Cannabis and Travel: What You Need to Know
Whether it’s for work or leisure, travel is a reoccurring aspect of many Canadian’s lives. Our warm summers, fall foliage, and upcoming Thanksgiving holidays mean that many Canadians may be visiting friends and family in the coming weeks and months. Legalization of cannabis in October 2018 resulted in new rules and regulations under the Cannabis Act, making it a good time for a refresher on traveling with cannabis.
To help you prepare for your trip, we’ve collected important information needed to safely take your medical cannabis with you.
Taking cannabis across the border whether you are arriving or departing is illegal. This includes medical cannabis.
The legalization of cannabis did not change Canada’s border rules which applies to all ports of entry (airports, border crossings etc.).
It’s important to remember:
- Attempting to take cannabis products across the border could result in serious criminal penalties at home or abroad.
- This also applies to areas that have legalized or decriminalized cannabis. For example, there are some U.S. states where cannabis is legal, but it is still illegal under U.S. federal law.
- Each country or territory decides who can enter or exit through its borders. We recommend that you learn about the laws of the countries you intend to visit. For information related to your destination, visit https://travel.gc.ca/travelling/advisories.
Travelling Within Canada
Travelling within Canada with prescribed medical cannabis is permitted under the Cannabis Act. We recommend researching the cannabis laws of the province you will be visiting, as the restrictions regarding possession limits and where cannabis may be consumed in public do vary and you wille subject to following the law of the province you are in. Each province’s laws can be found here.
The Canadian Air Transport Security permits cannabis to be transported in both carry-on baggage as well as checked baggage for domestic flights. If the amount of cannabis you’re bringing appears to be more than the legal limit for recreational purposes (30G), be prepared to show medical documentation, such as your registration certificate from Health Canada. Aphria patients may request this from the Patient Care Team (contact information listed below).
It is important to remember that flight diversions are possible. For example, according to Air Canada:
“In the case of a domestic flight, please be advised that unforeseen situations may and do arise that require a domestic flight to divert to a U.S. airport, where arriving in possession of cannabis is not legal. If you are refused entry into a country because you have cannabis in your possession, you alone will be responsible for the consequences, including for payment of your return trip home.”
Each province and territory is responsible for outlining the restrictions placed on transporting cannabis in a motor vehicle. You are responsible for knowing what will be legal in the province or territory where you live or visit. Links to your provincial or territorial website can be found here.
Many provinces regulate the transportation of cannabis with rules similar to those for alcohol. For example, in Ontario cannabis in a motorized vehicle (such as a car or boat), must be either unopened and in its original packaging, or packed in a bag that isn’t readily available to anyone in the vehicle (for example, in the trunk).
Driving while impaired by cannabis is illegal and dangerous.
How Much Cannabis You Can Possess
Public possession limits remain the same for medical cannabis patients registered with a federally licensed producer or Health Canada.
- In public, patients are restricted to either 150 grams OR a 30-day supply of dried cannabis or equivalent in cannabis product (whichever amount is the lesser).
- In addition to medical cannabis restrictions, patients are also allowed 30 grams of cannabis for non-medical purposes.
- Patients authorized to possess medical cannabis must be prepared to show proof that they are legally allowed to possess more than 30 grams (or equivalent) in public. This can be achieved by carrying (1) a registration document issued by a federally licensed producer or (2) registration certificate for personal or designated production (issued by Health Canada).
- Keep it smell-free: Keeping your dried cannabis in its original container is not only preferred for travel, but the airtight container is a good way to help eliminate odor. Thoroughly cleaning your accessory products (example: vaporizer) before you embark will also help reduce unwanted cannabis smells.
- Keep it under 100ml: If you’re opting to keep your cannabis oil in your carry-on baggage when flying, be aware that it must be in a 100ml or smaller container as per the CATSA (Canadian Air Transport Security Authority) liquid restriction.
- Keep it dry, dark and cool: Just as you would at home, it’s important to remember that cannabis should be stored in a dry, dark, and cool place to reduce the chance of spoilage.
If you have any additional questions regarding cannabis and travel, please contact our dedicated Patient Care Team at 1-844-427-4742 or [email protected].