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Barebones Cannabis Travel Requires Only Edibles

A quick search of The Cannabist for articles containing both the words “airport” and “arrest” yields a handful of posts, yet few (if any) mention the arrest or citation of passengers leaving the Queen City of the Plains with cannabis on their person.

While some would assume this means travelers are abiding by federal regulations, such is not the case, as evidenced by the kind of missteps that make this writer wonder if one was looking to get caught. It seems, for now at least, that visitors and residents have cracked the code to safe departures with plenty of ganja-laden goodies in their bags.

Black human silouette in front of a shaded window exhaling a cloud of smoke

April 27, 2017


Following several rules of thumb—namely, keeping the stash in your carry-on, suppressing skunky odors, leaving dab tools at home, and only carrying clean glass—has allowed dab rigs and ounces of flower of every size and color to ride the friendly skies unnoticed… and therefore uninterrupted. If large amounts of flower and glassware aren’t on your packing list, one would do just fine taking only these three things: some carefully selected edibles, concentrates, and a cheap, rechargeable vape pen.

While picking out edibles is usually a matter of dosage and personal taste, air travel requires that they can be transported without suspicion and do not require refrigeration. Instead of tying myself in knots trying to figure out how best to handle a stack of brownies or protect a fancy chocolate bar from the inevitable, I stick to my holy grail: a snack-sized Ziploc of gummies hidden in plain sight.

One baggie among several TSA-approved snack items bears no further scrutiny, though your mileage on my logic may vary, of course. It’s a pleasant side effect to save major coin on snacks in the duty-free’s; it’s astonishing how much such establishments can – and do – charge for a bag of trail mix and 12-oz. of dehydrated green apple fruit rings. When it comes to transporting concentrates, plastic or silicone containers are optimal; beyond that, the only advice worth heeding is to allow yourself room to bring a small selection.

No point in depriving yourself over a few measly cubic inches, in my opinion. As for hardware, a run of the mill dual-coil vape pen shouldn’t cost more than $35 in a local head shop. A wise friend told me not to pack it if I couldn’t afford to replace it, and following his advice has saved me from many a stressful situation when suffering from mild paranoia at an international security checkpoint.

While the convenience of pre-loaded cartridges cannot be overstated, with few exceptions they suffer ill effects due to pressurization during air travel and are better left at home if untested. Though paperclips and toothpicks aren’t quite as elegant as some of the tools I’ve managed to collect, no one will bat an eye at their presence in your carry-on.

Like any other routine, the key to making cannabis consumption work "on the road" is simplifying and making do with what you’ve got on hand.

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