Posted on

can you take marijuana seeds on a plane

What will TSA actually do with your weed if you’re traveling between two states where it’s legal?

FILE – A TSA employee searches the luggage of a United Airlines passenger at a security checkpoint at San Francisco International Airport on Aug. 10, 2006. TSA officers are required to report any suspected violations of law, including possession of marijuana and cannabis infused products. While they don’t search for marijuana or other illegal drugs, in the event they find an illegal substance, they will refer the matter to a police officer to enforce state law.

Justin Sullivan/Getty Images Show More Show Less

Denny sits for portrait during narcotics K-9 training at the Oakland International Airport on Thursday, May 11, 2017, in Oakland, Calif. The dogs and the handlers are training to spot many types of drugs, excluding marijuana. Amid legalization of marijuana, California’s current pot-sniffing K-9s face retirement.

Santiago Mejia / The Chronicle Show More Show Less

The circumstances were perfect: I was meeting up with one of my best friends from college for our first visit to Portland, Ore., and held the eager anticipation of what kind of antics we would get into during the exciting weekend ahead. Yet, preparing for this short vacation led me to Google something I’ve never searched for before:

Is it legal to bring marijuana on a plane from one state to another if it’s considered legal in both states?

Most websites’ answers were a resounding, seemingly obvious “no.” Go ahead, laugh at my naivety all you want. But after spending most of my life in the Midwest where recreational marijuana legalization seemed to be a far-off pipe dream, I honestly didn’t have a clue. Nor did I think it was a question I would ever have the opportunity to ask.

Sure, I knew I could just buy whatever I wanted when I arrived in Portland, but after spending money on plane tickets, a few nights’ stay in a hostel, and knowing I had other pending expenses ahead, I didn’t want to drop even more cash on something I already had – legally.

I even took to Reddit to ask people on r/trees (a go-to subreddit for everything related to cannabis with over 1.3 million subscribers). Most of the responses there ranged from caring – “I wouldn’t risk it, your weed will be waiting for you when you get back home :)” – to curt – “good luck getting caught and going to jail LOL.”

So, I went the safe route and left my edible gummies I was planning on bringing at my apartment and begrudgingly purchased more when I got to Portland. Still, I knew I wasn’t the only one questioning this legality. Whether you’re traveling to Portland like I was, or other big cities where recreational marijuana is legal – say, Seattle, Denver, Las Vegas, or Boston – it seems contradictory to have to leave your cannabis products at home when the law is giving you the green light in both your own city and destination.

See also  cinex marijuana seeds

That’s not to mention medical patients who need certain strains in order to combat chronic pain or alleviate symptoms of an illness. It was simple for me to just leave my weed at home, but what about patients for whom stopping usage can be detrimental to their health and well-being?

Long after I returned from the trip, I had the answer to my question, but still wanted the details. Are CBD products okay at airports? Is a TSA dog really going to sniff me out? Jenny L. Burke from the Transportation Security Administration provided me with some answers that might help you on your next journey.

The short answer:

As soon as you head into that airport, marijuana is considered a controlled substance and is therefore illegal from a federal perspective.

So, carrying a joint through the TSA checkpoint at a California airport is illegal?

Yes – but that doesn’t mean you’ll necessarily get in trouble if you get caught. TSA says that officers are required to report “any suspected violations of law, including possession of marijuana and cannabis infused products.” That being said, your weed likely isn’t their priority – the safety of everyone else is. TSA’s screening procedures are security-focused and designed to look for “potential threats” to aviation and passengers.

What about my CBD oil that I use for pain relief?

Yup, still illegal according to TSA guidelines. Again, they’re not looking for it though.

What if I just kept my marijuana or CBD-infused products in my checked luggage?

This is also illegal in the eyes of the (federal) law which governs airports, and you don’t want to mess with the random searches that TSA conducts. Still, the searches there prioritize heavy metal objects and bottles full of liquid – frequent suspicious objects that call for further inspection, again, for security reasons.

Do TSA dogs sniff for weed?

No. While some people think airport sniffer dogs will seek out illegal drugs, they’re predominantly trained to sniff for explosives, and to sniff for things that could introduce an invasive species into a foreign ecosystem. There’s more to it, though. Some dogs are trained to sniff for many drugs, but recent state court rulings on marijuana mean their keen noses for pot are no longer needed. They would return false positives on their work sniffing for other (illegal) drugs. They can’t always be counted on to smell the right thing, and some are actually being eased out of the labor force because of this.

