What You Need to Know About Travelling With Cannabis

Marijuana may be legal in Canada, but you should brush up on the rules before bringing it on vacation

Illustrated suitcase with clothing, toiletries and cannabis

While Canada legalized cannabis last year, there are still many restrictions on travelling with the substance. Here are the most important ones to remember.

You can’t travel internationally with cannabis

Possessing and consuming marijuana in Canada may be kosher, but it’s still illegal to cross an international border with the drug, whether you’re flying or driving. You can’t even take a small amount into a country or state where cannabis is legal.

If you ignore those rules and you’re caught, don’t expect just a slap on the wrist. The Canadian government says you face “serious criminal penalties” both abroad and at home.

It’s illegal to bring cannabis into Canada

Bringing cannabis into this country is also against the law—and that includes medical marijuana. If you’re at a border and you’re holding some in your luggage or in the car, the government says you must declare it at customs. If you don’t and you’re nabbed, it could be confiscated, and you could be charged with a crime.

You can’t bring more than 30 grams of cannabis on a domestic flight

You’re allowed to bring cannabis on flights within Canada, but you can only take the personal possession limit of 30 grams, according to the Canadian Air Transport Security Authority.

You can pack cannabis in either your carry-on or checked baggage. If you’re hauling cannabis oils, though, remember that there’s a 100-millilitre limit for all liquids in carry-on bags. And don’t flout the rules for the personal possession limit; if airport security catches you with more than 30 grams, they’re required to call the police.

You’ll need to pack cannabis away for a road trip

While cannabis is legal across Canada, each province and territory has its own laws around how you can transport it and where you can consume it. If you want to bring it on a road trip through Ontario, for example, you’ll need to leave cannabis in its unopened original packaging and keep it where the driver and passengers can’t reach it.

And while you’re allowed to smoke cannabis on sidewalks and in many outdoor public places in Ontario, consuming cannabis in public is still illegal in other provinces, like New Brunswick. So before you leave home, read up on the laws of the province you’re visiting.

It’s always dangerous to drive under the influence

Drug-impaired driving is illegal in every province. Plus, using cannabis may affect your travel insurance coverage, so review your policy before you travel.

If you want to use cannabis while on vacation, always have a designated driver, just as you would if you were drinking.

Have more questions about cannabis?

Here’s what you need to know about drug-impaired driving laws in Ontario, plus more on the laws around cannabis and road safety.

Image credit: Photo: Louis Hansel. Illustration: Breanna Rawn

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