The cannabis industry has significantly developed in recent times, primarily after the legalization of cannabis and its by-products. Companies can now legally grow, sell and transport CBD products across nations within the set parameters and guidelines. As you might already know, CBD (or cannabidiol) is an excellent remedy for skin inflammatory diseases besides providing other health benefits. People can now use CBD without any legal complications. However, because of the uncertain legality of cannabis from place to place, it has become difficult to travel with cannabis. Nevertheless, it is possible to curtail this risk with some precautions.
The following is the guide to understand the legality of traveling with cannabis and how to travel efficiently.
Know Where You’re Going
The first and foremost step is to look up every state and city law about cannabis use before planning your trip. Since cannabis isn’t legal in some states, it is illicit to cross state borders carrying cannabis.
Take New York as an example. New York does not have recreational dispensaries but has become much more lenient with public consumption of cannabis after they decriminalized possession of CBD products like CBD oil tincture. You will have to consume cannabis at your own risk anywhere, including Colorado. Other states that have not updated the cannabis laws might cause stiff fines and jail time if caught with cannabis. So, make sure to take every precaution and be aware of where you’re heading.
Know Your Rights
Know your rights in the place of your stay. Suppose you are in a state or city that legalized medical marijuana. In that case, you must know your rights well, both as a citizen and a medical marijuana patient. Be sure not to agree to any illegal searches. Instead, serenely state your objections if you feel there is a violation of your rights.
Carry Your Documents Safely
No matter where you are traveling and how you are traveling, do not forget to pack all your official documents. Bring your medical recommendation (by your physician) along in case law enforcement officers stop you. Additionally, bring your medical identification card too.
Traveling by Road
When carrying cannabis by road across state lines, be cautious of federal agents who may guard the state borders waiting for unsuspecting travelers with cannabis in the vehicle. And before you realize you will be under federal jurisdiction! While states with adult-use will classically allow you to travel with legal amounts of cannabis, it depends on where you are traveling at the end of the day.
The first piece of advice to travelers is that never smoke in the car. It’s a different case altogether if you are high on cannabis, but if not, then the lingering smell of smoke is a dead giveaway to any police officer a probable cause to search your vehicle. Also, use a smell-proof stash case or bag to keep your car clean of pipes or papers or roaches and keep them all in one place.
Traveling by Air
If you plan to travel by air, consider the TSA (Transportation Security Administration) policies, airport, and the FAA (Federal Aviation Administration) before packing your bags. TSA officers are not law enforcement cops but are required to report any suspected violations of the law. The TSA will refer the matter to local law enforcement if they come across any cannabis products that you possibly possess.
In places where the use of cannabis for recreational purposes is legal, you’ll be either asked to dispose of or get rid of your possessions before boarding the plane. Whereas cannabis is considered illicit in places, officers may prosecute you by law (if you are under jurisdiction). Under such circumstances, it becomes difficult for patients using medical marijuana to travel to places where CBD is illegal. However, the TSA recently has changed its policies regarding hemp-derived CBD by allowing them to carry those products on planes under certain circumstances – products or medicines containing hemp-derived CBD or FDA approved.
Traveling by Train or Bus
Have you ever considered traveling by train, bus, or even by boat with cannabis onboard? It seems evident that the companies that offer transportation services have restraining policies when traveling with cannabis. For instance, bringing cannabis on board in any form for any purpose is not permitted on Amtrak trains, even in legal states. Likewise, many bus services have similar policies in place, even when you are traveling within legal boundaries. Thus, if you ever plan on traveling by bus or train through a legal state, it is advised to contact the concerned transportation companies and inquire about their policies, terms, and conditions before getting onboard with cannabis.
The legality of traveling with cannabis is directly associated with local laws. When considering traveling with cannabis or cannabis-derived products, you must take out time to understand both state and federal law in the area of departure and your final destination. Check for the limit allowed on flights and take every precaution while traveling — be it any mode of transportation. You are subject to the laws of the land in every state you pass through. Be a responsible citizen and travel responsibly!