See also  medical marijuana seeds nevada

The bottom line:

TSA officers are required to report any suspected violations of law, including possession of marijuana and cannabis infused products. While they don’t search for marijuana or other illegal drugs, in the event they find an illegal substance, they will refer the matter to a police officer to enforce state law. So, if you’re in a state where cannabis is legal, local officers are not likely to do anything, even as federal possession laws apply – as long as you don’t have eight pounds of weed chocolate.

It’s up to you to decide whether to play it safe or be a little daring, but you’re likely under less scrutiny than you might have previously perceived. Safe travels!

How to pack your cannabis for air travel 101

Cannabis is now allowed in checked or carry-on luggage, but there are some rules to follow.

Christine Langlois, a communications worker for Canadian Air Transport Security Authority, stands near a window in the Regina International Airport. Photo by BRANDON HARDER / Regina Leader-Post

Article content

Marijuana legalization means you can get high — really high — with your cannabis.

Advertisement

Article content

Once the target of drug-sniffing dogs, cannabis is now allowed in both checked and carry-on luggage for air travellers.

How to pack your cannabis for air travel 101 Back to video

But, as with many other allowed items, there are limits.

Christine Langlois, spokesperson for Canadian Air Transport Security Authority (CATSA), was in Regina on Wednesday to provide a reminder about security rules, given the upcoming school break often leads to increased air travel.

tems not allowed on airplanes found by security at the Regina International Airport sit in a display cabinet near the security area. Photo by BRANDON HARDER / Regina Leader-Post

“Keep in mind that it remains illegal to cross international borders with cannabis,” she said. “Whether you go out of Canada or you come in, it’s illegal to cross international borders. If you want to fly domestically, it’s allowed. You’re allowed to have up to 30 grams of recreational cannabis. It’s roughly the size of a sandwich bag, a clear sandwich bag. And if it’s medical, then you’re allowed to have up to 150 (grams), however make sure you have your medical documentation with you.”

Langlois reminded would-be travellers that it’s up to them to ensure they are obeying provincial legislation in relation to cannabis prior to reaching the airport.

See also  red wine and fennel seeds in marijuana

Items not allowed on airplanes found by security at the Regina International Airport sit on a table near the security area. Photo by BRANDON HARDER / Regina Leader-Post

“I think it’s the responsibility of people to know what are the rules exactly in the province they’re in,” she said. “For us, what we’re concerned about is that when you come (to) the airport, those are the limits, the legal limits. But what we really want people to remember about cannabis is to not cross international borders with it.”

As cannabis is considered an allowed item, there is no specific way to pack it. Langlois said it does not need to be in its original packaging; a sandwich bag will suffice.

Advertisement

Article content

And while security officials are unlikely to weigh each bag of cannabis, travellers are advised to ensure they are at or under the allowed amount.

Items not allowed on airplanes found by security at the Regina International Airport sit on a table near the security area. Photo by BRANDON HARDER / Regina Leader-Post

“If it looks to be possibly more than the legal limit then, yes, we would call the police as per procedure,” she said.

So far, she said CATSA has not noted a significant impact on operations since the legalization of cannabis in October.

Regulations on other items remain in place. While larger amounts are allowed in checked baggage, liquids, gels and inorganic powders (salts, bath salts, and even hand warmers) must be within specified limits to be taken in carry-on bags. For liquids and gels, that’s 100 millilitres or less per container, with all fitting together inside a small, clear plastic bag. For inorganic powders, the limit is 350 ml, the approximate equivalent of a soda can.

Items not allowed on airplanes found by security at the Regina International Airport sit on a table near the security area. Photo by BRANDON HARDER / Regina Leader-Post

CATSA has additional information available on its website or on its app. Langlois said the app also contains information about wait times at security checkpoints at 14 Canadian airports, including Regina.

Despite all its best efforts at educating the public on what not to bring, some travellers continue to push the limits. Just last week in Regina, security seized numerous items, including what’s known as a credit card knife (a blade concealed within a credit card-sized case) and a trio of throwing stars. Langlois said the throwing stars will be handed over to police.