Travel Smart: How to Bring Cannabis Anywhere in The World

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!

Traveling is fun, but it can be very daunting. Why make the experience worse by leaving your medicine behind? Check out our tips for how to travel safely with cannabis, and make sure to subscribe to The Delta 8 Weekly Newsletter for more articles like this one and exclusive deals on flowers, vapes, edibles, and other products. Save big on Delta 8Delta 9 THCDelta-10 THCTHCOTHCVTHCP & HHC products by checking out our “Best-of” lists!


Wandering Weedless

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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Federal Charges for Flying with Cannabis? LAX’s ‘Scare Signs’ a New Low

Adult-use cannabis is legal in California and adult-use cannabis is legal in New York. But because marijuana is still banned under federal law—and since federal law governs airspace in the United States—it’s still not legal to fly from Los Angeles to New York City (or anywhere else) with cannabis, in any amount.

That hasn’t stopped untold millions of people from flying with cannabis anyway. One reason why is there just isn’t much risk. Most Transportation Security Administration agents encountered at airport security checkpoints are not law enforcement. And the law enforcement officers TSA agents summon are almost always local police or sheriff’s deputies, who enforce state law, which in California and New York (and many places in between) says small amounts of cannabis are legal.

For these reasons, there are precious few examples of small amounts of cannabis causing airline passengers (or anyone else) much trouble—as much as it might annoy police who still remember the days of plentiful, easy busts before legalization. Which is why authorities at Los Angeles International Airport are putting a new, aggressive spin on an old, crude, but effective tactic: threatening passengers carrying cannabis, this time with arrest and federal charges, in order to scare them into self-policing. But according to defense attorneys, passengers should not be fooled—this ominous warning is an empty threat.

Earlier this year, new signs appeared near security checkpoints at LAX. “ATTENTION,” the signs blare in large, uppercase letters, a large, seven-fingered marijuana fan leaf behind the red diagonal slash in a prohibition sign. “TRAVELING WITH NARCOTICS=ARREST.” 

Placed there by Los Angeles World Airports (LAWA), the authority in charge of both LAX and Van Nuys Airport, the signs inform any uncertain passengers that the definition of “narcotics” includes “concentrated cannabis” as well as “cannabis edibles” and “vapes” (two more discreet options often preferred by travelers for their compact portability and lack of tell-tale smell).

“Any amount of narcotics in your possession may delay your travel,” the sign reads. “Arrests may result in federal drug charges.” “‘Lack of knowledge,’” the sign adds in a paternalistic flourish, “is not a valid excuse.”

But since LAX’s marijuana policy hasn’t changed since 2018 — when authorities had to start allowing people with up to an ounce of flower and eight grams of concentrates through checkpoints and onto their flights — it appears a “lack of knowledge” is exactly what the signs appear to be banking on.

In a brief email exchange, LAX police Chief Cecil Rhambo told Cannabis Now that LAWA “installed the signs early this year when we noted a rise in contraband at the TSA screening stations.” Asked to provide data such as arrest statistics, or any example of an instance in which cannabis possession led to an arrest and federal charges at LAX, Rhambo did not respond.

But according to defense attorneys who specialize in cannabis criminal cases, there hasn’t been any recent change in policy or surge in arrests. Instead, the signs are yet another example of “scare signs,” which can and should be safely ignored.

Similar to the “amnesty boxes” seen at airports in Chicago and Denver, which invite anxious passengers to dump their cannabis in a sealed bin, the sign is a very blunt, very empty exercise in psychology, an attempt to compel the public to behave a certain way — even if, in this instance, it’s utterly baseless.

As Rhambo admitted, there is an enormous amount of cannabis flowing through Los Angeles’ airports and many other airports around the country.

“They just don’t want to deal with it.” said Omar Figueroa, a northern California-based attorney and expert in state cannabis law.

Though cannabis is legal, most law-enforcement officers are still “drug war dinosaurs” who don’t particularly like cannabis, he added. “These ‘scare signs’ make their jobs easier.”

