marijuana traveling tips

15 min read

Tips for Traveling with Marijuana

October 6, 2021

In many parts of the world, it is illegal to travel with cannabis. Luckily, the law is changing in America, Canada, and some other countries. However, we are not there yet as many states still criminalize weeds, and some only allow them for recreational purposes. Therefore, if you want to get high while traveling high, there are factors to consider. Here we provide some essential tips for traveling with marijuana, but you must first know where weed is legal.

Where Is Weed Legal?

The legality of cannabis follows some exciting patterns around the world. It is prohibited in most Asian and Middle-east countries, ignored in South American and African countries, and legal for medical uses in North America. In some parts of North America, a controlled amount of weed can also be consumed by adults for recreational purposes. When you are traveling, you must know the law in the country you are going to. Even when traveling around the United States, the law changes from state to state. In the state where the law permits recreational or medical use of cannabis, the regulations at the airport may be different. Let’s look at the legality status of weeds in each state in the US.

Weed Legalization Map – US – Map

The law is changing, but weed is fully legalized for all purposes in 12 states, allowed for medical reasons only in 16 states, allowed for medical and decriminalized in 12 states, decriminalized in 3 states, and remains illegal in the remaining eight states.

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Legalized: Alaska, California, Colorado, District of Columbia, Illinois, Maine, Massachusetts, Michigan, Nevada, Oregon, Vermont, Washington

Medical and/ or Decriminalized: Connecticut, Delaware, Hawaii, Maryland, Minnesota, Missouri, New Hampshire, New Mexico, New York, North Dakota, Ohio, Rhode Island, Arizona, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Indiana, Iowa, Kentucky, Louisiana, Montana, New Jersey, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, Texas, Utah, Virginia, West Virginia, Mississippi, Nebraska, North Carolina

Illegal: Alabama, Idaho, Kansas, Mississippi, Nebraska, North Carolina, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Wisconsin, Wyoming

But if you are traveling from one state to another or within the same state, will anything change? Can you bring weed on a plane, or can you fly with marijuana?

Can I Travel with Marijuana?

The first thing you need to realize is that possession of weeds remains illegal according to federal law. Also, if you are caught with weeds in your bag at an airport, it will not matter where you are coming from or where you are going. The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) officials work for the federal government and uphold the federal law in all airports. If you are caught with cannabis by the TSA, they will hand you over to the local authority in the airport. However, the local authority will use their discretion based on their interpretation of the local law to determine your fate.

cannabis legalization, traveling with marijuana, cbd products transporting

Simply put, flying with weeds is prohibited by federal law. The good news is, the local authorities are changing this. Now, the State of California has made a law that allows air passengers in the state to travel with a limited amount of recreational weeds. So, if you are in California, can you fly with edibles, or can you bring a dab pen on a plane?

If you are flying through LAX, you are lucky. The Californian Proposition 64 enables adults to travel with a maximum of 28.5 grams of marijuana. You can also have an additional 8 grams of concentrated marijuana. This must be kept in your carry-on bag. However, it is your responsibility to know the law in the state you are traveling to, as you may be arrested on arrival if marijuana is not legal in the other state.

What You Should Know About the United States Restrictions on Traveling with Marijuana

If you are traveling through the air and are thinking of traveling with cannabis, you should know some vital things.

  • The federal government controls the aviation system in the United States.
  • Despite the different laws on the use of cannabis for medical or recreational purposes, it is still prohibited by the federal.
  • When traveling with marijuana, the TSA can stop you and hand you over to the local authority.
  • It is the responsibility of the local authority to decide whether you will continue your journey or not.

 Can Non-Citizens of the United States Deals in Marijuana?

Remember, the immigration officers are also working for the federal government. Therefore, if you are a visitor traveling to the United States to purchase, sell, or consume marijuana, you may be denied entry. The federal law will apply even if you are traveling to a state that legalized the use of weeds for recreation or medical reasons. You may also be denied entry if you belong to an organization that deals with marijuana in your local country, even if the organization is legal in your country.

Now, let’s leave the United States and look at the situation in other parts of the world.

Is it Legal to Fly with Marijuana in Canada?

You can have a maximum of 30 grams of weeds with you inside a plane in Canada, but it must be a local flight. The law in Canada permits the medicinal and recreational use of cannabis. However, it is not allowed to be taken across the border of the nation. Therefore, you cannot fly into Canada or out of Canada with marijuana. If you are going to Canada and have weeds with you, then you must declare it. Otherwise, you may be arrested.

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What About an International Flight with Marijuana?

