Flying with CBD Oil to Canada: Be Aware

CBD, short for cannabidiol, derived from the hemp plant is legal in the United States. Flying with hemp-derived CBD products, including CBD oil domestically in the United States became legal in 2019. Under TSA’s policy, your CBD product must not contain more than 0.3% THC, short for tetrahydrocannabinol.

⇒ Recommended: Flying with CBD domestically in the United States

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 such as traveling with CBD from the United States into Canada or traveling with CBD from any other country into Canada.

⇒ Recommended: Flying with CBD to Mexico

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? No, it does not because hemp is technically a cannabis plant.

Industrial Hemp Is “Cannabis” 

Canada legalized cannabis use for adults, including CBD derived from the cannabis plant and from the industrial hemp plant. The law is known as the Cannabis Act and it became effective 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, because hemp is cannabis and the CBSA restricts bringing cananbis into Canada, all hemp-derived CBD products are cannabis based products.

Therefore, crossing the Canadian border with hemp-derived CBD oil, even if it is 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 travel with CBD Oil in your carry-on or in your luggage, you are required to declare it to the CBSA. Failing to declare your CBD oil could delay your travel if CBSA discovers you have CBD oil with you. Your CBD oil can also be confiscated and the CBSA has the discretion to arrest you and file charges.

The declaration form you’ll receive on the flight does not list any questions about CBD oil. You’ll be asked those questions once you arrive in Canada, as you go through customs. At this time, you’ll be required to complete an electronic questionnaire at one of the Kiosks. This questionnaire, which serves as a declaration, lists questions that ask if 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

While CBD oil is legal in the United States and in Canada, you cannot fly with CBD oil from the USA into Canada, or vice versa. If you depend 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. CBD oil is legal in Canada and can be purchased without a prescription.

The information provided in this post is for general, information purposes only and does not constitute legal advice. The information provided is current as of the time this post was written, but the laws and regulations of Canada may change in the future. You should always do your own independent research, including, but not limited to, contacting the Canada Border Services Agency, Health Canada, and/or the airline to learn if they have up-to-date information on traveling with CBD from the United States to Canada.

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