Medical marijuana in CA and US: Rules for road, air travel

A reader asked The Bee: Can you travel with marijuana if it’s medical? See California and TSA rules on driving and flying with weed.

A reader asked The Bee: Can you travel with marijuana if it’s medical? See California and TSA rules on driving and flying with weed.

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The rules on traveling with cannabis, within California and out of state, can get finicky — even though weed is legal here and in other states.

Bee reader Samone Thompson asked The Bee’s service journalism team: “Can you travel with a little bit of weed if it’s medical weed for you because you have medical problems?”

It depends on where you’re going.

In California

If you’re driving within the state, you can carry weed with you, as long as you’re carrying the legal limit and you’re transporting it correctly.

In California, you can legally carry up to 28.5 grams of weed. You’ll be penalized if you carry more than 28.5 grams, or more than eight grams of concentrated cannabis — essentially about one ounce.

If you are a medical marijuana patient, however, you can carry up to eight ounces of dried cannabis, unless your doctor has special instructions.

And if you are using marijuana for medical reasons, according to the state Health and Safety Code, you can have the product anywhere in your car as long as:

You’re carrying a current identification card or a physician’s recommendation.

The cannabis or cannabis product is in a container or receptacle that is either sealed, resealed, or closed.

Otherwise, if you are not a medical marijuana patient, the legal way to travel with weed is for it to be sealed or put it in the trunk of your car.

If you’re caught with a cannabis product that has a broken seal, open packaging or have loose flower in your car, you could be fined up to $100.

At the airport

Some airports in California may allow travelers to bring the legal amount of weed, but the Transportation Security Administration officer and local law enforcement will have the final say on whether your weed can get through the checkpoint.

Marijuana and some weed-infused products, including some CBD oils, are illegal under federal law. However, items that contain up to 0.3 % THC on a dry weight basis or that are approved by FDA are allowed.

According to the administration, TSA officers must report suspected violations of law to local, state or federal authorities. It adds on its website that officers don’t search for weed or other drugs, but if something is found during screenings, they will contact law enforcement.

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This story was originally published March 2, 2023, 9:52 AM.

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Hanh Truong is a reporter on The Sacramento Bee’s service journalism desk. She was previously a freelance journalist, covering education and culture for PBS SoCal and music for

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