If you’re among the estimated 900,000 Americans who use medical marijuana, then you already know its benefits. While an increasing amount of states are legalizing cannabis for medicinal use, there are many others where it it is still illegal. Internationally, only a small handful of countries have legalized it. So, it’s only natural to wonder how you might be able to bring your stash along with you when you travel.
Whether you’re just visiting family, going on a business trip or embarking on a much-needed vacation, here are some useful tips you can follow to make sure you’re doing so safely and legally:
Research Your Travel Destination First
Before you do anything else, it’s important to find out exactly what the law says. If you will be traveling through other states or countries on your way, you should read up on their marijuana laws as well. The better informed you are, the more likely you are to find a way you can travel legally. You should also familiarize yourself with consumption laws, as these differ even in states where both recreational and medical use are legal.
If you know that medical marijuana is legal in your end destination, you should consider leaving your current stash at home and purchasing what you need upon arrival (if your current medical card will be accepted, that is). This will eliminated any travel risk. Besides, it is illegal in most cases to transport any amount of marijuana across state lines, even if you’re driving.
Don’t Forget Your Medical Card
No matter what, be sure to bring your medical card with you. Even if you’re not sure if it will be accepted in your destination, having it on you will reduce your risk. Besides, if it is accepted, you will need it to purchase (or in many cases, possess) medical quantities.
The good news is that an increasing amount of states are adopting “reciprocal programs”, which means out-of-state medical cards will be recognized and accepted at dispensaries. Be sure to bring your driver’s license and / or passport with you as well.
Don’t Bring it Along if You’re Flying
Will you be flying to your destination? If so, you’ll probably want to leave your medical marijuana at home. TSA regulations only permit products containing less than 0.3 percent THC. Any products containing more than that must be approved prior by the FDA in accordance with the Agriculture Improvement Act of 2018, and sorry to say but personal medical marijuana just isn’t going to cut it. And yes, these rules apply to products in both checked and carry-on luggage.
Unfortunately, TSA regulations are the same everywhere, even if both your origin and destination have legalized medical marijuana. It’s also worth noting that if you are a registered medical marijuana user and are found trying to transport cannabis products (even if it’s just for personal use), you can be charged with drug trafficking. You can also be removed from a flight and arrested if you appear to be under the influence. So unless you want to risk getting caught breaking Federal law, it’s highly suggested that you just play it safe and leave your stash at home.
Stow it Away Securely and Don’t Carry it Around
Even in legal places, it’s wise to keep your marijuana products stowed away securely in a resealable, air-tight container. Keep it at your hotel or other place you are staying instead of carrying it around in public. Keep in mind that even in legal states, cannabis of any kind is still illegal in places like National Parks and other public places. So if you’re going to Colorado, for example, you’ll still have to leave your medical marijuana behind if you plan to visit Rocky Mountain National Park.