Before your trip: Cannabis laws you should know
Getting ready for a road trip? Naturally, you’ll want to pack—and eventually consume—your cannabis! Yet even if the personal use of recreational or medical cannabis is permitted in your neck of the woods, there are factors that may hinder your ability to legally enjoy it away from home.
While it’s a downer to do so, let’s be practical and get the “Can’t” list out of the way first.
You can’t pack your cannabis if:
You’re crossing state borders. “But, I live in a legal state, and I’m headed to a legal state!” you might say. Totally get it. However-- we’re still living in a state-regulated world. To cross over state lines, you’re dealing with the federal law. Read: If you pass the border, your once-legal cannabis is suddenly reclassified as a federally illegal schedule 1 drug.
Are troopers waiting on the other side, ready to persecute you? Likely not. But, practicing responsible use of cannabis is one of the best ways we can hope to see such restrictions lift. So, when you leave the state, leave your bud behind (for now).
You’re taking to the sky. If you’re traveling from one pot-legal state to another, you may naturally think you’re free to fly. But just like our highways and byways, our airways present the same federal restrictions. This includes an in-state flight; San Diego to San Francisco, for example.
Yes, plenty of articles exist on how to fly with cannabis and edibles, but if you’re aiming to be a sensible consumer, following the law is the only way to avoid total risk.
You can’t consume your cannabis if:
You’re in a car. This goes for drivers AND passengers alike. The one exception to the rule? Taxi drivers in Denver may permit their backseat passengers to light up at their own discretion. This is a special, Denver-specific law, which doesn’t apply in other Colorado cities. So, the next time you’re taking a cab to the Bronco’s game, you go ahead and enjoy that pre-roll (if your driver is down)!
You’re in a public place in the US. Technically, ALL public consumption is illegal in America. This includes state parks, nature preserves, beaches, public campgrounds… you name it. Depending on what state you’re in, the repercussions generally mean a fine, if not more. Fines tend to go up if you’re in proximity to a school or day care. Take note.
It’s no surprise if “Thanks for the buzzkill” is your response to the “Can’t” list! But, chin up… let’s get into the brighter side of cannabis consumption, and its expanding acceptance.
420-friendly Hotels More and more hotels are becoming “420 friendly,” aka, supportive of your use. You’ll still have to visit a local dispensary to purchase cannabis. We learned from Marijuana Tourism guru my420tours.com that many larger hotel chains are beginning to permit cannabis, but they’re not eager to advertise it. They do require you to use a vaporizer for flower- but don’t worry, you can rent one.
Weedrentals.com is another good resource for finding smaller, 420-friendly inns, B&B’s and home rentals across the nation.
Cannabis Cafes & Lounges. There are a select number of canna cafes in the US, with Barbary Coast dispensary of San Fran setting the stage for what’s destined to become a thing.
According to Forbes, more cannabis cafes are coming, though not soon enough for people in public housing, or renters with anti-cannabis landlords. (Add such locations to the “can’t” list!) Massachusetts just approved a “social consumption” pilot program to address the need. #progress
It may be awhile before we see these spots get off the ground, but we’ll ride on Forbes’s optimism for now. Word has it that Vegas might see its first legal cafe(s) before the end of the year.🤞
Cannabis-friendly campgrounds. Yes, they do exist! Though public consumption is a no-no, private landowners are jumping on the 420-friendly bandwagon. You can find legal campsites if you look hard enough. Just like the hotel scene, it’s probable that more tentable accommodations will come out of the cannabis closet as time goes on, comfort levels go up, and laws relax.
Speaking of laws…
We love the laws & regulations section of weedmaps.com. Their skimmable reference shares how old you need to be to consume, the legal possession limits for flower and concentrates, and details on things like public use and permitted places of purchase. Broken down state-by-state for medical and recreational consumption, it’s a resource you’ll want to bookmark when your adventures ensue.
We hope you’ll make the effort to model mindful, responsible cannabis consumer wherever your travels take you! If you visit a Curaleaf along the way, don’t forget to tag us @curaleaf.usa on Instagram.