Those of us lucky enough to live in states with legalized marijuana policies are accustomed to having medicine on-demand, 24/7. However, the holiday traveling season and transition into winter migration adventures have a lot of cannabis consumers asking the same question: Can I take my marijuana with me? While packing flower is a risky move when crossing state lines, edibles are the go-to portable products. The federal government’s increasingly harsh stance against recreational marijuana should inspire traveling consumers to pack wisely and earnestly consider: Is flying with edibles safe?
What Does the TSA Look For?
Though the TSA does not strictly look for medical marijuana products, which encompass the range of edible products available throughout legalized states, the agency will take action if any medical marijuana materials are observed. According to their website, if TSA officers notice substances that appear to be marijuana products, they will contact local law enforcement. Your state’s legal marijuana policies won’t spare you from federal enforcement; TSA operates according to federal statutes that prohibit the possession and transport of cannabis and marijuana products. Under federal law, marijuana is still considered dangerous and a schedule 1 substance. Marijuana remains illegal to fly within carry-on or checked luggage. it is also illegal to transport cannabis across state lines, even if you’re traveling to and from states that have legalized medical or recreational marijuana policies.
You can take a page out of Melissa Etheridge’s songbook and pack your edible marijuana products in your checked bag. The singer also pairs her state-specific doctor’s recommendation with her products. Etheridge’s actions reflect some of the attitudes prevalent among the American cannabis community. Travelers that recognize the fact that the TSA’s priorities remain on catching and subduing terrorism efforts are often emboldened to take their products with them. The numbers reflect this focus: In 2015, TSA agents at the Denver International Airport stopped only 29 travelers for marijuana possession, said airport spokesman Heath Montgomery to the New York Times.
Don’t Draw Attention
The most likely situation that would lead TSA agents to your suitcase stash is if your carry-on bag is packed with other items that could warrant inspection or removal. For instance, a gourmet box of chocolates for your grandmother can cause an agent to examine your bag due to its shape. Suddenly, the smell of a carefully buried canister of cannabis gummies or secret chocolate bar bursts throughout the security section. What do you do?
Pack It Right
Preventative packing can add peace of mind to your travels. Consider taking your products out of their original wrappers to reinforce the packaging with an insulating material like aluminum foil. Security machines are designed to detect anomalies, so hide your products in plain sight. If you yearn to take any plant products, pack the flower in an odor-sealed package or with your other food products to cover its scent. But it’s always safer to leave it behind.
Of course, you can always choose to eat your edibles before going through security and enjoy the feeling of being just a little higher than everyone else on the plane. Just remember those eyedrops!