Can You Travel with Cannabis?

Traveling with cannabis across state borders isn’t simple as you think


Still planning a last minute summer getaway? As we enter the height of vacation season, it’s important to brush up on cannabis laws in other states. Here at Revel & Rouse, we’re lucky we live in California, where medicinal cannabis has been available for some time, and recreation purchases for adults over the age of 21 became legal earlier this year in January, thanks to Prop 64.

If you’re traveling to California, maybe even to explore cannabis tourism’s budding industry, it doesn’t always mean you can bring home products and travel with cannabis. It’s important to understand when you can travel with cannabis, and when it’s better to just ditch you stash.

Can You Take Cannabis Through the Airport?

A popular misconception is that you can fly with cannabis if you’re traveling to another cannabis-friendly state. Although you might not face any legal consequences, it can still throw a wrench in your travel plans and cause delays. Officially, the Transportation Security Administration says its  priority is security, focused on detecting weapons and explosivesnot trying to find your stash.

However, the TSA is a federal agency, and marijuana is still federally classified as a Schedule I drug. Regardless of the state’s laws, if TSA agents  discover cannabis, they are obligated to notify local authorities.

In states like California, Colorado and Washington, this can be a common occurrence. Police officers will be dispatched to confirm you are following the state’s cannabis laws. Most likely, they will simply  make sure you possess the legal amount allowed per person.

Although this scenario typically ends with no legal consequences, you risk missing your flight and having to ditch your cannabis.

Planning a trip to New Orleans or the Badlands in South Dakota and thinking of taking your vape pen? Think again. Both of these states have some of the strictest  marijuana laws in the books, and it wouldn’t be worth risking it at the airport on the way home.

Can You Take Cannabis with You on Your Road Trip?

For those with a more adventurous spirit, you might be planning to drive to your vacation destination. After all, it’s all about the journey right? Even if you are in a cannabis-friendly state, driving with cannabis can be a delicate situation. Although it might just be for your personal use, there’s a lot of grey areas, and it can really depend on the person pulling you over, and the place.

If you are in a cannabis friendly state, like California, the most common outcome would be something similar to traveling with alcohol. The state can still fine you for driving with what is equivalent to an “open container” if your cannabis products are open or outside of the packaging in any way in the vehicle. If you haven’t just left a dispensary with everything sealed, it’s best to toss your items in in the trunk. You shouldn’t need them while you’re driving anyway.

Bottom Line

Although it can be tempting to drop a few pre-rolls in your bag, we recommend not taking any products with you, no matter your destination. It’s often not worth the trouble it may cause. Traveling can already be an expensive and time-consuming endeavor, and you don’t want to add to it. You could most likely get away with stashing some Level Tablinguals into your trusty tin of Altoids, but is it really worth the argument with the attendant about a missed flight in the off-chance a TSA agent recognizes them?

If you consume cannabis medicinally and are concerned about not receiving treatment, our best suggestion to to travel to cannabis friendly places and find a new local product to love. We love learning about great new products – feel free to reach out and connect with us to share your favorites.

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Christie Malvin • Project Manager + Photographer

With a background in fine art photography, Christie’s work has been exhibited in several cities including San Francisco, Houston and Washington, D.C. After working for several years as a visual storyteller for brands, she has been able to combine passions and work toward elevating cannabis photography and styling. You can see what she sees @christieam