Only four months ago, Canada became the second country in the world to legalize recreational weed. Though the act passed slowly after two years of debate, this change for Canada means a new economy bolstered by marijuana. The Cannabis Act grants anyone over the age of 18 the right to possess up to one ounce of marijuana and grow up to four plants. And though this new bill still has its issues, the change has put forth new regulations for how Canadians can travel with their legal weed from province to province. This means as of October 17, when marijuana will be officially legal across The Great White North, Canadians will be allowed to fly with up to 30 grams of cannabis.
30 grams of marijuana may be tough for the average consumer to imagine. It depends on the density of the bud and if it has already been rolled or ground. But bring to mind two outstretched hands and then use the imagination to fill it with loose buds. For flower, that’s essentially what travelers can stow away in their luggage for inter-province travels. This amount seems surprisingly lenient, considering the legal state of cannabis elsewhere. But if perhaps travelers pre-roll their stash, they can expect to bring about 60-75 joints. For someone who smokes 3-7 joints a day, that’s a two week trip, with weed accommodated safely in their suitcase.
Still, Canadian Minister of Transport Marc Garneau quickly warned against stashing that same 30 gram loot aboard an international flight. These passengers must instead abide by the laws of the country of destination. Officials have not finalized consequences for people who bring weed through security on international flights. And though many US states now have legal marijuana, the drug remains illegal federally. Further, the U.S. government may ban investors and employees of cannabis companies from entering the United States.
Flowers could stink up a suitcase and travelers should resist the urge to pack less fragrant edibles. After all edibles didn’t make it through this round of legalization. And though the edible scene in Canada now exists as a grey market, it definitely won’t be cleared through security. In short, travelers should feel comfortable packing up a 30 gram supply only if headed to another Canadian province—and only if it isn’t an edible.
But just because the domestic skies of Canada now allow cannabis, it doesn’t mean that each province has the same regulations. In fact, many of these areas of Canada differ concerning marijuana use. The amount, price, how to sell or market, and the penalties for misuse all depend on the province. For instance, the consequences of driving under the influence in Nova Scotia appear much more severe than in Quebec.
Finally, comparing the price from province to province may be a good idea before packing up for traveling, if looking to save time or money. Say the bud costs less at the destination. Pack lighter and stow the maximum allotment on the return flight. Knowing these laws can help cannabis users make informed decisions about their newly legal usage.
In less than two weeks, Canada will be the second country after Uruguay to legalize recreational marijuana. Until then, travelers should keep the pre-rolled joints and bags of flowers from their suitcases. But on that long awaited day, whether a cannabis user in Montreal or Winnipeg, Toronto or Vancouver, travelers can confidently stand in domestic security lines at the airport. And unlike mostly anywhere else in the world, they can do so with up to 30 grams of weed in their carry-on.
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