car operated by a high driver more than once in the past year.
“The CCA wants to empower Virginians to make informed decisions about marijuana use and ensure people understand that operating a vehicle while under the influence of marijuana is extremely dangerous,” concluded Brianna Bonat, the CCA’s lead public health official.
The CCA invites people who are interested in learning more public health and safety information related to cannabis to visit cannabis.virginia.gov.
Efforts to promote safe driving with cannabis are active at the federal level as well. The Governors Highway Safety Association (GHSA) commissioned a report about educational campaigns on cannabis and driving on July 26. The GHSA partnered with National Alliance to Stop Impaired Driving to create a playbook written specifically for State Highway Safety Offices (SHSO).
Similar efforts to pinpoint the need for safety for people who consume cannabis is ongoing in Canada as well. Research published in the Canadian Medical Association Journal in April 2021 was conducted by a research team associated with Lady Davis Institute of the Jewish General Hospital in Montreal and found similar attitudes and misinformation about driving under the influence of pot.
The study on drivers was conducted by researchers at the Center for Health, Analytics, Media and Policy, RTI International and Office of Research Protection in Research Triangle Park, North Carolina, which was published online on April 23, but is slated to be published in Preventive Medicine Reports in June 2022.
The study analyzed consumption behaviors of 1,249 individuals. Over one third of participants reported driving under the influence within three hours of getting high in the last 30 days, and another one third shared their use of cannabis within 20 or more days within a 30-day period.
“Current cannabis users in recreational and medical-only cannabis states were significantly less likely to report driving within three hours of getting high in the past 30 days, compared to current users living in states without legal cannabis,” researchers wrote. “The one exception was frequent cannabis users who lived in medical cannabis states. Their risk of DUIC [driving under the influence of cannabis] did not differ significantly from frequent users living in states without legal cannabis.”
Researchers suggested a solution to address driving under the influence of cannabis, which should be specifically targeted toward states without legal cannabis programs. “Our findings suggest that DUIC prevention is most needed in states without legalized cannabis. Because regulation of cannabis products in non-legal environments is not possible, mass media campaigns may be a good option for providing education about DUIC.”
Overall, researchers concluded that education campaigns could help continue to prevent people from driving under the influence after consuming cannabis. “Although all states should educate its citizens about the potential dangers of using cannabis and driving, this analysis suggests that states without legal cannabis are particularly in need of DUIC prevention efforts,” they wrote. “States should consider mass media campaigns as a method of reaching all cannabis users, including more frequent users, with information about the dangers of DUIC. Medical states may consider targeting frequent users by disseminating information about DUIC through medical dispensaries.”
The study also shared that it found three other studies that mirrored this evidence. Two were shared in 2020, and one was published in 2021, with varying levels of approach regarding analyzing the effect of recreational and/or medical cannabis legalization.
NORML’s Deputy Director Paul Armentano commented on the results of this study with the hope that it will educate those who fear the negative effects of cannabis legalization. “These findings ought to reassure those who feared that legalization might inadvertently be associated with relaxed attitudes toward driving under the influence,” said Armentano. “These conclusions show that this has not been the case and that, in fact, consumers residing in legal marijuana states are less likely to engage in this behavior than are those residing in states where cannabis possession remains criminalized.”
States such as Massachusetts are gearing up to increase how they enforce influenced driving laws. Governor Charlie Baker announced legislation in November 2021 that would “provide law enforcement officers with more rigorous drug detection training and will strengthen the legal process by authorizing the courts to acknowledge that the active ingredient in marijuana can and does impair motorists.” However, Baker’s legislation does not address how to approach measuring impairment or properly identifying if a person has recently consumed cannabis and is impaired, or if they consumed days or weeks before an incident and are no longer impaired.
A recent study published in Canada expresses the need for a better way to detect impairment accurately. “We would love to have that one measure that says, okay, this person is impaired, or they aren’t,” said lead author Sarah Windle. “But unfortunately, in the case of cannabis, it just isn’t that simple.”
Well, anywhere might be a bit ambitious. There are numerous countries I can think of just off the top of my head where I would NEVER bring any cannabis products. That said, when traveling domestically or to a country that’s relatively pot-friendly, I see no harm in bringing a few items along for personal use. The challenge, of course, lies in how exactly to pull this off without getting caught… but fear not, because this is something I have a bit of expertise in and I’m excited to share some new tips and products I’ve learned about recently that can help on your voyages as well!
