Since the recreational cannabis use was came into force in Canada, every province has been managing small and big details about how to deal with it, because, of course, is not as easy as we would like. Airports are not an exception, so Vancouver decided to clarify the rules for those who want to get some vape before traveling.
Regarding to this new issue, the Vancouver Airport Authority (YVR) released a very clear statement related to smoking or vaping cannabis in its areas:
“YVR is committed to providing a safe, secure and healthy airport experience for everyone. We provide a smoke- and vape-free environment inside the airport—at all times and for all substances—and have designated smoking and vaping areas outside the terminal building for public use. Airport users, as a condition of using the airport facilities, must obey smoke-free and vape-free signage at all times and for all substances.
Smoking and vaping of cannabis is permitted on airport property in designated areas only—outside the terminal building in clearly marked areas. Persons smoking or vaping cannabis must use the facilities provided.”
Entering cannabis to Canada
Despite what we could think about the Bill C–45, the legalization of recreational cannabis in Canada does not change Canada’s border rules. Taking cannabis or any product containing cannabis into Canada is illegal and can result in serious criminal penalties both at home and abroad.
This also applies if you are travelling from places that have legalized or decriminalized cannabis. Transporting cannabis used for medical purposes is also illegal.
It is illegal to bring cannabis into Canada. If you do have cannabis or products containing cannabis with you when you enter Canada, you must declare them to the Canada Border Services Agency. If you do not declare cannabis products when you enter Canada, you can face enforcement action, including arrest and prosecution.
So yes, it’s a very restrictive law, be careful.
Travelling with cannabis outside or inside Canada?
Now is very simple to carry cannabis personal use inside Canada, is not the same if you plan to take it with you to another country. In fact, is illegal.
- Crossing international borders with cannabis is illegal.
- If travelling with cannabis in Canada, be aware that laws may vary by provinces.
Recently, Transport Canada released a statement expressing: “after October 17, 2018, passengers will be permitted to have a legal amount of cannabis, which is 30 grams, in either their carry on or checked bag, if they are flying to a domestic destination.”
It’s important to note that when flying between destinations, the legal age with which you can carry cannabis,must be at least 19 to possess adult-use cannabis, except for Quebec and Alberta where you only need to be 18. (Note that this might change in Quebec with the recent election. CAQ wants to raise the age limit to 21.)
Other means of transport
Via Rail is taking steps to ensure that the transition 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” VIA rep Mylène Bélanger expressed to the media.
The rail line doesn’t seem to be making big changes that would affect a traveller’s experience. 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” added Bélanger.
Before October 17th, a Greyhound rep expressed to the media that “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.”
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.
After October 17th, Greyhound has updated its cannabis policy to allow recreational cannabis to be stored in checked luggage. It is still prohibited to bring your stash in your carry on.
Medical cannabis will be allowed in carry-on luggage but “passengers should be prepared to declare it to terminal security and/or the driver, and present proper medical documentation.”
Smoking and vaping are not permitted onboard or in the Greyhound terminals/agencies.
Not only in Canada
The issue between airports and marijuana has been faced by other weed-friendly city. Recently, Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) also made some adjustments to its marijuana regulations, since September, you can bring a legal portion of the substance through airport security. Like in Canada, legalization of recreational marijuana has been a growing trend in the US as well.
Preparing a smoking area in airports shows a big step of tolerance, do you think it can be improved? how? Comment bellow!