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Flyin’ High: 2022 Cannabis Travel Guide

Leah Fishman

Vermont, USA

Weed, marijuana, cannabis, pot, grass, ganja, dope, mary jane, hash, 420: we’re talking about that good good stuff. It’s been used medicinally for thousands of years. Politics in the 20th century led to the criminalization of weed around the world, but lucky for us, that legal status is quickly changing.

As countries move toward legalization, cannabis as an industry is blowing 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 2022.

2022 Guide to Cannabis Travel

Where is Weed 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 2021):

Weed Legalization Map By State

Legalized: Alaska, Arizona, California, Colorado, Illinois, Maine, Massachusetts, Michigan, Montana, Nevada, New Jersey, Oregon, South Dakota, Vermont, and 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 weed legalization by state

Weed Legalization Map By Country

Legalized: Canada, Georgia, Mexico, 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, 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 weed legalization by country

Can You Fly With Weed?

Now that we’ve figured out the most weed-friendly countries and states (and where to buy it safely), one question remains: how do you 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 420-friendly 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.

Can You Bring a Vape Pen on a Plane?

Yes, you can bring a vape pen on a plane, but only in your carry-on. The Transportation Security Administration states that “The FAA prohibits these devices in checked bags. Battery-powered E-cigarettes, vaporizers, vape pens, atomizers, and electronic nicotine delivery systems may only be carried in the aircraft cabin (in carry-on baggage or on your person). Check with your airline for additional restrictions. Remove all electronic cigarette and vaping devices from carry-on bags if checked at the gate or planeside.”

While there’s no specification on the TSA website about whether marijuana vape pens fall under this policy, vape pens and marijuana vape pens are indistinguishable. When traveling with any type of cannabis product, use common sense and keep your products concealed for the duration of your trip. The use of vape pens and marijuana or otherwise is obviously forbidden on the plane and will result in passenger arrest.

Can You Fly with Medical Marijuana?

Yes, generally, you can fly with medical marijuana in both your carry-on and checked bags in the US— 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. 

To ensure you do not run into any trouble, travel with your medical marijuana card, pack your weed in airtight containers to contain the odor, and only fly with small amounts of weed that won’t attract attention.

Is It Legal To Fly With Recreational Weed?

Is it possible? Yes! Is it legal? Nope. However, many recreational marijuana users feel comfortable flying with small amounts of weed. They, of course, follow a few simple steps to ensure to avoid any trouble.

As previously mentioned, when traveling with weed and weed products, always place them in your carry-on, not your checked baggage. Checked bags are regularly searched at random, so your best bet at avoiding unwanted attention is to pack your weed in your carry-on in a nondescript, airtight container. Pill bottles are great for joints and small amounts of cannabis.

If you plan on flying with weed, keep in mind that you are breaking the law. If you’re flying with a large amount of weed and you are caught, you will likely be charged with the intent to distribute, which is a serious offense, so only fly with small amounts.

Should You Fly With Edibles?

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.

What Happens If You Get Caught With Weed at the Airport?

According to TSA spokesperson Lisa Farbstein when speaking to the Wall Street Journal, “If a TSA officer comes across [pot] while they’re conducting a bag check, they are obligated to report it to the police, and then it’s up to the police how they want to handle it.” The severity of your punishment will depend on three factors: the amount of weed you’re traveling with, your location, and the officer’s mood. Farbstein goes on to say, “It’s up to the officers to make those sorts of decisions.” If you’re flying with small amounts of weed in a legal state, you’ll likely be waived through, asked to put your weed in an amnesty box, or simply have your weed confiscated and thrown out.

Remember, it is still a risk and getting arrested is always a possible outcome. Flying with any amount of marijuana over what is considered “a small amount” is asking for trouble, even in 420-friendly states.  

How Do You Bring Weed On a Plane?

Okay, so you understand the risks. Now what? Use common sense and only travel with a small amount. When packing your weed, remember to only pack marijuana products in your carry-on bag. It’s vital to use an airtight container to hold your weed, edibles, and pre-rolled joints. If your container is not airtight, the easily identifiable smell will not be contained and you’ll probably get caught. Ziplock bags, pill bottles, and marijuana-specific stash devices are ideal containers for flying with marijuana.

Can you Travel with Weed Across State Lines?

Generally speaking, traveling with weed across state lines is not a good idea. So leaving Colorado after a mountain vacation with weed in tow could have severe consequences. Unlike TSA agents, cops do prioritize finding weed. Additionally, cops tend to pull over travelers as they cross state lines. If a cop claims they smell marijuana, they probably have cause to search your vehicle. If you do plan on crossing state lines with marijuana, keep your weed in an airtight container and store it in your locked glove compartment where a cop would need a warrant to search.

Should You Travel With Cannabis When Visiting Different Countries?

Marijuana tourism isn’t just an American phenomenon. Weed legalization has spread rapidly across the globe. While stoners have been traveling to Amsterdam to sample the Dutch café culture for decades, countries like Canada and Argentina have recently legalized recreational marijuana. Still, countries with legalized recreational marijuana forbid crossing borders with the drug. So, not only can you not pack your favorite space cakes and pre-rolls in your suitcase after your trip, you can’t bring any weed into the country either.

Everything You Need to Know About Dispensaries

David Tran Photo / Shutterstock.com

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 Dispensaries 

Medical dispensaries provide patients with a secure location purchase medically prescribed cannabis to sooth and treat ailments. They’re 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 US) 

Recreational Dispensaries

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 US.

420-Friendly Hotels

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, 420 resorts and hotels are popping up all over the place. 

Pro tip: Cannabis-centric sites like Bud and Breakfast and Cannabis Hotels offer databases of listings for weed-minded travelers.

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. 

CBD-Friendly Spas

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.

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.

420 Festivals and Events

420 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.