Are you thinking about sneaking your THC-loaded edibles on your next flight? Hmm, you might want to consider a few factors before making your final decision. And to be extra clear, the definition of “edibles” in this post is anything type of food infused with cannabis. So now that we have this out of the way, let’s dive into the legal side of things. And see whether or not flying with edibles is actually worth it. But most importantly, is it legal? (Spoiler: It is NOT legal under federal laws)
By the way, if you’re super anxious about flying, and the only way to calm down is by smoking a blunt or taking an edible before your flight. I just want to inform you: We are 3 times more likely to die by choking on food than dying in air accidents.
What Does TSA Say About Flying With Edibles?
“Marijuana and certain cannabis-infused products, including some Cannabidiol (CBD) oil, remain illegal under federal law except for products that contain no more than 0.3 percent THC on a dry weight basis or that are approved by FDA. (See the Agriculture Improvement Act of 2018, Pub. L. 115-334.) TSA officers are required to report any suspected violations of law to local, state, or federal authorities.”TSA
BUT! To be extra clear. In this case, the TSA is referring to medical marijuana. So technically, you are allowed to have cannabis-infused products in both your checked and carry-on luggage as long as it contains no more than 0.3 percent THC on a dry weight basis or is approved by the FDA.
However, according to the TSA’s official website, the final decision on whether or not an item is allowed through the checkpoint, still lies in the TSA officer you’re dealing with. So to put it more frankly: it kind of just depends on your luck.
If you’re wondering what the difference between Medical Marijuana and Recreational Marijuana is, check out this article.
So…Is It Technically Legal?
Once an individual enters into the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) checkpoint, the individual is automatically subject to the laws of the federal government. And under federal laws, all cannabis and its infused products are illegal.
However, according to TSA (as mentioned above), cannabis-related products containing no more than 0.3 percent THC or those that are approved by the FDA are technically legal to transport in your carry-on and checked luggage. The main role of TSA officers is to check for explosives and weapons that can potentially bring a plane down. Can your edibles bring down a plane? that is the question…
Here’s what TSA says on its Instagram profile:
How Risky Is It?
Since searching for marijuana-infused products is not on the TSA’s everyday to-do list, some of us might be tempted to try and sneak some edibles on the plane. Actually, quite of lot of us have successfully gotten away with it.
According to the New York Times interview with an airport spokesperson, “Out of the 54 million passengers that went through the Denver International Airport in 2015, the TSA only stopped 29 people for possession of marijuana“
So I did my little quick maths here…29 divided by 54 million equals to 0.000000537
Meaning that the chances of getting caught while flying with edibles (at least in Denver Airport) is around 0.00005 percent. HMMM, that actually doesn’t sound too bad.
You see, this is where things can get complicated. Your fate will depend on:
- The airport you’re at
- The TSA officer
- The amount of cannabis in question
- The local law enforcement officers.
Once the TSA officer discovers a cannabis-infused product that doesn’t comply with the TSA rules. He/she, under federal law, must notify the local law enforcement department. Meaning that at this point, everything that happens next will depend on the local law enforcement. And most importantly, which state you’re at.
If you’re at LAX (Los Angeles International Airport), then you might not have to worry too much. According to the LAX Marijuana Policy:
As of January 1, 2018, California law allows for individuals 21 years of age or older to possess up to 28.5 grams of marijuana and 8 grams of concentrated marijuana for personal consumption.Los Angeles International Airport
But if you’re a little bit less lucky, and just happen to get caught in a state where marijuana is not legalized. Then the consequences will depend entirely on the local laws. So before even considering flying with edibles or other cannabis products, make sure to check the local marijuana laws of the states you’re flying from and flying to. And refer to this map to see whether or not these states have legalized marijuana yet. Generally speaking, flying to states like California and Colorado where both medical and recreational marijuana is legalized, will be much less risky than let’s say Texas or North Carolina.
What If I Have A Medical Marijuana Card?
This question can also be a bit tricky. Under federal law, it doesn’t matter whether you have a medical marijuana card or not. Possessing cannabis is still considered a crime. But, having a medical marijuana card on you might still be helpful if you get caught.
TSA officers are not responsible for figuring out whether your medical marijuana ID card is legit or not. Therefore, the TSA officer may call in local law enforcement in a case like this. However, some states in the United States recognize out-of-state marijuana ID cards and some don’t.
For example, Arizona recognizes out-of-state marijuana ID cards but does not allow out-of-state patients to visit local dispensaries. Whereas in states like Florida, your out-of-state marijuana authorization will not be valid under their local law. For more information on which states recognize out-of-state marijuana authorization, check out this site.
States That Accept Out-Of-State Marijuana ID Cards
- New Hampshire
- Rhode Island
- Washington DC
What If I MUST Bring Edibles?
If for whatever reason, flying with edibles is a must on your check-list. Then please do it with caution, and make sure that it’s super discrete. For example, if you’re bringing cannabis gummy bears, then mix it into a bag of regular gummy bears so that the TSA officers can’t tell the difference. As for cannabis chocolate bars, replace the wrappers with regular Hershey’s chocolate bar wrappers.
I mean, if somehow the TSA officers still manage to find your edibles, then props to them! Someone give them a raise! Haha. Oh yea, and if your edibles have a really strong smell, consider investing in a smell proof bag just in case.
***IMPORTANT! Make sure that you edibles are SOLID***
Any liquids that you put in your carry on must follow the TSA liquid rule. And therefore must be packed in a clear quart-sized bag. You do not want your edibles to show up on the security scan. Because if they do, you will be asked to take them out. And at that point, your chances of getting caught will increase substantially.
Also, if you must bring edibles, put it in your carry on bag. Since checked-bags get scanned and often times manually searched by TSA officers.
Make Sure To Not Get TOO HIGH
It would actually be so funny if you manage to get through TSA with no problem, but end up getting kicked off the flight for getting too high. So please, make sure to know your limits. And if this is your first time doing edibles, I DEFINITELY would not recommend that you do it on the plane. Oh gosh, imagine the horror of suffering a bad trip thousands of feet above sea level. Ufff…
Is Flying With Edibles A Good Idea? The Verdict
I think we all already know the answer to this. NO! It’s not a good idea.
And I know this is not the answer you wanted to hear when you searched this question on Google. But hey, I’m just being honest. If one of my friends were to come up to me and ask,
“YO! I’m sneaking 200 grams of edibles on my flight to Alabama. It’s gonna be lit! what do you think? Is it a good idea?”
Even though the spontaneous and chill version of me is super tempted to say “Heck yes, do it! You only live once!” But the other me, who has common sense and is super risk-averse, would without a doubt advise my friend to rethink their decision.
And so here I am, as that wise, careful, and super cautious friend (that you probably don’t like, haha!) advising you to rethink your decision. Which states and which airports are you flying to and flying from? Have you checked their local laws? And if you decide to take the risk and bring edibles on your flight, have you found a way to make it super discrete?
I can’t force anyone to make any decisions in their life. Just as no one can force me to make any decisions in my life. At the end of the day, we are responsible for our own actions. And so the verdict is: I personally wouldn’t recommend flying with edibles or flying with marijuana in general. But hey, who am I to tell you what you should or should not do?
For more travel tips, make sure to check out: