Like many aspects of the transition to marijuana legalization in Canada, specific policies regarding travel have yet to be fully ironed out.
Bill C-45, otherwise known as the Cannabis Act, allows all adults to carry, grow, and consume cannabis for recreational purposes starting on Oct. 17.
Adults are allowed to carry up to 30 grams on their person while traveling on domestic flights in Canada starting on that date. Specific procedures on screening passengers for marijuana possession and ensuring they aren’t over the limit haven’t been finalized yet, however, according to a report from MSN.
Canadian Air Transport Safety Authority spokeswoman Christine Langlois commented in the report: “We have been working with Transport Canada since the government passed cannabis legislation to ensure our protocols are consistent with government policy.”
She added, “We expect to finalize our procedures in the coming days.”
While domestic flights will allow passengers to carry marijuana, international flights are another matter entirely. Transport minister Marc Garneau warned Canadian citizens against possessing marijuana on flights to other countries to avoid legal issues.
While addressing reporters in Ottawa, Garneau commented:
“As long as the flight is domestic, then people are allowed to bring up to a certain quantity for their personal use. However, I would remind Canadians again that, if they are going on flights that cross into the United States or go to other countries, that the rules of that country where they are going are the rules that apply.”
Garneau’s comments come in response to Todd Owen – a senior official with US Customs and Border Protection – warning travelers that involvement in the Canadian marijuana industry is potentially grounds for being denied access to the United States.
That statement prompted California Democratic congressional representative Lou Correa to send a letter to the US Department Of Homeland Security asking for clarification on border crossing procedures.
The response to that letter is expected to be used as the basis for new legislation introduced to smooth out border crossing issues stemming from Canadian marijuana legalization.
Marijuana remains illegal at the federal level across the United States, but has been legalized for personal recreational consumption in nine individual states, while 30 states allow for medical usage.