Now that cannabis is legal for adults in Canada, citizens and visitors to the country have questions about travelling with it. Fortunately, the answers are straightforward and based on common-sense. Here’s a brief guide to help you out.
Arriving in Canada
You cannot enter Canada from another country with marijuana in your possession, even though it would be perfectly legal once your feet are on the ground. This applies even if you’re travelling from another part of the world where cannabis is not illegal. Any amount brought across the Canadian border is subject to severe penalties, so don’t risk it. Even authorized medical marijuana isn’t permitted.
Departing from Canada
The same logic applies for leaving the country. Don’t bring any marijuana with you to the Canadian border. Penalties are harsh, and border security is vigilant on this issue.
There are additional risks. Manage to slip past the Canadian border with some legally-purchased Canadian marijuana and your troubles aren’t over. Travellers from Canada who are caught with marijuana in their destination country are subject to the drug laws of that country. Many countries around the world impose life-altering punishments for possession of marijuana. Additionally, travellers to the USA in particular risk being banned from re-entering the country if they are caught with marijuana.
Coming or going, marijuana and the Canadian border don’t mix. Don’t do it.
Travelling around Canada
Marijuana is legal in every part of the country, so you are absolutely allowed to travel with it, so long as you are not crossing the Canadian border. It may feel odd to board an airplane from Toronto to Calgary with cannabis in your suitcase, but it’s perfectly legal.
There are, however, a few things to remember:
Laws vary from province to province.
The legal age for possession of marijuana varies slightly across the provinces and territories, along with other factors like where it is allowed to be consumed. Do your research, and make sure you’re following the law where you’re going, as well as where you’re coming from.
Pay attention to the amount you’re travelling with.
Public possession is limited to a reasonably generous 30 grams (approximately an ounce). Don’t travel with more, and be prepared for your supply to be measured if it looks near the limit.
Don’t travel impaired.
Travel under the influence of marijuana and you may be denied passage on transport like trains, buses and airplanes, and may be subject to further scrutiny by authorities. And of course, driving while high is strictly forbidden everywhere in the country.
To summarize—the rules about travel with marijuana are simple and logical: Don’t arrive with it. Don’t leave with it. And when you travel from destination inside the country, make sure you know the rules of your destination province or territory before you pack that marijuana for the road.