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Traveling is a fun, exciting way to learn about different people, cultures, and customs. Even if you’re just exploring your own country of residence, there are so many things to see and discover. I personally love to travel. I haven’t been to many different countries, but I have traveled extensively throughout the United States by personal vehicle, airplane, and public transport like trains and buses.
My main grievance when it comes to wandering the earth are the frustrating limitations faced when trying to travel with cannabis products. In the land of the free, why is it so terrifying to drive though certain areas or hop on a plane with a natural, harmless, therapeutic plant? And it’s not just flowers that pose difficulties. Vape products, concentrates, and even edibles can raise problems, especially if you’re traveling by plane or through an especially restrictive state like Indiana or Texas.
To clarify, I’m not normally an advocate for blatant law-breaking, and I am in no way trying to promote the trafficking of illegal products. But I will always be an unapologetic supporter of safe and fair access to marijuana products, and when people who use cannabis regularly (especially for medicinal reasons) are so limited on where and how they can travel… that is no longer fair and tows line of discrimination against an entire group of people, a group that’s growing larger and more diverse each and every single day.
Hitting the Open Road
When it comes to traveling with cannabis products, especially raw flower, driving is generally regarded as being the easiest option. I agree with this to an extent. Yes, you can bring more stuff and you don’t need to go through any type of security screening, but there are certain caveats to consider before choosing this route.
For instance, where are you traveling from, where are you going, and what license plates does your car have? I’ll give you a quick example from my own personal experiences to provide some clarification as to why all this even matters. Years ago, in 2012, I was taking a trip across the southern states when I got hemmed up in Texas. I was pulled over for going only 1 mile over the speed limit; however, the police officer admitted that this was simply an excuse to stop me and the real reason he was initially suspicious was because I was driving a car with California license plates.
The reason, as he explained it, was that it is very common for people to transport cannabis, various illicit drugs, and even weapons from California to the Eastern US. “The product goes east, and the money goes back west,” he commented. Anyway, I was pulled over, they searched my car and found about a half ounce of weed. I was subsequently arrested and charged with a misdemeanor. I had to fly back to Texas months later for a court hearing, complete a probationary program, and pay thousands of dollars in fines… all for a small amount of personal-use pot.
Worst of all, this was not my first marijuana-related arrest in the great state of Texas. A couple years prior I was stopped at a freeway checkpoint near El Paso/Juarez, Mexico, and a police K9 detected a small personal stash in my car. After an entire day spent in a border patrol holding cell, I was eventually let off with a warning. This was the reason that I took a different route on my next trip through the south, which clearly did not work out any better for me.
If you’re traveling only through legal states, driving is golden. When you get to states like Texas, things can get a bit hazy, legally. This is why it’s so important to plan your route and take as many precautions as possible, more of which I will get into shortly.
Take to the Sky
Flying with weed can be a bit more intimidating, but it some ways, I find it less stressful than driving. When you’re on the road driving through the wrong area, you really never know what minor infraction may lead to you getting pulled over for, which could end in a search and then you’re screwed. If you’re flying, all you have to do is make it through TSA and you’re in the clear.
TSA stands for Transportation Security Administration, and it’s the agency of the United States government tasked with overseeing the safety of public transport. Put bluntly, the main purpose of the TSA is to ensure that another 9-11 never happens again; they are not police officers looking for drugs in your luggage.
According to a statement released by TSA representatives a couple years ago, “TSA officers DO NOT search for marijuana or other illegal drugs. Our screening procedures are focused on security and detecting potential threats. But in the event a substance appears to be marijuana or a cannabis-infused product, we’re required by federal law to notify law enforcement. This includes items that are used for medicinal purposes.”
It’s a bit conflicting. They are basically saying they don’t care if you fly with weed, and some people could misconstrue this message as meaning that it is actually allowed, which it is NOT. Even if you’re flying from legal state to legal state, and even if you’re flying over only legal states in the process, air space is considered federal territory and thus, cannabis – as a Schedule 1 narcotic – is illegal to bring on a plane.
