Traveling with Medical Cannabis - What You Need to Know

September 03, 2020

While the legalization of cannabis for both medical and recreational use has come a long way, there are still plenty of states that still consider the drug to be illegal to possess. Twenty-nine states have legalized medical cannabis, and nine of those states have gone even further to legalize recreational cannabis. This leaves twenty-one states where cannabis is effectively illegal.

So, if you are a recreational or a medical cannabis user and have a need or simply a desire to travel, you need to know the ins and outs of traveling with cannabis.

Medical Cannabis Travel Restrictions

Keep in mind at all times that not every state has medical marijuana and even those that do might not reciprocate your medical marijuana card from your home state. This can present real problems, including the possibility of being arrested, if caught carrying medical marijuana, particularly in a state that still has no access to medical cannabis. Some states have very harsh penalties for people caught traveling with cannabis even if you have a medical card from your home state. Fortunately, all forms of CBD including distillate (check out are legal everywhere.

What to Do If You Have to Travel with Medical Cannabis

At some point, you may need to travel. Work, family obligations, and vacations all come up and require that a person travel. The most important thing to consider is where you are traveling. Whether you are traveling within your own state, to another state, or even another country, the most important thing is to be aware of the laws where you are traveling.

Best Cannabis Products for Travel

If at all possible, try to avoid traveling with something that is obviously cannabis. A stash box can help a person feel more comfortable. There are several available that are not obvious. Some even mask any odor. Another option is to travel with edibles. Oil cartridges vape pens and portable vaporizers are also good travel companions.

Traveling Domestically in an Owned or Rented Vehicle

No matter what, never drive while under the influence of marijuana. Medical card or not, recreationally legal or not, driving while stoned is still prohibited by law in all 50 states. Also follow these rules:

  1. Keep your stash in your trunk, especially if you’re driving.
  2. Give law enforcement no reason to stop you. Follow all traffic laws and take care to stay under the speed limit and not to drive recklessly.
  3. If stopped, be respectful. Give them no reason to search your vehicle. If they cannot see or smell cannabis, the search is illegal unless you consent.

Traveling via Air, Bus, or Train

The TSA searches and commits to keeping these venues of transportation safe. While travel via air is probably the most secure, traveling with your stash on a plane or a train or a bus does present certain risks.

Airports, bus depots, and train stations are generally considered federal property. Cannabis is still considered illegal by the federal government. It is illegal to attempt to carry marijuana in either checked or carry on luggage. While the TSA no longer actively searches for cannabis, they can refer the matter to local law enforcement if they do discover it.

  1. Make sure that you pack well. Keep things in odor-proof cases and in their original packing, if possible.
  2. Have your medical marijuana card handy.
  3. If you must carry while flying, absolutely carry in your checked and not your carry-on luggage.

Remember, when traveling, we cannot reiterate enough that the most important thing is knowledge. Knowing the laws where you are traveling is often paramount in keeping you out of trouble. Ignorance of the law is rarely ever a good excuse.

About the Author

Michael is a marketing and creative content specialist at with  a primary focus on customer satisfaction. Technology and fitness combined with healthy lifestyle obsession are his main talking points.