Though technically someone stopped by federal law enforcement with cannabis — as anyone busted with pot on a beach or a forest under federal jurisdiction, like Yosemite National Park, has found out the wrong way — the idea that personal amounts would lead to federal charges is so remote as to be laughable.

“I don’t think the feds are going to get involved in little, itty bitty marijuana cases,” said William Kroger, a Los Angeles-based criminal defense attorney who specializes in defending cannabis clients, including many who were caught trying to smuggle significant quantities of cannabis through airports such as LAX.

People manage to sneak through quantities in the pounds, packs, “all day, every day,” Kroger added. The idea that police would suddenly take a keen interest in individuals with personal amounts (itself a vague term that could mean ounces or pounds, depending on who is making the argument) is just not feasible, he said.

“They [the feds] are not even getting involved in dispensaries,” Kroger added.

And barring some unforeseen national shift that would prove vastly unpopular with a majority of the public who support legalization, this will not change. Unless they are also doing something else that is very, very bad, someone with a pocketful of vape cartridges, a few nugs, or some edibles tucked away in their carry-on is not going to be arrested and charged with a federal crime.

But if authorities can convince the public otherwise with something as simple, easy, and cheap as a few ominous signs propped up at airport security, that’s a job very easily done, even if it comes at the cost of their credibility.

The post Federal Charges for Flying with Cannabis? LAX’s ‘Scare Signs’ a New Low appeared first on Cannabis Now.

America’s Airline Traffic Is Now Full of Weed

Whether O’Hare International Airport in Chicago is “the world’s busiest” terminal for airline traffic depends on how you gauge such superlatives. If it’s by number of passengers, the busiest airport is Hartsfield-Jackson in Atlanta; if it’s by the sheer number of airplanes taking off and landing, the United Airlines hub in Chicago remains “busier” than anywhere else on the globe.

Either way, as of Jan. 1, O’Hare is the busiest airport in the world to be newly located in a state where recreational cannabis is legal. And indeed, with recreational cannabis sales beginning in Illinois earlier this month, six out of the 10 busiest airports in the United States are now situated in states where passengers can legally load up at the nearest dispensary on their way to or from the airport — which means that airline traffic in the U.S. is even more loaded with weed than it was before, and there’s not much of anything anyone can do about it.

You may hear that boarding an aircraft while carrying cannabis is illegal in the United States. That is true — federal law governs the friendly skies over all 50 states, and federal law, quite famously, thinks cannabis is a highly addictive substance with no medical value — but practically speaking, it’s never been safer to fly with weed. (Legal disclaimer: This blog post is not legal advice and nobody should do anything we suggest, ever.) Complicating matters somewhat are the special legal jurisdictions that exist at airports — in both Las Vegas and in Denver, the airports have declared that state law does not apply and that cannabis is still illegal — but both the demand and the effort to enforce such laws are slim to none.

There are those who would have you believe that boarding a flight bearing cannabis in 2020 means blundering into a confounding arena, a maze of contradictions. This is not the case. The legal landscape is absurdly simple: Cannabis is legal if the local jurisdiction says it’s legal. The federal Transportation Security Administration has gone as far as to publicly announce that they are not there to check for drugs. But if agents do find cannabis, their only course of action is to alert the local authorities. Unless you are some kind of special breed of a damn fool and try to waltz through Customs with weed, all the local authorities will be able to do is enforce local law. (Under no circumstances should anyone who is not a U.S. citizen be so foolish; risks for non-citizens entering the U.S. with cannabis include seizures, fines, deportation, and a lifetime ban on entering the country.)

It’s true that in Las Vegas, for example, possession of an ounce or more of weed is a felony. But, as an airport spokeswoman allowed to Forbes last year, Vegas “is a leisure market and a destination market. We understand that people come here to have a good time, so our law enforcement and our community as a whole value that.” This attitude is prevalent, and this is how you explain O’Hare’s recent decision to kindly and politely ask the public to please enforce themselves, and throw away whatever weed they have on them before boarding their flight.

