If you love to travel and love cannabis, then you probably don’t want to have to choose between the two. But are you allowed to take your favorite bud on vacation? While 33 states now allow some form of cannabis use, it doesn’t mean that traveling with cannabis is always legal.
Just like other regulated substances (think alcohol), you have to follow the rules, or you might end up in trouble. The laws can be confusing sometimes, but if you follow these basic tips, you shouldn’t have anything to worry about on your next vacation — other than remembering to re-apply your sunscreen.
Tips for Traveling with Cannabis
1. Don’t Fly With Cannabis
Unfortunately, it’s still not legal to fly with cannabis, even while traveling within a legal state. The FFA federally regulates air travel, and cannabis remains illegal under federal law.
We get it. It’s a total bummer to leave your cannabis behind on vacation. But as tempting as it is to want to sneak some on a plane, it’s never a good idea to risk federal prosecution. If you don’t want to go without, we recommend vacationing in a legal state and making a purchase when you arrive. (Plus, Have a Heart is loved in some amazing recreational states! Find us in Washington, California, and Oregon!)
2. Don’t Drive Across Borders with Cannabis
Even though many legal cannabis states in the western US are neighbors, transporting it across a border is against federal law. Avoid federal drug trafficking charges by enjoying your goods before crossing a border on your road trip, and stock up after you enter the next legal state.
The same thing goes for crossing the Canadian border in either direction. Despite the fact it’s legal in Canada, it remains illegal to take cannabis across national borders and is a serious offense if you get caught.
3. Follow Open Container Laws
Most legal cannabis states have rules about how you can carry weed in your car. A good rule of thumb is to treat cannabis like you would alcohol under open container laws. That means if it’s inside your vehicle, keep it in its unopened package, and put any unsealed products into your trunk like you would an open bottle of booze.
4. Follow State Laws
Because cannabis is still federally illegal, you must abide possession laws and limits on a state-by-state basis. Some states allow for medical use, you must follow their laws. So if you’re traveling in a state that requires a medical card, but you don’t have one, don’t risk it.
Other states allow for recreational use. In California, for example, adults can possess up to 1 ounce of flower or 8 grams of concentrates. So be aware of how much you are carrying and follow the law. If you are unsure about limits, you can ask your budtender when you visit a dispensary in a new state.
5. Don’t Smoke and Drive
Keep your smoke sessions until after the drive or well before you get behind the wheel. Even in legal states, driving under the influence of cannabis is considered a DUI, just like drinking and driving.
6. Stay at Cannabis Friendly Hotels
If you want to enjoy a toke after a long day of road tripping, you need to make sure you are staying at a cannabis-friendly hotel. You don’t want to be asked to leave, or worse have the cops called because you didn’t do your research before you booked a room. If you do make a reservation at a smoke-free hotel, be sure to stop at a dispensary and grab some smokeless alternatives likes some yummy edibles.
7. Don’t Take Cannabis on Federal Lands or National Parks
While a hike through California’s Yosemite Valley with your favorite cannabis products in tow might sound like a wonderful way to spend an afternoon, it’s super illegal. Federal land is under federal jurisdiction, so if a park ranger catches you with cannabis products, they have the authority to make an arrest. The good news is that you can find many beautiful state and local parks where state law allows cannabis use.
Wondering where to stop for cannabis on your next road trip? Find a Have a Heart location that’s on your route.