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Can You Travel On A Plane With Medical Marijuana?

Emily Mullins

by Emily Mullins

March 11, 2024 01:39 pm ET Estimated Read Time: 5 Minutes
Fact checked by Kymberly Drapcho
Can You Travel On A Plane With Medical Marijuana?

Thirty-eight states have now legalized some form of medical cannabis, and there are thousands of dispensaries open across the country. However, every state has different rules and regulations regarding medical marijuana, and it can feel confusing to navigate the various laws, particularly since cannabis is still a federally illegal substance.

Many patients want to carry their medical cannabis products with them when they travel, but what is permitted? Can you carry marijuana across state lines, or take it on a plane? We’ll help you navigate this complicated question to avoid difficulties or legal troubles when traveling.

Can You Travel on a Plane with Medical Marijuana?

The two most common types of cannabinoids used by medical marijuana patients include tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and cannabidiol (CBD). CBD and hemp, which are not psychoactive and typically contain less than 0.3% THC, are federally legal. As such, it’s permitted to travel across state lines or on a domestic flight with CBD products. CBD can be placed in either checked or carry-on bags. Note, however, that flying to other countries with CBD products may not be allowed.

THC is trickier. As a psychoactive product that can get users high, it’s illegal to travel across state lines with cannabis products, whether recreational or medicinal. Flights fall under federal jurisdiction, and cannabis is federally recognized as a Schedule I substance with no medicinal purposes. So, in short, you cannot fly with any medical marijuana products, even if they are in a checked bag.

This law applies to interstate travel and flights within your state. Even if medical cannabis is legal in your state, it is not allowed at airports since they are managed by the federal government. This applies to all cannabis products, including vapes, edibles, tinctures, flowers, and more.

TSA’s Stand on Medical Cannabis

According to the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) website, “TSA’s screening procedures are focused on security and are designed to detect potential threats to aviation and passengers. Accordingly, TSA security officers do not search for marijuana or other illegal drugs, but if any illegal substance is discovered during security screening, TSA will refer the matter to a law enforcement officer.”

Whether or not you’ll be charged with possession can depend on state laws or the law enforcement officer present. However, getting caught with cannabis can cause you to miss your flight or have the substance seized from your possession. If you do get charged, you may face up to five years in prison or a fine of $250,000.

Can a Medical Card Be Used in Other States?

If you have a medical card, certain states allow reciprocity (which means your out-of-state card can be used to purchase dispensary products).

Why You Should Get Your Medical Marijuana Card

Veriheal has satisfied millions of patients nationwide by giving them access to these benefits

  • Larger purchase limits
  • Peace of mind
  • Enhanced legal protection
  • Access to higher potency strains
  • Save up to 25% on cannabis purchases
  • Skip the line at the dispensary

The following states allow reciprocity:

States with recreational programs will allow anyone over 21 to purchase cannabis at a dispensary, but not all states with medical programs have recreational dispensaries. Having a medical card allows you to have more options when traveling.

Frequently Asked Questions

The following frequently asked questions can better help you understand the laws regarding traveling with marijuana.

As per TSA rules, can you travel on a plane with medical marijuana?

For now, traveling on a plane with cannabis is prohibited. While these rules may change if cannabis is rescheduled or federally legalized, it is better to avoid potential troubles by leaving your medical marijuana products at home.

Can I take medical marijuana on a cruise?

No, medical cannabis is not allowed on major cruise lines. This includes Carnival, Disney Cruise Lines, and more. This applies to both THC and CBD products, regardless of whether or not you have a medical card.

Get a Medical Marijuana Card Today

Having a medical marijuana card comes with a number of benefits. One of the most important is legal protection, which can help you out when traveling with cannabis products. You are far less likely to face fines or legal repercussions for possessing cannabis in states with medical programs. Additionally, you have access to employment protections in certain states.

People with medical cards can also purchase and possess more cannabis at a time, grow more plants at home, visit more dispensaries, and buy higher-potency cannabis. Medical patients are often exempt from state taxes on cannabis purchases, which can add up to thousands of dollars in savings a year. Finally, people with medical cards can purchase cannabis under 21, whereas recreational users cannot.

For a comprehensive overview of the benefits associated with a medical card, check out our full review here.

Although medical cannabis cards don’t allow you to travel with marijuana products, they make it far easier to purchase cannabis in other states. To get a medical card, set up an appointment with one of our doctors today.

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