“Can I Carry Marijuana Seeds on a Flight?” And All the Other Travel Questions You Forgot to Ask What about flying with actual weed? Border crossings? How about seeds in checked luggage? In the Flying with cannabis seeds is illegal in the U.S., but seeds have been sold internationally via mail order for years, with Dutch and Spanish seed banks shipping to countries around the globe no matter what the laws say. If you're thinking of traveling with weed in your baggage, here is what you need to know. The laws are not as simple as you might think.
“Can I Carry Marijuana Seeds on a Flight?” And All the Other Travel Questions You Forgot to Ask
What about flying with actual weed? Border crossings? How about seeds in checked luggage? In the time of broader legalization, it can be a huge help to know before you go.
So, the US, Canada, Uruguay, and The Netherlands all have pretty straight forward and stoner friendly recreational cannabis laws, but that doesn’t actually mean you should be climbing on a plane with fresh seeds or hash anytime soon. What about travelling with a few precious nugs? That also can be stickier than a strain of white widow.
For most cannabis related travel, it’s often best to stick to online retailers when it comes to toting marijuana seeds and paraphernalia. While it may not land you in cuffs, you are apt to lose the precious cargo that you’ve gone out of your way to acquire. When in doubt, mail it out- but in the meantime, here’s a handy guide for those prefer to travel high class.
Can You Bring Seeds on an Airplane? Best Not.
In fact, most seeds- whether they’re for weed or actual tomato plants, shouldn’t be brought across borders. Many countries have some pretty strict policies about vegetation from other countries crossing their borders. In most states of the US, possession of marijuana seeds isn’t actually illegal, nor is receiving them via your local postie. However, flying with these little guys is illegal.
Stories abound of clever little hiding hacks when it comes to the transport of seeds, rolling them up in socks, putting them inside trail mix, one user even commented that you can dip them in wax and glue them onto clothing… however, all of these transport “options” require you to remove seeds from their protective packaging. This can expose seeds to excess moisture, bacteria, or other bits that can inhibit future growth. With the long-time legitimacy of mail order programs, there’s really no reason to risk confiscation, fines, or the health of your seeds. So it’s best to think twice before trying to smuggle feminized seeds on a flight.
What About Pipes and Bongs? Go For It.
Smoking devices are another part of weed culture that can also easily be purchased online or mailed directly to your door. So if you’re worried about it, go ahead and slip it into the local post office before you travel. However, as long as there isn’t any weed in them, there’s no law that says you can’t travel with these devices- as long as it’s apparent that their intended use is for “tobacco products only”.
Despite the obvious overtones of bongs, pipes, and vaporizers being used for weed consumption; as long as there is no weed or resin to be found, it’s pretty hard to prove that’s your intention. When flying, TSA agents don’t look specifically for drug paraphernalia, but if they find it, it can be subject to further screening and scrutiny. So if you are packing glass, make sure that it’s not only squeaky clean, but you also pencil in some extra time for a possible chat with custom officials.
Flying High? All Signs Point to Yes.
If you’re in a weed friendly country and prefer a toke to settle the nerves of travel, go for it. As long as you’re not in possession of the devil’s lettuce, you can be mostly as high as you want in an airport. There are rules that restrict visibly intoxicated passengers from flying, but that rarely applies to someone with red eyes.
Better yet, consider toting an incognito edible along for the ride. Custom agents are not equipped to test foods that passengers bring with them, so as long as you don’t have a label on your brownie that says it’s pumped full of THC goodness, you should be alright. Edibles are ideal for flying because they usually take a little while to kick in. So if you’re not comfortable toting a cookie for your in flight entertainment, you can always eat before you hit the airport.
Can I Bring Weed on a Flight? Depends.
Flying with actual nuggets is a little less straightforward than some of the other recommendations we have for you. Flying with weed depends heavily on how much you’re carrying, where you’re at to begin with, and where you’re headed. Keep in mind, that in a large majority of the world, weed is still criminalized. So anytime you risk flying with marijuana, you risk jail time.
That being said, hopping an interprovincial flight in Canada with less than 30g isn’t really a problem. In fact, it’s totally legal as long as you’re of age and aren’t toking up on airport grounds. Running around LAX to SFO, or getting a flight across Oregon and you’re not bound to run into many troubles. As long as the amount of weed you have on you is negligible, and you don’t plan on crossing any non-weed friendly borders, you can generally get away with your pot unscathed. A few TSA agents out of California have even reported that their primary goal is “education” over incarceration. So in most recreationally legal states, you won’t be able to fly with it, but you’re unlikely to go to jail should you be caught packing.
Ask a Stoner: Can I Take Seeds and Hash Equipment Out of the Country?
Dear Stoner: I would like to buy some seeds and hash-making materials when I visit Denver this month from Brazil. What’s the best way to do that?
Dear Felipe: You can find both of those here with relative ease — check our online list for dispensaries that carry seeds — but it’s not worth the risk of taking any of it home. Depending on what type of hash-making materials you need (which can range from bubble bags and ice cubes to a closed-loop extraction system), you should be able to purchase them online, as virtually all such supplies can be used for reasons other than cannabis extraction. Just do that instead.
