Weed, marijuana, cannabis, pot, grass, ganja, dope, mary jane, hash, 420: whatever you call it, we’re talking about that good good stuff. It’s been used medicinally for thousands of years, likely dating back to China around 2700 BC. Politics in the 20th century led to the criminalization of weed around the world, but lucky for us, its legal status is quickly changing.
As countries move toward legalization, cannabis as an industry is blowing the eff up. Weed dispensaries, weed festivals, weed trips, weed hotels— the options for getting lit when you travel are pretty much endless.
While more and more folks are getting their hands on the good green, the rules, regulations and laws remain super hazy. Can you travel with weed? Across state lines? On a plane? How do you purchase it legally? What are the best places for weed vacations? Are there weed…parties???
To help answer all of your questions (and more), here’s our complete guide to cannabis travel around the globe in 2020.
Is this sh*t even legal?
In 2018, Canada made headlines when they became the second country in the world (after Uruguay) to fully legalize and regulate marijuana nationwide.
Wondering if weed is legal in your country or state? Here’s the scoop on the legalization of cannabis around the world (updated December 2019):
Weed maps: cannabis legality by state
Legalized: Alaska, California, Colorado, District of Columbia, Illinois, Maine, Massachusetts, Michigan, Nevada, Oregon, Vermont, Washington
Medical & Decriminalized: Connecticut, Delaware, Hawaii, Maryland, Minnesota, Missouri, New Hampshire, New Mexico, New York, North Dakota, Ohio, Rhode Island
Medical: Arizona, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Indiana, Iowa, Kentucky, Louisiana, Montana, New Jersey, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, Texas, Utah, Virginia, West Virginia
Decriminalized: Mississippi, Nebraska, North Carolina
Illegal: Alabama, Idaho, Kansas, Mississippi, Nebraska, North Carolina, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Wisconsin, Wyoming
For up-to-date info, view this map of Cannabis legality by state.
Weed maps: cannabis legality by country
Legalized: Canada, Georgia, South Africa, Uruguay
Illegal (but often unenforced): Bangladesh, Cambodia, Egypt, Finland, India, Iran, Laos, Lesotho, Morocco, Myanmar, Nepal, Pakistan, Poland, Thailand
Medical & Decriminalized: Argentina, Australia, Austria, Bermuda, Chile, Colombia, Croatia, Czech Republic, Estonia, Germany, Israel, Italy, Jamaica, Luxembourg, Malta, Mexico, Netherlands, Peru, Poland, Portugal, Slovenia, Spain, Switzerland
Medical: Cyprus, Denmark, Finland, France, Greece, Ireland, South Korea, Lithuania, New Zealand, North Macedonia, Norway, Philippines, Romania, San Marino, Sri Lanka, Thailand, Turkey, United Kingdom, Vanuatu, Zimbabwe
Decriminalized: Antigua and Barbuda, Belgium, Belize, Bolivia, Costa Rica, Ecuador, Moldova, Saint Kitts and Nevis,
Illegal: Afghanistan, Albania, Algeria, Andorra, Angola, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Bahamas, Bahrain, Barbados, Belarus, Benin, Bhutan, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Botswana, Brazil, Brunei, Bulgaria, Burkina Faso, Burundi, Cameroon, Cape Verde, Central African Republic Chad, People’s Republic of China, Comoros, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Republic of the Congo, Cuba, Djibouti, Dominica, Dominican Republic, East Timor, El Salvador, Equatorial Guinea, Eritrea, Eswatini, Ethiopia, Fiji, Gabon, Gambia, Ghana, Greenland, Grenada, Guatemala, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Guyana, Haiti, Honduras, Hong Kong, Hungary, Iceland, Indonesia, Iraq, Ivory Coast, Japan, Jordan, Kazakhstan, Kenya, Kiribati, Kosovo, Kuwait, Kyrgyzstan, Latvia, Lebanon, Liberia, Libya, Liechtenstein, Macau, Madagascar, Malawi, Malaysia, Maldives, Mali, Marshall Islands, Mauritania, Mauritius, Micronesia, Monaco, Mongolia, Montenegro, Mozambique, Nambia, Nepal, Nicaragua, Niger, Nigeria, Oman, Palau, Panama, Papua New Guinea, Qatar, Russia, Rwanda, Saint Lucia, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Samoa, Sao Tome and Principe, Saudi Arabia, Senegal, Serbia, Seychelles, Sierra Leone, Singapore, Slovakia, Solomon Islands, Somalia, South Sudan, Sudan, Suriname, Sweden, Syria, Taiwan, Tajikistan, Tanzania, Togo, Tonga, Trinadad and Tobago, Tunisia Turkmenistan, Tuvalu, Uganda, Ukraine, United Arab Emirates, United States, Uzbekistan, Vatican City, Venezuela, Vietnam, Yemen, Zambia
For up-to-date info, view this map of Cannabis legality by country.
Traveling with Weed Q&A
Now that we’ve figured out the best weed-friendly travel destinations around the world (and where to buy it safely), one question remains: how do I fly with that good green? The answer is…it’s complicated.
Even if you’re in a state or country where cannabis is legal, the moment you walk into an airport, you are officially in federal jurisdiction territory.
For example, if you purchase cannabis and are flying out of a cannabis-safe state, like Colorado, you’re technically still breaking the law because cannabis is illegal on a federal level and strictly prohibited on all federal property in the United States.
Still confused? Here are a few questions (and answers!) on what you should expect before flying with weed in the U.S:
Q: Can I fly with a vape pen or e-cigarette?
