The legalization of marijuana for both medical and recreational purposes has opened a lot of doors in science, medicine, and even in business. According to a study by Arcview Market Research and BDS Analytics, the legal cannabis industry is expected to go through significant growth in the next ten years with sales anticipated to hit $57 billion by 2027.
Despite growing acceptance and widespread use of weed, it is important to note that traveling with the drug remains a gray area even in places that have legalized it. Check out this handy guide if you are planning to travel with marijuana anytime soon.
What Airport Security Does
Marijuana is still considered an illegal drug under federal law. This is an important tidbit of information because federal agencies govern postsecurity areas at US airports. The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) isn’t specifically targeting drugs at airports, but it is SOP for them to call in local airport law enforcement if they find illegal substances such as pot during the screening of passengers’ baggage. So if you bring weed through a security checkpoint, law enforcement may step into the picture regardless of whether you are in a state that has legalized marijuana use or not.
If you do get flagged for bringing weed in a state that has legalized it, airport law enforcement officers may make you decide what to do with the product before you board your flight. Options include disposing the items in the trash, handing it over to a friend in the terminal, or storing them in an amnesty box.
On the Road with Weed
Going on a road trip with weed may seem like the stuff of John Kerouac legend, but as in airports, there’s a high chance you may get into a prickly situation if you do not know what to expect. Different places have different laws for traveling with weed on the road.
In the state of California, for example, adults over the age of twenty-one are allowed to travel with up to an ounce of cannabis flowers or a maximum of eight grams of concentrated cannabis. Users of medical marijuana are generally allowed to travel with a higher amount.
Legislation for traveling on the road with weed is still pending, but once approved, marijuana transported in cars will be required to be kept in a sealed container that is not accessible to the driver. Another pending law also prohibits the consumption of weed while driving. Currently, there is no standard limit for marijuana impairment in California, but tests are underway.
Know the Laws and Limitations
Knowing what is allowed and what isn’t is still the best way to avoid fines, sanctions, and other inconveniences when traveling with weed. Legislation varies across states and countries, so take time to learn about cannabis and, in particular, marijuana laws in the places you are traveling to. You can find out the quantity allowed, what documentation you may need to bring, airport policies, and possible areas with checkpoints.
Keep in mind that airlines reserve the right to forbid passengers from boarding the plane if they show signs of intoxication. Additionally, smoking weed at airports and on the plane is strictly prohibited.
Storage Tips for Traveling with Weed
Once you’ve done the necessary research on the place you are traveling to, here are some smart tips on how to store weed when traveling.
- Avoid plastic as much as possible. Although very commonly used, plastic is actually a poor storage choice for weed because the static can ruin the plant’s succulent trichomes. Plastic is only good as a temporary choice and for trips lasting hours and a few days, but if you will be traveling with your weed for longer, then it’s not advisable to use it.
- Use a glass jar. Glass jars are the best storage option for weed because they are not static and they don’t leave a metallic taste or smell, unlike metal containers. If you use a regular glass jar, it’s best to wrap it with a towel to prevent direct sunlight exposure.
- Wrap your weed in parchment. If you have no other choice but to store your marijuana in a plastic container, then you can lessen the damage by first wrapping the buds in parchment paper, the same kind that is commonly used for concentrates.