It’s time for road-tripping and making awesome summer memories. But… you may be asking yourself these questions. Where do I store my medical cannabis? Can I medicate on domestic flights? Or you may have heard things that make you nervous about crossing into the States.

These are all great questions and ones we hear often at NHS. Before hitting the open road for your summer vacation, make sure you’re aware of the laws around travelling with your medicine.

Travelling with your Licensed Producer (LP) medical cannabis is completely legal within Canada’s borders. Be it by plane, train or automobile, you are responsible for knowing your rights, the law and how it applies to you. You may also want to check the laws that apply to provinces or territories you’ll be visiting.

Here are the top points you need to know when travelling with medical cannabis.

  • Make sure you have your photo ID
  • Keep your medicine in its original containers at all times
  • Only carry 30x your daily prescribed amount with a maximum of 150 grams
  • If travelling by plane, pack your medicine in your carry-on-luggage
  • Bring any supporting documents provided by your LP (receipt, order history, etc.)
  • DO NOT travel anywhere outside of Canada

Remember: Even when travelling to countries with permissive cannabis laws, Canada’s export laws prohibit taking cannabis out of the country. Therefore, you should NOT take it across borders.

According to the Government of Canada, there are over 1,700 Canadians in jail abroad – over one third of them for drug related offences. Most countries, including the US, have a zero tolerance policy for travelling with cannabis.

In the past, it was suggested you call the airport in advance to let them you will be transporting your medication. Because of the sheer numbers of Canadians travelling with cannabis now (over 270,000 active registrations as of the end of 2017), airports typically don’t do this anymore. But it’s always a good idea to leave yourself extra time in case of unexpected delays.

Within the last year I’ve travelled quite a bit by plane; I always have the original container(s) in my carry-on and I don’t alert security. I’ve been patted down, full body scanned, and hand-swabbed but I’ve never been questioned about my cannabis medication.

If you need to medicate, be mindful of impairment laws. You can check out the latest impairment laws in this Globe and Mail article.

Products such as gelcaps, decarb powder, and sublinguals, available from Licensed Producers like Medreleaf and Tilray, are discreet and easy to transport. I prefer these to opened bottles of oils which have tended to leak in transit.

Medicated cookies (that you have made with your legal allotment) can be a nice treat after you’ve successfully parked! Remember, edibles typically don’t peak for 90-120 minutes, but you can begin to feel the effects before that.

You can bring any self-made medicated foods that are solid at room temperature on a domestic flight. You are also allowed up to 100 ml of liquid, so a small bottle of self-made tincture with dropper works as well.

Dose responsibly. Make sure you’ve done a trial run with whatever you are ingesting.  Also, try to be considerate of other travellers when it comes to aroma, like on an airplane.

As you get ready drive across our beautiful country, know that cannabis cannot be within reach of anyone in the vehicle. Safest to store it in your trunk.

Wherever your holiday plans take you within Canada, have a fantastic trip, made even more fantastic with your worry-free legal medical cannabis.

 

— Kait Shane, Community Outreach Educator Natural Health Services. Follow Natural Health Services on Twitter @NatHealthserve.

For further insight into all things cannabis, don’t forget to check out The Cannabis Show (new episodes every Wednesday) and connect with us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. The Cannabis Show is also available as an audio podcast, subscribe on iTunes, Google Play, Stitcher, TuneIn, and Overcast.

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