A: Yes, but in your carry-on bag only. According to the Transportation Security Administration (TSA), you can carry “battery-powered E-cigarettes, vaporizers, vape pens, atomizers, and electronic nicotine delivery systems in carry-on baggage or on your person.”
Q: Can I fly with medical weed?
A: Yes, generally, you can fly with medical marijuana in both your carry-on and checked bags in the U.S (with some restrictions). Marijuana and some cannabis-infused products (CBD oil), are still illegal under federal law unless the products contain no more than 0.3 percent THC. If caught with more, TSA is well within its rights to report violations to local, state or federal authorities.
Q: Can I fly with recreational weed?
A: Legally? Not yet. Marijuana is still an illegal drug under federal law. Bringing legally purchased pot past a security checkpoint can still get you in big trouble if caught.
Q: Can I fly with edibles?
A: While still illegal if purchased for recreational use, if you want to get on a plane with weed, flying with edibles may be the easiest way to go. Store all edibles in your carry-on and remove all of the original packaging for the best chance of making it through TSA safely.
Q: What happens if you get caught with cannabis at the airport?
A: It depends on the airport. Airports in states where recreational use is legal typically ask you to dump your marijuana in an amnesty box or toss it in the trash. If medical and within legal limit, most officers will let you through security as normal. Worst case scenario? Because weed is illegal under federal law, you could be arrested.
Remember: TSA offers are there to keep you safe (not bust you for drugs!) As long as you play it smart, you should be just fine.
Q: What can I do to reduce risk when flying with cannabis?
Remove all original packaging: Remove all edibles and CBD products from their original packaging and store them in a clear, air-tight container or baggie.
Separate your device: If traveling with a vape pen, we recommend that you compartmentalize your gear. Keep your e-liquids and batteries separate. Don’t forget to empty and clean everything before packing.
Keep it close by: When in doubt, keep everything in your carry-on.
How to: Weed Dispensaries
In 1970’s Amsterdam, you could walk into a “coffeeshop,” lay down a few guilders, and walk away with legal cannabis and paraphernalia without a worry. It took the rest of the world a few years to catch up, but today, dispensaries — or weed shops—are popping up like crazy around the world.
Medical cannabis dispensaries provide patients with a secure location purchase medically prescribed cannabis to sooth and treat ailments. Medical dispensaries are usually regulated and taxed differently than recreational cannabis dispensaries, so prices may very between the two. Before visiting a medical dispensary, you’ll need:
- A prescription from your doctor, medical cannabis certification, or whatever else is required by your state.
- A valid, unexpired ID or passport (in most cases, you must be 18 or older to obtain medical cannabis in the U.S)
Our fave medical dispensaries
Farma Dispensary (Portland)
Unlike medical dispensaries, recreational dispensaries are available for people without a prescription from a doctor. Adult-use/recreational shops require fewer prerequisites than a medical dispensary, but there are still plenty of things you need to know before visiting. Before visiting a recreational dispensary, you’ll need:
- A valid, unexpired ID or passport (you must be 21 or older to purchase recreational cannabis in the U.S)
Our fave recreational dispensaries
Weed and a good night’s sleep is pretty much synonymous. It may be illegal to smoke inside most public spaces around the world, but hotels, hostels and resorts have found plenty of ways to skirt the law in favor of a good time.
From mini-bars filled with edibles at The Standard in LA to weed welcome kits at the Jupiter in Portland and wake-n-bake samplers every morning at Adagio in Denver, weed stays are popping up all over the place.
Our fave cannabis hotels
Cannabis Cafes & Clubs
If you’ve been to Europe, you’ve definitely heard of cannabis cafes. But what about cannabis clubs?
The first cannabis club popped up in Barcelona in 1991 as a way to legally obtain and consume weed in the city. While recreational weed is still illegal in Spain, clubs are able to exist on a technicality: Consumption and cultivation by adults in a private space is totally legal.
Cannabis clubs are members-only spaces and work just like a dispensary. The only catch is that all goods need to be consumed inside the club.
Our fave cannabis cafes & clubs
We get it, you love weed. But do you love it enough to let a stranger rub it all over your body?
CBD—or cannabidiol, a non-psychoactive component of cannabis—is pretty much everywhere these days, with users claiming it boosts health, eases pain, and has all the soothing benefits of weed (without the high).
From CBD hydrotherapy, massages and facials to lotions, oils and scrubs, there a endless of ways to heal your body and mind while on vacay.
Our fave CBD-friendly spas
420 Tours and Weed Vacations
As cannabis legalization continues to spread across the globe, a new type of seeker is emerging: cannabis travelers, or people who look for cannabis-friendly destinations for some much-needed R&R (without giving up the green).
Don’t have a full vacation to devote to cannabis tourism? Try a cannabis tour! From “weed and wine” tours at CannaVines in Ukiah to party buses and custom experiences with 420 Tours in Denver, cannabis tours are the perfect way to make new friends, celebrate, and (safely) smoke the day away.
Our fave 420 tours and weed vacations
Weed Festivals & Events
420 friendly events and festivals are generally a good time, but believe it or not, they also help break stigmas and pave the way for legalization around the world.
Festival organizers pull off throwing events in states and countries where cannabis is still illegal via the Temporary Autonomous Zone principle—creating temporary spaces that elude formal structures of control.
Today, cannabis festivals attract hundreds of thousands of attendees around the world with live music, classes, demos, and more.
Our fave weed festivals & events