Yo, what’s good fam? It’s ya boy, Dan, and today we’re talking about travelling with medical cannabis. Now, I know some of y’all out there might be getting hyped about the fact that medical cannabis is legal in 37 US states as of 2023 and all of Canada, but hold up before you get too excited. While it may be legal in some places, travelling with your medicine is still not something I recommend, especially if you’re in North America.
Whether you’re travelling by car, boat or plane, it’s risky to carry medical cannabis on your person or in your luggage. You could get hit with some serious legal problems and even face criminal charges. And don’t think you’re safe just because you’re driving through a state where it’s legal. The interstate highways in the US are under federal jurisdiction, so if you get stopped by a state trooper and they find your stash, they could confiscate it or even arrest you. Plus, crossing state lines with medical cannabis is still a federal crime.
And don’t even think about bringing your medicine on a plane. The TSA doesn’t play around when it comes to weed. Even if you’re only flying domestically, they don’t want any kind of cannabis or CBD products on board. If you get caught with anything, you’re gonna have to toss it in one of those weed amnesty bins at the airport (shoutout to Denver International Airport and Las Vegas Airport for having those). And if you’re a Canadian citizen, you can’t take your domestic medical cannabis abroad either.
Now, let’s talk about the EU. Medical cannabis legislation is all over the place when it comes to the member-states of the EU. If you have a prescription for medical cannabis and want to travel abroad with it, be prepared for a whole lot of paperwork. You’ll need to get approval from the relevant authorities and it could take a while.
If you’re a Dutch medical cannabis patient, you can find out more about what documents you need for travelling with medicine from the government of the Netherlands. They offer something called the 30-day Schengen Certificate which permits legal travel in up to 4 Schengen area countries. But if you’re outside the 26 Schengen countries, you’ll need a medical certificate in English too.
These certificates must be signed by your doctor and approved by the Central Administrative Office (CAK). Medical certificates are usually valid for one year and must also be signed by your doctor and processed by CAK, plus approved by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. And if that wasn’t enough paperwork for you already, it’s probably a good idea to contact the embassy of the country you plan to visit just in case there’s any additional paperwork required.
And let’s not forget that not all medical cannabis products are legal for travel. At present, only “authorised cannabis-based medicines” are legal according to a 2017 report by the European Monitoring Centre for Drugs and Drug Addiction (EMCDDA). Nabiximols sublingual spray, dronabinol capsules, nabilone capsules, and five strains of cannabis flowers by Bedrocan are authorised medical cannabis products for European travellers. But as more countries legalise medical marijuana (like Germany), this list is sure to grow.
But hey, maybe all this paperwork isn’t your style. Maybe you just wanna find a local source of legal medical cannabis instead. In Italy, medical cannabis has been legal since 2013 and in Spain there are private-member cannabis social clubs (kinda like Dutch coffeeshops) that operate in a legal grey area but are still tolerated. There’s also a smaller underground club scene emerging in Belgium and Switzerland too.
Finding these sources can be as simple as hitting them up on social media or checking out their websites or chat forums to see what kind of membership criteria they have. Maybe someone in your Facebook network can hook you up with some medical cannabis on your travels.
And if all else fails, there’s always CBD oil. CBD oil is more associated with nutrient supplementation than getting high these days, so it’s a more discreet option than carrying around actual buds. Luckily for us Europeans (and those travelling here), it’s legal throughout most of Europe and can be found in health shops all over the place. You could even order all your supplements online and have them delivered straight to your door.
So there ya have it folks – travelling with medical cannabis is possible but definitely not without its risks and complications. If you really need access to your medicine while travelling, plan ahead and choose destinations that are more weed-friendly (like Italy, Spain, or even Thailand). And remember – filling out tedious paperwork or reaching out to local sources is way better than ending up incarcerated abroad! Stay safe out there y’all!