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Traveling with Medical Marijuana – What You Need to Know

Travel

Traveling with Medical Marijuana – What You Need to Know

By Cristina Barbee

As the summer approaches, medical marijuana patients throughout the country may be wondering if they can travel with marijuana. Since cannabis laws are constantly changing, there is confusion around the topic. So, we are here to help you prepare for a safe and enjoyable holiday.

Within State Lines

The easiest—and safest–way to travel with medical marijuana is within state lines. Since the entire state of Florida recognizes the compassionate use laws, you can safely transport medical cannabis by car anywhere in the state in properly sealed and labeled containers, and you have your Florida-issued MMJ card.

It is important to note that this only includes travel in a person’s vehicle. Other transportation methods such as air or rail remain under federal law. Therefore, any cannabis in your possession—including in legal states—can be confiscated, and you may face legal consequences if caught. Even so, there are dispensaries throughout the state where you can pick up anything you may have left behind.

Out of State

Crossing state lines in possession of marijuana is still federally illegal, even if travel has occurred between states who have legal cannabis legislation. But there are still ways to prepare ahead of time. For example, if you are traveling to a recreational cannabis state, you could walk into any dispensary and make your purchase. Of course, you need a state-issued ID and be of legal age for consumption (in most cases, 21 or older).

If you happen to travel to a recreation state, purchasing cannabis is as easy as walking into a local dispensary with any government-issued ID. Make sure you have enough cash to make your purchase, as most dispensaries do not accept credit card payments. Also, plan regarding your consumption. Some hotels and vacation rentals may have specific rules about consuming cannabis on their properties, especially regarding smoking.

However, if you are going to a state that has only legalized medical marijuana, you may still be able to purchase if the state you are visiting has MMJ reciprocity laws. Each state will vary in its requirements for out-of-state MMJ cardholders, with some requiring you to register ahead of time. Before traveling, it is essential to reach out to the state’s local medical marijuana board to see if there is anything you need to do ahead of time. The states that currently accept out-of-state issued MMJ cards are:

Out of Country

But what if your plans take you across international borders? As stated before, the federal government oversees all air travel and considers all cannabis—medical or otherwise—as a Schedule I narcotic. Flying internationally with cannabis creates an additional risk depending on that country’s laws about cannabis, including non-flower options like edibles, sublingual drops, and vape cartridges. While it may seem harmless, carrying any cannabis products across international borders is not recommended.

If going without is not an option, consider traveling to countries that are open to marijuana use. For example, Canada and Uruguay have legalized the recreational use of cannabis—while other countries like Spain and the Netherlands have cannabis clubs where tourists can enjoy a local session.

Conclusion

While cannabis use has proven beneficial in relieving symptoms associated with various diagnoses, making sure you are responsibly consuming cannabis is a critical factor in your overall safety. Traveling with medical marijuana in the US or abroad comes with risks. However, with proper planning, you can keep your routine—even on vacati