Mother Knows Best: Can Canadians Bring Their CBD Oil While Traveling Internationally?
CBD may be chill in Canada, but think twice before bringing your medicine to the airport.
Published on June 19, 2017

Dear Mother,

I have a Canadian MMJ card for CBD oil. I'm traveling from Canada to California for 10 days in July and apparently I can't take my CBD oil on the plane because of the US federal ban.  Am I correct about this?

Also, do you know if I can get a California MMJ card as a Canadian resident so I can buy CBD oil while I'm in California, instead of taking it across the Canada/US border?



Dear Mike,

Thanks for writing in with your questions. You're right to be cautious and figure out all the legalities before you travel. You definitely don't want your vacation to be interrupted by a preventable legal matter.

You are correct that it is illegal to fly with cannabis products in the US because it it still federally illegal, regardless of whether you're flying to or from a place where cannabis is legal in some way. The skies aren't completely friendly when it comes to cannabis — at least not yet. That said, if you are insistent on trying to take your CBD oil with you when you travel, you can check out the various articles we've written about air travel with marijuana. But always remember, between travel bans and customs, flying internationally adds extra layers of security and scrutiny for you to deal with.

While I know you mentioned you'll be flying, I'd like to highlight that anyone who is traveling via car across the border should exercise caution, as well. I spoke with a California lawyer whose specialty is cannabis law (and who asked to remain anonymous). He advised anyone traveling across the US/Canadian border not to say anything about cannabis, particularly if you're Canadian. And he also stated that the legality of CBD is a complex issue, and, as a result, he would advise traveling with it.

It will be up to you whether you feel comfortable and confident enough to travel internationally with your CBD oil. If you choose not to bring it with you, there are still some other options. There are actually a number of doctors and telemedicine services that can be used to obtain a recommendation in order for you to get a MMJ card in California so you can still obtain your CBD oil. However, they may not publicize that they write these recommendations for out of state patients. So you may need to do a little leg work on your own to find one that will be able to help you out. While you don't need to actually have a California state ID, you may still need an ID showing you have US residency, which might not help you out if you’re a born and bred Nuck. But you never know what can happen unless you try (don't worry, just attempting any of those services won't get you on some list or anything, so it can't hurt!).

If trying to obtain a card that way doesn't pan out, your best bet might just be to befriend a California resident with a card who would be willing to help you out with your predicament. After all, California's mellow vibe might just play into your favor here. Whatever you end up doing, I wish you luck in your travels!

— Mother

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Mother Knows Best
Mother Knows Best is written by a freelance writer with over 20 years of experience with cannabis. And yes, she also happens to be a mother, just not yours. Reach her with your question at [email protected]
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