Flying with CBD Oil to Canada: Be Aware
CBD, short for cannabidiol, derived from the hemp plant is legal in the United States. In mid-2019, it became legal to fly with hemp-derived CBD products, including CBD Oil (also commonly referred to as hemp oil) across state lines within the United States so long as the CBD product contained no more than 0.3% THC, short for tetrahydrocannabinol, in accordance with TSA’s policy.
Since CBD Oil is legal in the United States and TSA allows you to travel with it, can you fly with CBD Oil from the United States to Canada? The short answer is no, you cannot. Below, we outline the “why.”
TSA’s Policy Only Applies to Domestic Travel
TSA’s policy only applies to domestic travel – i.e., if you are traveling from one state to another within the United States. This policy does not apply or govern international travel, which includes traveling from the United States into Canada.
The Canada Border Service Agency Decides What Items You Can Bring Into Canada
When it comes to CBD Oil, the Canada Border Service Agency (CBSA) issued a statement addressing whether you can travel with cannabis including CBD Oil to Canada:
“transporting cannabis across the border in any form - including any oils containing THC or cannabidiol (CBD) - without a permit or exemption authorized by Health Canada remains a serious criminal offense subject to arrest and prosecution, despite the legalization of cannabis in Canada.”
This prohibition applies regardless of:
- how much or little cannabis you have with you,
- whether or not you have medical documentation that authorizes you to use cannabis for medical purposes, and/or
- whether you’re traveling from an area that has legalized or decriminalized cannabis.
Note that CBSA’s travel rule only refers to cannabis and doesn’t mention the hemp plant. Does this mean that CBD Oil derived from the hemp plant is an exception to the travel rule? While the CBSA’s statement doesn’t specifically address CBD Oil from the hemp plant, hemp-derived CBD products appear to be included in this prohibition.
Industrial Hemp Is “Cannabis”
Canada legalized cannabis use for adults, including CBD derived from the cannabis plant including CBD derived from the industrial hemp plant under the Cannabis Act, which came into force on October 17, 2018.
Canada defines “industrial hemp” as cannabis containing no more than 0.3% THC. The CBSA prohibits the transportation of cannabis across the border. The CBSA makes no distinction between cannabis the marijuana plant and cannabis the industrial hemp plant. Reading these together, it appears that because industrial hemp is considered cannabis and the CBSA restricts crossing the Canadian border with cannabis, all hemp-derived CBD products are deemed to be cannabis-derived CBD products for purposes of the CBSA’s rules for traveling with CBD Oil to Canada.
Therefore, at this juncture, crossing the Canadian border with hemp-derived CBD Oil, even if its THC free, remains illegal.
Application to Other Types of CBD Products
Can you fly with hemp-derived CBD gummies, CBD pain cream, CBD dog treats, CBD skincare products or other types of CBD products to Canada?
CBSA’s prohibition applies to any form of cannabis and not just CBD Oil. This means you can’t fly with any type of hemp-derived CBD product to Canada.
If You Have CBD Oil With You: What You need to Know
If you do happen to fly with CBD Oil in your carry-on or you packed your CBD Oil in your baggage, be aware that you’re legally required to declare it to the CBSA and failing to do so could lead to arrest and prosecution.
The declaration form you’ll receive on the flight does not list any questions regarding CBD Oil or cannabis for that matter. You’ll be asked those questions once you arrive in Canada, as you go through customs. During that time, you’ll be required to complete an electronic questionnaire at one of the Kiosks, and that questionnaire, which serves as a declaration, lists question(s) asking whether you have CBD Oil with you.
CBD Oil Purchased in Canada: Traveling Back to the United States
Can you bring CBD Oil you purchased in Canada when you fly back to the United States? No, you can’t.
The prohibition mentioned above makes it illegal to cross the Canadian border with CBD Oil, meaning it applies when you’re entering and leaving Canada.
Summing It Up
Even though CBD Oil is legal in the United States and CBD Oil is legal in Canada, you can’t fly with CBD Oil from the United States to Canada or vice versa. If you intend to fly with Canada and are dependent on your CBD Oil for medical purposes, here’s a couple of suggestions you can explore.
You can contact Health Canada for further guidance including whether you may fall into an exception for traveling with CBD Oil for medical reasons.
Another option is to leave your CBD Oil at home and buy CBD Oil when you’re in Canada. Remember that CBD Oil is legal in Canada and can be purchased without a prescription.
Sources + References
Canada Border Services Agency: Travelers – Bringing goods across the border
Canada Border Services Agency: Taking cannabis (marijuana) or products containing cannabis across the border remains illegal!
Government of Canada: Cannabis and international travel