Article by Scott Johnstone, Lift News
To some it may feel strange packing a quarter ounce of Sticky Icky into a carry-on bag, tucking it in between their toothbrush and socks. But one sign of the changing times is the increase in travellers who are legally allowed to carry and consume medical cannabis, and who are doing so while flying on major airlines.
While many Canadian cannabis users are enjoying this relatively new freedom, it may not be as simple as flashing a Health Canada license and walking on the plane. Lift has assembled some tips to help things go smoothly for you and your fellow travellers.
The Canadian Air Transport Security Authority (CATSA) states on their website:
“If you are travelling with medical marijuana, be prepared to show medical documentation. In airports where police are present, they will be called to verify your documents.”
While no guidelines have been provided as to what documents to bring, Lift suggests your ACMPR or grandfathered Health Canada license documents as a top priority. If your medicine is from a licensed producer, you may also be required to bring membership documentation and a sales receipt to prove your medicine came from from a legal source.
Make sure to keep your medicine in its original packaging, and pack it alongside its documentation in your carry-on luggage for easy access (and to prevent K9 units from flagging your checked baggage and causing further delays).
It’s generally recommended that you contact the airport directly, as well as the airline on which you’re flying, to let them know ahead of time that you’ll be travelling with medical cannabis. Give at least one to two weeks lead time, as they may not have had such a situation yet and might need time to establish procedures in line with CATSA standards. They may also inform you of additional requirements or policies to which you’ll need to adhere, so the more time you both have to get prepared the better.