The same law that applies in Canada applies to many other countries. Hardly will any country allow you to come to its territory with cannabis, regardless of the local law. Therefore, avoid having weeds in your luggage or carry-on bag when on an international flight.
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What the Airport Authorities Are Saying About Cannabis

Below is some official information that is available on the websites of major airports in the United States:

  • MIA
    The official website of McCarran International Airport states that the use and advertisement of weeds are prohibited within the airport facility. Offenders may be arrested, prosecuted, and fined.
  • JFK International Airport
    John F. Kennedy International Airport will not allow you to travel with marijuana, but it will not arrest you. The airport authority will simply seize your weed and let you continue your journey.
  • DIA
    Even though recreational use of marijuana is legal in Denver, the Denver International Airport authority prohibits the possession of weeds within its facility. Its website states clearly that if caught with weed, you can be fined as much as $999. It gives stopping the illegal movement of weed as the reason for this decision. 
  • DFW
    It is well known that the state of Texas is strictly against the use of cannabis. Hence, the Dallas / Fort Worth International Airport does not shy away from this. The authority makes it clear that offenders will be prosecuted.
  • Charlotte Douglas International Airport
    Charlotte Douglas International Airport considered cannabis and its product as drugs. Hence, you may be charged with drug-related offenses if you are caught at the airport with weeds.
  • Dulles Airport
    While Dulles International Airport is equally against the transportation of weeds, its penalty is not as strict as in many other airports. The official website states that passengers caught with cannabis and its products can be fined to the tune of $500.
  • San Francisco
    Perhaps, the San Francisco International Airport is among the few lenient airports with traveling with marijuana. The airport allows passengers with medical cards to carry a maximum of 8 ounces of weeds for medical reasons, provided they produce their cards.
  • Atlanta International Airport
    The authorities at the Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport are not joking with the weeds. If you are caught on their property with marijuana and its products, you may be heading towards jail.
  • Sea-Tac Airport
    Seattle – Tacoma International Airport is another international airport that is lenient with weeds. The airport authority allows passengers to travel legally with marijuana up to a maximum of 40 grams.

Now, let’s leave marijuana briefly and discuss CBD and its products.

Can I Travel with CBD Products?

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Even though Cannabidiol (CBD) is obtained from cannabis, it is that part of cannabis that will not get you high. The federal law permits the use of CBD and its products. Therefore, you can legally travel to any airport in the United States with CBD. That being said, let’s go back to traveling with marijuana.

Flying with Marijuana

We are still on the same topic. Can you get on the plane with weeds? The answer is always confusing. Why? Because the law is open to different interpretations. The intention of traveling with cannabis also varies. People use weeds for two major purposes – medicine and recreation. Let’s treat them separately.

Can I fly with medical marijuana?

Unfortunately, the TSA does not treat medical marijuana any different from recreational marijuana. However, if you are in a state where medical marijuana is allowed, you don’t have to worry too much. The TSA has to protect the plane and its passengers. It has no right to arrest you. If it discovers medicinal weeds in your bag, all TSA will do is hand you over to the local police. Fortunately, if the medical use of marijuana is allowed in the state, the police cannot detain you for having it. So, you will be allowed to travel with your stuff. 

Can I fly with recreational weed?

The same principle applies to recreational weed. It depends on the law of the state. If the state permits the recreational use of weeds and you are an adult, then TSA cannot stop you. They will only hand you over to the local authority, who will later allow you to continue your journey. However, if the law is different in the state you are traveling to, then you may run into a problem on arrival.

Can You Bring Weed On A Plane?

We all know that smoking is prohibited in most planes, but can you fly with a vape? Indeed, flying with vape gear is allowed. You can have your vaping devices in your carry-on bag. Be careful not to keep them in your luggage as they may be dangerous to the plane’s safety. No airline will allow materials with lithium batteries in the cargo section. You can keep your vape mods, vape pens, and nicotine e-liquid in your handbag and fly without worries. However, flying internationally with a vape pen may be risky. The law differs in different countries, and you may be in real trouble if you dare enter some countries with vape gear. It is essential to check with the local laws of your destination before deciding on traveling with cannabis, vape mode, or vape pens.

Does TSA Check for Marijuana?

The major interest of the Transportation Security Administration is to keep air transport safe. When they search luggage and bags, they look for items that can pose a danger to the flight. Major items of interest to TSA include weapons, explosives, and bombs. Marijuana does not pose any danger to the flight. Hence it is not TSA business. However, while searching for explosives, if they discover cannabis, they have an obligation to report you to the local authority and let them decide your fate.

What About checked Bags?

The same principle that applies to carry-on bags applies to checked bags. TSA will search the bags for explosives and other dangerous materials but not for drugs or cannabis. Even though they will not likely discover hidden weeds in checked bags, they may report to the local authority if it is discovered accidentally. But is that all they will do?

