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Can You Bring Weed On A Plane: Everything You Need to Know

 

If you are going to fly and plan to take weed with you, you should be aware of the regulations that could apply to you. The first and most important question you should ask yourself is: Can you bring weed on a plane?

Introduction

The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) is the organization in charge of the security of the traveling public in the United States.

They are the ones that run the security checkpoint where your carry-on luggage is screened – they also check luggage behind the scenes.

However, it would be inaccurate to say that the TSA is part of law enforcement. They are responsible for aviation security, and they are -usually- looking for weapons or explosives.

In fact, in an Instagram post on the TSA’s official account, they clarified that screening procedures are focused on identifying potential threats to airport security, so TSA officers do not specifically search for marijuana during the screening process.

However, that doesn’t mean they won’t find it. TSA screening procedures regularly reveal drugs of many types.

The important question is, can you bring weed on a plane with you?

Can I fly with marijuana in my luggage?

The short answer is NO, you can’t fly with marijuana. Carrying weed onto a plane is a federal crime.

The reason behind this is simple: marijuana is a schedule I substance – which means it is illegal under federal law- and federal law governs airplane travel in the U.S.

This is because the airspace is considered federal territory, so therefore marijuana can’t come on your flight.

This prohibition includes flying within states where pot use is legal or between states, because although most airports are owned by local or state bodies, many airports receive federal grant funding for maintenance and improvement.

This implies that the airport’s owners, whether private businesses or state governments, have additional responsibilities to the federal government and may be less indulgent in the event of federal law infringement.

In most states where marijuana is legal, carrying the allowed possession amount of weed will only end up in the TSA officers confiscating it for disposal, however, it’s better to not take that risk.

What happens if the TSA finds marijuana in my luggage?

As we mentioned earlier, the TSA is not looking specifically for marijuana on your luggage, however, if they do find it, the TSA will enforce federal laws – as the TSA is a federal agency.

This means that if they do find marijuana in your luggage, they must report it to the police, and from there it is up to the police how they will handle it.

In states where marijuana is legal, they will most likely confiscate it for disposal. You may also be asked to get rid of it before you board or be simply waived. At the end of the day, it is up to the officers to make those decisions.

There are some airports, like LAX or O’Hare which have publicly announced that they will not be stopping any outbound passenger carrying an ounce or less of marijuana. Prominent airports, however, are now equipped with “pot amnesty boxes”, which are in place for travelers that don’t want to risk breaking the law by flying with a cannabis product.

Can you take CBD oil on a plane?

The TSA states that you can take CBD oil with you as long as it contains no more than 0.3% THC, or a quantity approved by the FDA. However, if the CBD is liquid or food you must take into consideration the TSA carry-on policies.

Can you bring edibles on a plane?

The legality of bringing edibles on a plane depends on the THC concentration. Cannabis edibles with more than 0.3% THC are federally illegal and cannot be brought on a plane. However, you can bring cannabis-related products with less than 0.3% THC.

Bringing CBD oil in your luggage

When packing CBD oil in your carry-on bag, it’s best to pack it in a quart-size liquids bag and keep it under 3.4 ounces. If you have liquid medications in containers larger than 3.4 oz, you’ll need approval from a TSA security officer and additional screening.

While CBD products are generally legal as long as they contain less than 0.3% THC, be cautious with CBD flower buds as they can be mistaken for marijuana. TSA cannot test CBD for THC levels, so they rely on packaging.

The same rules apply for bringing CBD in checked luggage, but note that you cannot fly with a vape pen for CBD juice in your checked bag due to the risk of fire. Vaping devices must be packed in carry-on bags.

Flying internationally with CBD oil or other cannabidiol products

On domestic flights in the United States you can travel with CBD oil and other cannabidiol products if the THC content is below 0.3 percent.

CBD oil containing THC above 0.3 percent is illegal under federal law. If any illegal substance is discovered during security screening remember the TSA will report any suspected violations to a law enforcement officer.

As the TSA won’t test your CBD at the checkpoint, it’s best that you travel with CBD products that have their THC info on their label clearly visible.

However, if you are traveling with CBD products internationally then you need to check the laws for your destination country, as a lot of countries don’t allow the possession of cannabidiol products.

If you need counseling on the cannabis industry, do not hesitate to contact us!

About the Author

Tom Howard, a Cannabis Industry Lawyer and Consultant has practiced commercial law since 2008 when he graduated from law school and got his Series 7 & 66 Securities licenses. He pivoted to practicing litigation for financial institutions before helping cannabis teams form, capitalize, and get licensed. He has concentrated on the cannabis business since Illinois legalized it in 2019. He won licenses for clients in Illinois, Connecticut, New Jersey, New Mexico, Massachusetts, Missouri and has gotten into lotteries in Ohio, Maryland, and Maine. He became a Certified Ganjier in 2021. He chairs the ISBA’s section council for Cannabis Law in 2023.

Picture of Thomas Howard

Thomas Howard

A seasoned commercial lawyer and the Managing Director of Collateral Base. With over 15 years of experience, Tom specializes in the cannabis industry, helping businesses navigate complex regulations, secure licenses, and obtain capital. He has successfully assisted clients in multiple states and is a Certified Ganjier. Tom also runs the popular YouTube channel "Cannabis Legalization News," providing insights and updates on cannabis laws and industry trends.
Picture of Thomas Howard

Thomas Howard

A seasoned commercial lawyer and the Managing Director of Collateral Base. With over 15 years of experience, Tom specializes in the cannabis industry, helping businesses navigate complex regulations, secure licenses, and obtain capital. He has successfully assisted clients in multiple states and is a Certified Ganjier. Tom also runs the popular YouTube channel "Cannabis Legalization News," providing insights and updates on cannabis laws and industry trends.

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