Flying With Edibles: What’s the Risk?

What you need to know before you fly!

cannabis and edibles iStock / rgbspace

Getting on a plane with cannabis has its risks that travelers need to be aware of before they attempt to join a different kind of mile high club.

Many who have attempted in legal states report a hands-off approach from the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) and law-enforcement agencies, while travelers in recreationally illegal states can occasionally run into some trouble with the law. In-order to reduce the chance of any run in with authorities, many travelers are throwing edibles in their bags as a way to minimize risk.

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Is it Safe to Fly with Edibles?

The TSA isn’t looking for marijuana and they especially aren’t likely to pull out your THC-infused chocolates to inspect them. What they are looking for are bombs and weapons, liquids, or anything else suspicious that could do some potential harm.

According TSA Guidelines, “…TSA security officers do not search for marijuana or other illegal drugs, but in the event a substance that appears to be marijuana or a cannabis infused product is observed during security screening, TSA will refer the matter to a law enforcement officer.”

So while this doesn’t mean you’re exactly in the clear, it does state specifically that TSA officers aren’t searching for your stash. And if they do find something, they’re going to call the local police, not the feds. And if you’re in a weed-friendly state, you’re likely to just be asked to throw it away.

While the TSA’s stance is hopeful for travelers, it doesn’t mean there is zero risk. If you’re not in a weed-friendly state there is the possibility you could get in-trouble. According to an article by the New York Times, eleven of 2.8 million passengers were detained and arrested at Florida’s Jacksonville Airport in 2016. Obviously that number is incredibly low, but it’s still a risk you should consider before traveling with edibles.

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Bomb sniffing dog in airport

IStock / chameleonseye

“When a person is found to have marijuana on them (an amount legal under Colorado law) at the TSA checkpoints, a Denver Police officer typically explains the airport’s rules and asks the passenger to dispose of the marijuana… In all of 2015, the number of people contacted at the TSA checkpoints about marijuana possession was only 29. That was out of 54 million passengers. The numbers have been so small that the police no longer track these contacts,” said Health Montgomery, senior public information officer, to the Thrillist in 2017.

Knowing this might make you feel a little safer about flying with edibles, especially since they’re the most inconspicuous way to get your weed on the plane. Even if you’re not flying out of Denver, Seattle, or Portland, flying with edibles isn’t going to set off any alarms…granted you do things right.

Packing Edibles in Your Checked Bag

Man in uniform standing at counter at checking point and watching at monitor with x-ray of luggage.

iStock / EvgeniyShkolenko

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If you have no other choice when flying with edibles to pack them into your checked bag, make sure you do it right. The last thing you want to do is pack your edibles into your checked bag in the original packaging they came in.

Have a THC gummies to take home as a souvenir from a weed-friendly state?  Put them in a bag of regular gummies that’s been emptied. Mints, same thing. Exchange original contents of tin for your weed mints and you’re basically good to go.

How to Get Your Edibles Through Security

Getting your edibles through security at the airport is really a no-brainer. Remember, TSA officers aren’t looking for your stash of weed chocolate or lollypops. Edibles are the furthest thing that looks like weed, which makes it much easier to get them through security than any other form of marijuana.

If you’re considering flying with edible, simply pack it with items that look similar. TSA might be less likely to raise concern by bag of weed-infused sour candies when they’re busy looking for bombs.

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If you want to take extra precaution when taking edibles through security (and you should), repackage what you’re planning on flying with. That weed-infused chocolate bar won’t get a second glance if its re-packaged in a Hershey’s wrapper. Same goes with a bag of sour candies that gets switched out with cannabis candies.

With many edibles coming in the form of a cannabis capsule, getting them on the plane is even easier. Simply disperse your THC pills into a regular vitamin bottle, and pack it into your carry on.

Final Thoughts on Flying with Edibles

If you want to get on a plane with weed, flying with edibles is the way to go. It’s by far the easiest way not to get found out and isn’t really noticeable at all when you know how to do it right. But you should still be aware of the risks involved and determine if it’s the best decision for you. 



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