I will say this though, it really is completely situational and some TSA agents will simply look the other way if you bring only a small amount of weed with you. Again, I have a personal story from my vault to reference. Shortly after cannabis was legalized in Colorado, I flew out there to do 420 fest and work at a nearby convention that was going on at the same time. Because of the recent legalization and the fact that it was April 20th, pot was literally everywhere. While at my hotel, a commercial came on TV talking about how you could now fly (occasionally) with cannabis out Denver International Airport and all you needed to do was contact TSA and discuss it with them. So naturally, my curiosity piqued and I did just that.
I called TSA and they told me to bring my products with me and show them to agents upon arrival. Needless to say, I was nervous but figured it was worth a try. Once I reached the airport security area, I approached the TSA agents and explained my situation. I told them that I was traveling back to my home state of California, where I had a medical cannabis card, and that I had about a quarter ounce of weed in my bag that I could show them if they needed to see it. They did not and just waved me through the line.
It was quick, easy, and not at all problematic. Unfortunately, the next time I asked to bring cannabis they told me no, so it really depends on your luck that day and who you talk to. My story is not particularly common, so if you’re trying to travel by plane with cannabis products and you’re not too keen on the possibility of throwing them away should you get denied by TSA, you’ll need to be a bit craftier.
Smell-Proof Containers and Luggage
Now, when I say craftier, what I mean is that you will need the right supplies. In today’s market you can find so many different products that can help conceal your cannabis wherever you go. Some of my personal favorites are smell-proof bags and luggage, and stash cans.
When it comes to simple, ziplock-style odor-trapping bags, there are many different brands to choose from. A few of my favorites are: Smelly Proof, Stink Sack, and Interplanetary Development. When I got arrested in Texas, the police found most of my weed EXCEPT the small amount that I had hidden in a Smelly Proof brand bag. And they did use K9s so that speaks to their effectiveness.
If you want to be extra discreet, you can put your weed products in a smell proof bag, then put the entire bag in a stash can. Stash cans are designed to look like everyday items – soda cans, household cleaners, water bottles, bug spray, etc. – but each can is fitted with a false bottom where you can hide whatever it is that you want to hide, be it weed products or valuables that you need hidden.
I have also had good experiences with smell proof luggage, which I’ll detail further in the next section. And if you don’t feel like spending money on either of the above options, or need something at the last minute, a basic vacuum sealer can at the very least help you conceal any smell. You can buy a cheap vacuum sealer and bags from Walmart for about $45 total, I have used this method before and it works.
Leaving California with Abscent Design Bags
I wanted to expand more on the smell proof luggage I mentioned earlier, and I believe it warrants its own section. During MJBizCon, I had the privilege of learning about an exciting and innovative brand: Abscent Designs. This California-based company specializes in odor-trapping luggage, and they make everything from travel pouches, to duffel bags, and even full-sized smell-proof suitcases.
On my last flight, I used The Banker, a basic, 11×6 inch pouch with dual Velcro seals and carbon packed seams. It doesn’t look like much but trust me when I tell you this small bag is amazing. Using The Banker I was able to safely bring cannabis flower and concentrate with me through the TSA checkpoint, past the K9s, and onto the plane with no problems whatsoever.
According to Ryan Wileman, CEO of Abscent Designs, “Concealing odor is our top priority, which is why every one of our bags are made with multiple layers of carbon, waterproof zippers and water resistant fabrics to ensure each one is smell proof. Every one of our bags is designed to be ultra-durable and conceal the toughest odors. Every bag goes through multiple levels of testing to make sure that odors stay inside while standing up to the roughest conditions.” Check out this video of their product testing procedures, Banker design featured.
A few tips when using Abscent Design luggage. First, make sure you don’t bring too much of the same product. Just because the entire bag is smell proof that does NOT mean you should pack it full… it does still need to go through a scanner. Plus, if you bring more than what can be considered a reasonable amount for personal use, it can look like you’re trafficking drugs. Also, make sure to wash your hands between handling your weed and handing your bag so no remnants of your pot get rubbed onto the outside of the bag. Package the cannabis products properly, then wash your hands BEFORE touching the outside of your luggage and sealing everything up. That way you won’t transfer any unwanted odors to the outside surface of the travel bag.
Travel with Cannabis – Final Thoughts
Keep in mind, simply putting a baggie of weed into your smell-proof luggage might not be enough in every scenario. You have to put a bit of thought into how you pack everything. I personally find prerolls, carts, and other small cannabis items to be very discreet and easy to travel with, for obvious reasons, but of course you’ll need to figure out exactly what method and products work best for you.
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