Truthfully, nobody — not even the hardest-headed drug-warrior cop — cares that much about a small amount of weed (except insofar as that weed is an expedient excuse to justify a stop, or further policing). No, cops care about big loads of weed, or, better yet, enormous stacks of cash that may (or may not, who cares) be used to buy big loads of weed. As the Los Angeles Times reported last year, cannabis “trafficking” arrests at Los Angeles International Airport, No. 2 on the busiest airports list and thus the busiest in the US where weed is legal, spiked 166% to 101 busts in 2018. One typical bust, the newspaper wrote, was an East Coast-bound passenger with 70 pounds of cannabis in vacuum-sealed packages stashed in his checked baggage.

Keep in mind that in all of 2018, there were only 503 reports of cannabis found in bags at LAX — and that year, the airport saw 87.5 million passengers trudge through its gates. Stashing weed in luggage “is normal procedure… and I would say 29 out of 30 times they make it through without a problem,” defense attorney Bill Kroger Jr. told the Times. The deduction here is obvious: legalization has made airports, and American passenger airlines, de-facto weed delivery systems.

So far, O’Hare hasn’t made itself a special exemption zone for legalization, and Chicago police have said publicly they won’t arrest anyone who’s following state law. (That’s nice of them!) You can almost certainly pack the legal limit and fly with confidence — knowing there are at least a few other people on your same flight doing the exact same thing, if not pushing things to the 50-pound carry-on limit.

TELL US, have you ever flown with cannabis?

The post America’s Airline Traffic Is Now Full of Weed appeared first on Cannabis Now.

What Travelers Need to Know About Flying with CBD

When it comes to flying on airplanes in the United States, strict regulations affecting everyday items such as water bottles and nail clippers are enforced by the Transportation Security Administration (TSA). 

So what’s the official rule for flying with cannabidiol (CBD)-infused products?

The TSA updated its medical marijuana policy in May 2019 to include more specifics on flying with hemp-derived CBD, several months after hemp was removed from the U.S. government’s Controlled Substances Act

What TSA Says About CBD

The TSA allows passengers to bring CBD through security checkpoints, as long as the hemp-derived CBD contains less than 0.3% THC or is approved by the FDA. Its complete medical marijuana policy, as it appears on TSA’s website, explains the specific circumstances that CBD is allowed through security.

The updated section, found under the federal agency’s “What Can I Bring” webpage: “Products/medications that contain hemp-derived CBD or are approved by the FDA are legal as long as it is produced within the regulations defined by the law under the Agriculture Improvement Act 2018.”

The sole hemp-derived CBD product approved so far by the FDA, Epidiolex, is primarily why the TSA made the clarification to its medical marijuana rules, according to Marijuana Moment. The agency wanted to avoid confusion for families who are traveling with Epidiolex for pediatric epilepsy.

A TSA spokesperson wrote in an email to Marijuana Moment: “TSA was made aware of an FDA-approved drug that contains CBD oil for children who experience seizures from pediatric epilepsy. To avoid confusion as to whether families can travel with this drug, TSA immediately updated TSA.gov once we became aware of the issue.”

This means that marijuana, non-hemp-derived CBD products, and CBD products with more than 0.3% THC are still not allowed. That being said, the TSA posted on Instagram on April 20, 2019 that they did not look for cannabis. The full caption reads: “Let us be blunt: 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.”

Is Flying with CBD Legal?

But what if it’s a hemp-derived CBD product? In May 2019, the TSA Twitter account tweeted “Products that contain hemp-derived CBD oil or are FDA-approved are generally legal and can fly.” 

The term “generally legal” is still not as clear as consumers and travelers would like it to be. Its guidance continues to say that travelers found with CBD are at the will of what TSA agents decide to do. 

“Until the law is fully clarified at the federal and state level it’s best not to bring CBD products on airplanes,” said Griffen Thorne, a Los Angeles-based attorney for Harris Bricken who specializes in cannabis law.

