Flying high: YVR's guide to travelling with pot
Less than a week ahead of legalization, the Vancouver International Airport published a guide for those who've considered flying high.
Recreational cannabis will be legal across Canada starting Oct. 17, but the rules regarding travel may be hazy for some. So staff at YVR are trying to clear things up, though they warn passengers it is up to them to review the rules before packing pot.
"It is the responsibility of those passing through YVR to understand and adhere to all applicable local, provincial, federal and international regulations regarding the carriage and possession of cannabis," the airport said in a statement issued Thursday.
Here's a quick look at what you need to know before tripping on your trip.
Can I light up at the airport?
Yes. Cannabis smoking and vaping is permitted at YVR, but only in designated areas. The interior of the airport will remain smoke- and vape-free, but both are allowed outside the terminal in marked sections.
Can I bring cannabis across the country?
It is legal for adults to travel within Canada with cannabis, the airport says, but laws differ province to province. Travellers should be wary of the legal age, as well as where they can legally purchase and consume cannabis products.
The airport says security won't be checking for pot, so screening lines shouldn't be any longer.
Not sure about the rules where you're headed? Check out this guide to legalization by province.
What about the rest of the world?
It is illegal to cross any international borders with pot, even if you're going somewhere where cannabis is legal.
You also can't bring cannabis into Canada from other countries, and you can't bring it through customs while still technically on Canadian soil.
YVR is a pre-clearance airport, meaning on many flights to the U.S., travellers clear customs while still in Vancouver, and are considered to be in the U.S. while still in the airport.
"They should not bring cannabis to the airport if they are travelling internationally. Leave it at home. Enjoy it later," Vancouver Airport Authority's Robyn McVicker said a news conference at the airport Tuesday.
"You could get on a flight and get to Hong Kong and be refused entry because you're in possession of cannabis."
What if I don't know the laws?
The airport's statement serves as a reminder that it's up to you to know the rules and obey.
"Please help us spread the word. This change is significant and, to avoid confusion, we recommend passengers do their research before setting out for the airport," the YVR guide said.
In B.C., people aged 19 and older can legally carry up to 30 grams of cannabis.
I brought pot to the airport anyway. What do I do?
For those who didn't realize the rules before getting to the airport, for now at least, they'll have to throw it in the trash.
Airports in some U.S. states with legal marijuana have installed amnesty boxes where cannabis products can be security discarded. It's something YVR may consider, but airport officials say they're not yet sure whether boxes will be necessary.
With files from CTV Vancouver's Sheila Scott
Wondering how police will enforce impaired driving laws post-legalization? Not sure about the medical benefits? Considering an investment in cannabis stocks? Worried about B.C.'s legal supply running out? Find the answers to your questions our dedicated microsite, Going Green.