Ready to take off? Well, there are new rules coming for flying with cannabis within Canada, but they’re not as strict as you might think. Starting October 17th, it is fully legal to travel with cannabis in Canada. Of course, there is a limit to how much you can travel with, and the real catch? You can only fly with cannabis domestically.
How Much Can You Fly With?
The government has set a limit of 30 grams of cannabis for passengers flying within Canada. This is almost a full ounce (28.5 grams) and exceeds nonmedical possession limits in several US states.
But how much is 30 grams? Most of us won’t be measuring that out. To keep it simple, a typical joint contains about a third of a gram to a full gram of cannabis. Which means, at minimum, you can take 30 rolled jointson board with you.
To repeat: you can only fly with cannabis on domestic flights, that is to say, flights within Canada. Travel legislation does not include international flights. Flying outside Canada with cannabis is still (and will continue to be) illegal. Leaving the country with cannabis or cannabis products can result in criminal penalties at home and abroad – something you’ll seriously want to avoid.
This includes flying to states in the US where cannabis is already legal. This is because cannabis in any form or quantity is illegal under U.S. federal law. Attempting to enter the U.S. with cannabis (even entering a state that has legalized cannabis) will result in legal prosecution, fines, and possibly jail time.
It’s also illegal to fly with cannabis to countries with relaxed cannabis laws, such as Amsterdam. If you’re caught they might consider you to be trafficking. This, of course, applies to medical cannabis as well.
Entering Canada with cannabis will remain illegal. The Cannabis Act does not change Canada’s border rules. Bringing cannabis or any product containing cannabis in to Canada is still illegal. This is true even if you are bringing cannabis from places where cannabis has been legalized or decriminalized.
If you’re entering Canada with cannabis or cannabis products you must declare them to the Canada Border Services Agency. If you don’t, you may face enforcement action including arrest and prosecution.
You Can Pack It, But Can You Smoke It?
Similar to smoking cigarettes, smoking a joint on flights is illegal. Unfortunately, you’re not going be able to join the newest ‘Mile High’ club by lighting up in the plane’s bathroom. Smoking of all kinds will continue to be prohibited on all flights within Canada and abroad. Additionally, at least one airport (in Saskatoon) has gone as far as prohibiting smoking cannabis while at the airport.
Problems to Come
Certain rules around cannabis are determined provincially. This includes different laws, taxes, and fees, all of which may cause issues when travelling with cannabis domestically. There could begin to be more restrictions on travelling across provincial and territorial borders with cannabis, similar to restrictions on alcohol.
For example, with alcohol, you must be of legal age in your own province to transport across borders and what you bring is for private consumption only. In the future there may be similar rules put in place for cannabis. Just like with alcohol, if you’re travelling within Canada, you’re responsible for learning the laws of the province or territory you are entering when you’re bringing cannabis with you.
Remember, until October 17th, the only allowance for travelling with cannabis is if you have documentation to show it’s for medical use. Even though we can soon fly freely with cannabis in Canada, crossing any international border with cannabis is still illegal for the next week!
For more information on travelling with cannabis visit the Government of Canada website.