Bringing Cannabis Products to Another US State: 3 Things You Need to Know

Is it okay to travel and bring weed from one state to another?


person holding paper on kush

In 2014, Colorado became the first US state to legalize recreational cannabis use. More states followed suit soon after. Today, in 2019, medical marijuana is legal in 33 states plus Washington D.C. Recreational marijuana, on the other hand, is legal in 11 states, and I have been decriminalized in another 15. These developments triggered the upswing trend of the cannabis market. However, it also raised important questions like, “is it okay to travel and bring weed from one state to another?”

The easy and safe answer to this is NO. Marijuana is still classified by the DEA as a Schedule I drug, and marijuana use is still criminalized by the federal government. If you get caught and gets convicted as a first-time offender, you will get a federal misdemeanour along with jail penalties, a fine of up to $1,000, or a combination of both. 

If you’d like to learn more about this matter, then read on as we discuss the three most important things you need to know about transporting cannabis across state lines.

Don’t Cross Borders

As long as you’re within a state where cannabis is legal, you’re free to use and transport cannabis products within the specified parameters. You can purchase without worry from a dispensary, a marijuana delivery service, or even an operator who organizes weed and wine tours, anywhere within the state. However, once you cross state borders or take federal modes of transportation, federal laws will apply. In addition, you also can’t bring or consume marijuana while on federal lands (e.g., national parks or military reservations). 

Federal authorities have also said that they will let individual states determine how to deal with matters concerning marijuana. However, existing laws are still strictly enforced in areas where they have jurisdiction. This turns a few situations into tricky ones, like when federal land is located in a state where cannabis is legal. To be safe, make sure to note where these areas are.

The different States Have Different Regulations

If you decide to travel by car while in possession of marijuana, the best thing to do is to know your borders. It doesn’t matter if the way you obtained it is legal; if it’s illegal in the state you’re going to, you’ll be charged based on that state’s criminal laws. What’s more, all states have DUI/DWI laws, and marijuana is classified as an intoxicating substance. Be sure to know the details before you drive, especially since the amount of marijuana that qualifies you for a DUI charge is set quite low.

Another important thing you have to remember is that marijuana is only legal if they follow the standards set by the state. Moreover, the plant must have been grown locally and both the user and seller must be licensed. Unlike driving licenses, marijuana does not fall under “full faith and credit.” This means that you may not be able to purchase marijuana if you’re not locally licensed in the state where you’re going. As such, it may be best to leave your pet at home. If you’re licensed to use in different states, it’s still best to make a purchase when you arrive instead of carrying cannabis. It’s easy to find dispensaries or even marijuana delivery services nowadays, so you won’t have to do without for long.

Cannabis Is Not Permitted on Flights

Marijuana, both medical and recreational, is not permitted on flights. This is according to the website of the Transportation Security Administration (TSA). They don’t search specifically for marijuana, but passengers are screened for security and safety. If you get caught in possession, federal laws will apply. However, it’s more than likely that the case will be referred to local authorities since the process will be less complicated. 

For air travel between states where marijuana has been legalized, make sure to inquire about the rules of the airports. As earlier mentioned, each state has rules that apply regarding the use and sale and marijuana, and you must be properly licensed. Make sure to know these rules, especially with regard to the amount and concentrations allowed. Bring your medical marijuana carrying card with you, along with other relevant documentation.

If you get caught, the consequences can vary depending on where you are. There are airports in weed-friendly states that allow passengers to fly with only a minimal amount of marijuana. There are also airports where you’re allowed to bring the weed back to your car, leave it in an amnesty box, or have the person who dropped you off carry it back. In other places, you might get arrested. 

A Final Word

In the end, information remains to be your best weapon and friend. Be sure to keep abreast of what can and cannot be done and what you can and cannot bring with you when you travel. As long as you follow the law, you won’t be in trouble.