While it goes without saying that you should never fly beyond Canada’s borders with marijuana in your bags or on your person, there is some leeway within the country to take your bud with you if you’re just flying domestic.
As of October 2017, the Canadian Air Transport Security Authority (CATSA), loosened the rules ahead of legalization. The move was necessary due to an increasing number of people bringing medical cannabis on flights. The discovery of pot would inevitably slow down the screening process as authorities were required to be called in those cases.“Calling the police every time was cumbersome, it took time and some passengers rightfully felt it wasn’t necessary to call the police when they were in possession of a legitimate certificate or documentation,” said Mathieu Larocque, spokesperson for CATSA in an interview with CBC News at the time.
The practice now, if any cannabis is found, as long as there is only enough to (roughly) fit into a 1L bottle, passengers are permitted to go ahead.
There is still some ambiguity regarding what would be done if someone cannot produce the proper documentation claiming that their weed is legal, as recreational cannabis won’t be available in Canada until Oct. 17 of this year.
Having said that, patients with a valid prescription should know that they are subject to ACMPR regulations, which is 30 days supply or 150 grams, whatever is lesser. Also capsules, oils and other derivatives are subject to the same measurements.
As it is still unannounced as to what the policy will be for flying with recreational cannabis products after October 17th, Herbal Dispatch contacted CATSA and Transport Canada to inquire if a plan was, at the very least, being discussed.
While CATSA directed us to their website for more information on their current cannabis policy, Transport Canada responded by saying “Given the proposed Cannabis Act (Bill C-45) is currently before Parliament, Transport Canada is not in a position to provide any information about the legislation’s potential impact on the carriage of cannabis aboard aircraft.” Herbal Dispatch received this message a day prior to the announcement that Royal Assent would be given to the successful Bill.
OK so we know about flying, but what if train travel was in your immediate future?
Herbal Dispatch reached out to VIA Rail for comment on if passengers are searched for weed and other substances but we did not receive a response.
Regardless of the silence on behalf of VIA Rail, there are numerous threads online which suggest that although there are random sniffer dogs and baggage checks, if you are carrying small amounts, the chances of having a problem are slim.
NOTE: I have traveled on VIA a few times with bud and never had any issues, I just keep it stored safely in my carry-on bag.
As legalization is finally enacted and marijuana settles in as an “accepted” pastime, undoubtedly regulations will continue and probably loosen. For the moment, it’s always better to err on the side of caution and stay inconspicuous.
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