Flying with cannabis seeds is illegal in the U.S., but seeds have been sold internationally via mail order for years, with Dutch and Spanish seed banks shipping to countries around the globe no matter what the laws say. Those seeds aren’t always females, however, and I’ve heard reports of varying luck with the genetic and growing results. My suggestion would be to either buy the seeds here and ship them home, or order them online to be delivered to to your door. or a friend’s, if you’re scared.
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Is It Legal to Take Marijuana on a Plane?
As far as marijuana is concerned, its legal status is confusing for many in the United States. The issue of bringing cannabis on an airplane is a perfect case in point. It is a federally illegal substance like heroin. Consequently, one would assume that carrying it onboard an aircraft is a prohibited act.
Conversely, you may think it is okay as long as you fly from one ‘legal’ marijuana state to another. Neither supposition is accurate as shades of gray continue to cause problems. This article outlines if you can or should bring cannabis on a plane.
Marijuana & Airplanes – The Law in General
Cities own airports. However, the federal government is authorized to operate them, and federal law supersedes state law. It doesn’t matter if you buy your marijuana legally. It becomes an illegal substance from the moment you show a Transportation Security Administration (TSA) agent your boarding pass.
Yet even then, the issue is far from cut and dried. The TSA is tasked with keeping planes and passengers secure. They are far more concerned about finding explosive devices than marijuana.
The TSA’s screening procedures mean detecting potential threats. As a result, they are not actively looking for drugs, so you could technically sneak through without a problem. However, the likely outcome is that a TSA agent will find the cannabis and hand you over to airport security.
The Amnesty Box
When an airport security agent gets involved, there are several possible outcomes. Airports such as Aspen-Pitkin County in Colorado or McCarran in Las Vegas, Nevada, have a special ‘amnesty’ box. Passengers can place their cannabis in this box and not face any legal consequences. This is primarily because recreational use is permitted in these states.
If you’re fortunate, a police officer might wave you through with the marijuana if you have a valid MMJ card. However, this is an infrequent occurrence. You are far more likely to meet a law enforcement official who takes a dim view of your actions. While local police may not press charges, the federal government could potentially get involved.
It is a felony to transport ‘for-sale’ weed outside a state according to most states’ laws. It is also a federally illegal act. If you are caught with a large amount, you could spend several years in prison. The majority of cases that end up in court are tried on a state level. This is better news for the defendant because it increases the chances of a favorable outcome.
What About the Legal Marijuana States?
Don’t assume that taking cannabis from one recreationally legal state to another (Colorado to California, for example) is permissible. If a TSA agent finds marijuana or another illegal substance during security screening, the default policy is to contact law enforcement. Your destination and location of origin are not taken into account. The response of the TSA to cannabis at the airport is consistent across the United States.
Don’t assume that taking cannabis from one recreationally legal state to another is permissible.
Will you be arrested in an airport in a recreational state? The answer is: “It depends.” Officials are lenient in certain airports, such as John Wayne Airport in Orange County, California, for example. Therefore, airport police won’t charge you with a crime if you have a state legal amount. You won’t be allowed to bring it onboard, however.
The likely response depends on the airport rather than the state. At Denver International Airport, for example, marijuana is banned anywhere on airport property. It is a very different story at Los Angeles International Airport (LAX).
LAX Is Lenient Regarding Marijuana Possession
Cannabis has been legal for recreational use in California since January 1, 2018. On the same day, LAX updated its marijuana policy. According to the airport’s official website, Los Angeles Airport Police Division (LAPD) officers have no jurisdiction to arrest anyone in possession of marijuana. That is, as long as you carry it following state law.
At the time of writing, passengers at LAX are allowed to travel through security with up to 8 grams of concentrated marijuana and 28.5 grams of marijuana flower. The policy also applies to several other airports under APD jurisdiction.
Traveling with weed? Here’s al…
It doesn’t mean you can go through security openly carrying cannabis. A TSA agent can stop you and contact the police as per the usual protocols. The difference is that the APD will arrive and wave you through.
Also, you can be arrested for cannabis possession when you land. Alicia Hernandez, a public information officer for the APD, spoke to Rolling Stone magazine a few years ago. She said that the APD “doesn’t concern itself with other state laws or whether travelers will be violating them upon their arrival.” Therefore, please make sure you check marijuana laws at your destination before boarding the plane.
A Risky Business
For the most part, law enforcement is not concerned about passengers carrying small amounts of cannabis. Even so, it is very much a case of ‘carry at your own risk.’ If you need it for medical purposes, make sure you have your MMJ card and don’t attract unwanted attention. Make sure there are no liquids in your bag, and there’s a chance that your edibles will go unnoticed.
It is very much a case of ‘carry at your own risk.’
It is a bad idea to try and bring oils or tinctures on board. The mere fact that they are liquid immediately draws attention. Edibles are much harder to detect, especially if you make them yourself and package them like everyday food items. Edibles also have less of a smell. In contrast, you are more likely to get caught if you try to bring cannabis flower through.
If you are caught, don’t object, complain, or get angry with the TSA agent. There is no point trying to talk your way out of the situation. Make sure you display your MMJ card if you have it. There is no real defense for interstate transportation, so stay silent, and ask for an attorney if you get arrested.
Is It Legal to Take Weed on a Plane? Final Thoughts
The issue of whether or not you can bring cannabis on a plane is straightforward if you look at a strictly legal definition. Airports are under federal purview. Marijuana is a federally illegal substance. Therefore, you can’t legally bring marijuana through airport security.