“If a product contains a higher amount of THC than 0.3%, then it may be legally considered marijuana, which is still a Schedule I substance under the Controlled Substances Act (CSA) and traveling with such products could subject consumers to criminal liability,” Thorne said. 

Thorne told Weedmaps News why this legal burden is falling on consumers: “The Food and Drug Administration and a number of states, including California, have taken the position that certain products containing CBD are not lawful to sell. These positions typically apply to producers or sellers, as opposed to consumers.

“The effect is that because the legal status of many CBD products hasn’t yet been worked out, products aren’t regulated. Without regulation, there is very little oversight in many states as to what goes into a CBD product,” Thorne said. 

What’s The Risk?

So what happens if TSA security officers finds CBD on you? It calls the local authorities and from there, that’s where the story differs.

While the federal law views hemp-derived CBD items as legal, some individual states and cities still have still more strict laws. In rare but documented arrest cases, local law enforcement officers will arrest and charge travelers upon arrival. 

“If TSA or any other authorities at an airport find something that they believe contains marijuana, then that could subject a consumer to criminal liability,” Thorne said. “Additionally, if someone carrying CBD is destined for a state or country that outlaws it, that person could be subject to arrest.”

Cannabidiol (CBD) products made from marijuana, that is, those containing more than 0.3% THC, are prohibited from being taken on airplanes. (Gina Coleman/Weedmaps)

A May 2019 Florida arrest, which garnered national headlines, highlights this consumer confusion: Hester Burkhalter, a 69-year-old grandmother who suffers from arthritis, was arrested  after she was found in possession of CBD oil at Walt Disney World in Orlando, Florida, by an off-duty Orange County sheriff. She was recommended to try CBD oil by her Tennessee doctor. Burkhalter spent 12 hours in custody and was released on $2,000 bond.

In Florida, CBD is legal for medical purposes, but patients must have a medical card issued by the state to be protected. Florida prosecutors dropped the charges against Burkhalter in May 2019. Burkhalter’s lawyer announced plans to file a lawsuit against Disney and the Orange County Sheriff’s Office.

A similar case in Texas led to charges being dropped following an arrest. Lena Bartula, 72, was arrested at Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport (DFW) on her way to Oregon. When she was told she was being arrested, Bartula told Dallas-Fort Worth NBC affiliate KXAS-TV: “I think I almost laughed out loud, because I thought that couldn’t really be.”

Two others were arrested for CBD oil possession at DFW. Currently, both of those cases are still pending.

Even New York City said it’s cracking down on CBD-infused food items, and violations carry a $200 to $650 fine. The state’s Department of Health & Mental Hygiene is awaiting the ruling from the FDA, which concluded public comments on CBD July 16, 2019.

Non-citizens entering the U.S. run an even higher risk, Thorne explained. “For foreign citizens entering the United States, if a CBD product contains a sufficient amount of THC to be deemed marijuana, that could bar their entry into the U.S.,” he said.

CBD On Airplanes

The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) clarified its stance on CBD recently after receiving many inquiries, particularly on whether pilots are allowed to use CBD products. The short answer: no. 

For the FAA, nothing has changed and pilots aren’t allowed to test positive for THC for any reason, which extends to not being able to consume CBD.

The FAA, responding to a tweet in the thread, followed up “Simply put … we need to understand much more before considering the use of marijuana and its derivatives for airman certificate holders because there is more at risk.

Feature image by Steve Doig/Unsplash

The post What Travelers Need to Know About Flying with CBD appeared first on Weedmaps News.

Transport Canada Bars Crews From Consuming Cannabis for 28 Days Before Flying

Rules would apply to air traffic controllers too. Members of the Canadian aviation industry are forbidden from consuming cannabis for at least 28 days before going on duty, according to new rules now in force. Canadian Aviation Regulations require that pilots, cabin crew, and air traffic controllers must have a certain level of “fitness for duty” on the job, Transport Canada said Thursday. That means they cannot use or be “under the influence of any…