How cannabis legalization will affect travel within Canada

Jul 31 2018, 5:43 am

Crossing the Canadian border with cannabis, either entering or leaving, is illegal – and will stay that way come October 17. But what about keeping it domestic? Daily Hive consulted an airline, a bus company, and a railway about how things will work when the Cannabis Act is implemented.

Here’s what you need to know about how cannabis legalization will affect traveling within Canada.

Domestic flights

It looks like you’ll be able to roll onto a commercial flight with a purse full of pot sans problems – at least for now.

“We are in the process of evaluating if new policies are necessary related to passengers transporting cannabis after legalization in Canada occurs. At this time, we understand that carrying cannabis for domestic flights will be permitted if it is within the legalized personal possession limits. This is subject to requirements that may be introduced by authorities,” says Porter Airlines spokesman Brad in a statement via email.

Just keep in mind that prohibition is still in place until mid-October.

“Until cannabis legalization is official, the only allowance for travelling domestically is through having appropriate documentation for carrying medical cannabis,” cautioned the statement.

Porter also reminds travellers that crossing any border with cannabis can still get you into big trouble.

“It is important to understand that there is no provision for travelling internationally with cannabis, regardless of whether you going to or from a country with legalized use. It is illegal to do so today and will remain illegal after Oct. 17, including medical cannabis allowances.”

See also

Via Rail is taking steps to ensure that the transition to legal cannabis goes smoothly.

“As far as transportation of cannabis is concerned, a multidisciplinary working group has been created to better understand the potential impacts on VIA Rail and ensure the entire organization is well prepared for its legalization,” says VIA rep Mylène Bélanger.

The rail line doesn’t seem to be making any major changes that would directly affect a traveller’s experience, as long as they’re behaviour is within the confines of the law. VIA generally does not search passengers or their belongings.

“In all respects, VIA Rail will comply with all applicable legislation regarding the use and transportation of cannabis in public spaces,” says Bélanger.

“In reference to the use of recreational marijuana, we will continue to prohibit it onboard our buses and in our terminals in the same manner we prohibit alcohol. Our employees will not be permitted to use the substance as they are in safety-sensitive positions,” Greyhound Communications Specialist Crystal Booker told Daily Hive.

Alcohol is currently prohibited on Greyhound buses, whether in carry-on or checked baggage. Greyhound security sometimes searches luggage, but not every time for every route.

Passengers with prescriptions for medical cannabis could be exempt from this rule.

“Our policy on medical marijuana will follow established Canadian law,” says Booker.

Road Trips
The rules for travelling by car with cannabis vary widely from province to province, so if you’re thinking about a cross-Canada road trip, be sure to double check provincial legislation so you don’t get into a sticky situation.

And be sure not to drive stoned. It’s not a good look in any province, and officials may soon be screening drivers for THC.

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Emma SpearsEmma Spears

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