As Canada becomes the second country in the world to legalize cannabis behind Uruguay, Canadians will soon be allowed to pack up to 30 grams of cannabis in their luggage when flying. The only catch is that it’s for domestic flights only.
According to Global News, Federal Transport Minister Marc Garneau said:
“As long as the flight is domestic, people are allowed to bring up to a certain quantity for their personal use.
However, I would remind people if they’re going to a country like the United States – the rules of that country are the rules that apply.”
It’s worth repeating- you can only take cannabis with you on domestic flights. Even if you’re traveling to a state that has legalized cannabis, it is still illegal in the USA at the federal level so whatever you do, don’t take it across the US border.
Even when flying to places that have more relaxed cannabis laws like Amsterdam or Uruguay, you’d be taking a big risk traveling with cannabis because that could be considered trafficking if you’re caught. This applies to medical cannabis as well.
Also, don’t be expecting to pull a Harold and Kumar and put a different spin on the Mile High Club, because smoking on a plane is still illegal, so don’t be that guy that gets the plane grounded just because you wanted a joint sesh in the bathroom!
In addition to that, at least one airport is banning you from getting high before takeoff- Saskatoon, as Airport Authority CEO Stephen Maybury told Global News:
“You’re not able to smoke cannabis here at the [Saskatoon] airport similar to drinking in public”.
But he failed to mention Refuel, the airport’s onsite restaurant that serves wine, beer, and spirits on its menu. If they’re going to ban smoking cannabis in public like drinking in public, they better put in a consumption space for cannabis users. I mean, it’s only fair, right?
But if you really needed cannabis to take the edge off due to a fear of flying or something, edibles would probably be the way to go for maximum discreetness, but be warned that you may run into some legal issues as edibles aren’t slated to be legalized until 2019 at the earliest, so it’s important to check out the policies beforehand to avoid getting into any trouble.
The Canadian Air Transport Safety Authority says it will be finalizing its screening process within the next few days.
Importing alcohol across provinces can be a huge hassle (and illegal). Hopefully, it’s different with cannabis
With every province implementing their own respective cannabis laws, taxes, and fees, there may be issues in the future over importing cannabis from other provinces while traveling domestically, much the same as importing alcohol from other provinces.
A New Brunswick man who was caught at the provincial border with alcohol bought in Quebec was fined almost $300 for breaking NB’s liquor import limit, which he challenged in the Supreme Court of Canada. The court ruled that there is no “constitutional guarantee of free trade”, according to the Toronto Star, and that decision is not promising for the interprovincial movement of cannabis, at all.
There are no arbitrary cannabis limits set (yet), but a look at the alcohol import limits might give you an idea of what it could look like if provinces decide to go down that route.
For alcohol, there are even further restrictions. You must be the legal age in your home province, which means 18 year-olds can’t hop over to Quebec, Alberta, or Manitoba, which have the lowest legal drinking age in the country at 18, and bring a bunch of alcohol back to their home province where the legal age is 19.
The alcohol also cannot be resold, it’s for private consumption only.
If similar rules are imposed on cannabis, that means travelers won’t be able to stock up on, let’s say, that legendary BC Bud to share with their friends back home. What a buzzkill!