Can You Get Arrested If Caught with Marijuana at an Airport?

TSA aren’t police. Hence they cannot arrest you. However, they can hand you over to the local police. What happens to you next will depend on the law existing in the state you were caught. If you were caught in a state where cannabis is legalized, you would be an absolutely free man. However, if it is not allowed, you may be in a bit of a problem.

Notwithstanding, it is not likely that you will be arrested for a small quantity of weed. In most cases, your weed will be trashed, and you will be allowed to continue with your journey. Still, it is better that you avoid getting caught in the first place. That is why you should learn how to sneak weed through airport security. Alternatively, you can take your weed before heading to the airport, but can you board under the influence?

Can I board under the influence?

That is left to the discretion of the airline. The law permits the airline to refuse passengers that do not look fit for a flight. These include sick or heavily pregnant passengers, babies under a certain age, violent passengers, and intoxicated ones. Therefore, the airline can describe a red-eye passenger as unfit for the flight and him turned down.

Why Flying with Edibles is Your Best Bet

While it is illegal on most flights to have cannabis with you, if you must, flying with edibles is among your best options. The first thing is to ensure you remove the label so it cannot be identified. Then you can pack it with other candies, and you will be good to go.

What About Flying with Vapes?

Vapes are not as easy as edibles to fly with. To stand any chance of beating the airport security protocol, you must keep your vapes in your carry-on bags. Otherwise, they will be detected and confiscated. Even in the handbag, you are not guaranteed a safe journey, but you may be lucky and escape. Knowing that anything liquid is not allowed in the plane, the authority can easily detect you vape and seize it.

Why is Flying with Flower Dangerous?

Flowers are probably the last item you should consider putting in your luggage or carry-on bag. Apart from making you high, they are organic and can be used for making bombs. Therefore, don’t blame the TSA if they treat it as a big issue. They will surely detect it and seize it. But you should consider yourself lucky if it ended there.

Can I Fly with Oils, Tinctures, And Drinkables?

Avoid anything liquid. It will be challenging to hide liquids like oil and tinctures in your luggage. Therefore, if you must carry oil on the plane at all, it must be in your carry-on bag. Even there, TSA will likely detect and confiscate it as a minor punishment you can get.

Now, let’s leave flying; let’s talk about driving with weeds in the car.

Can I Drive with Marijuana?

When it comes to driving with cannabis, the major factor to consider is no longer safety but legality. If you are traveling in a state that has legalized the recreational use of cannabis, having a small quantity in your car won’t be a problem. However, if you are in a state where weeds are not allowed, you may be in a problem if caught with it. Fortunately, weeds can easily be hidden in a car, so anyone will not likely see them. If you are traveling with weeds, it is advisable that you don’t smoke and drive or smoke around the time you want to drive. This is because of two major reasons. First, you are not safe if you are driving while being high on weeds. Secondly, if you are seen smoking weeds, the local authority can stop you and search you. But if you buy your weed in a state where weeds are allowed, and you have to pass through a state that prohibits it, how best can you hide it.

Where is the Best Place to Hide Weed in Your Car?

Know that you are safer not to have it at all. But if you must hide it in the car, the first rule is to remove it from any packaging that advertises or even describe it. Then keep it in a corner in the trunk of your car where it can be completely concealed.

Weeds and Other Means of Transportation

If you are traveling by train, bus, or boat, can you have weeds on you? Well, it depends on the transport company, but in most cases, it is not allowed. Most train, bus, and boat companies do not allow weeds on their property, even within states where it is legal. However, most of them will not carry out a thorough searching of your luggage. Hence, you can successfully hide it from them.

If it is Legal, Then, How Should You Store It While Traveling?

You are traveling in a state where weeds are allowed does not mean you must not be discreet about it. This is to show respect for other travelers and whoever will come across it. Cannabis has a distinct odor. Therefore, always store it in an odor-proof container. Then keep it somewhere in the trunk of your car where it is not open to everyone. If you want to keep it in your suitcase, make sure it is in an odor-proof bag and well hidden among other materials in the bag. In that case, you can enjoy your weeds without drawing any unnecessary attention to yourself.


Even though recreational and medicinal use of weeds have been legalized in many states in the US, federal law still prohibits it. This makes many airports authority prevents passengers from traveling with it. However, there are many ways you can hide your weeds and fly with them. In the worst case, you will be caught, and the weeds will be confiscated. Traveling with weeds in a car, bus, train, or boat is a little different. While the local laws apply in these cases, many companies operating train, bus, and boat services do not want cannabis on their properties. But if you are traveling in your car in a state where cannabis is legalized, you only need to be discreet about it.