Can You Transport Weed from One Legal State to Another?

Posted on October 30th, 2023 to Education by

With more states than not now legal to some degree, a lot of questions are emerging among the general public and business owners. The growing acceptance of cannabis as a consumer product means it is growing less intimidating to tuck weed into a vehicle and set out on the road.

Not to mention, many states that share a border are now legal, such as Massachusetts and New Hampshire or Connecticut and New York. But can you transport weed across state lines? What about for the purpose of commerce? Find out the answers below.

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Can You Transport Weed from One Legal State to Another?

Unfortunately, transporting weed across state lines is technically illegal, even if both states are weed-legal states. As odd as it may sound for it to be illegal to simply drive cannabis from one legal state to the next, federal laws govern state boundaries. And, unfortunately, federal law states that cannabis cannot be carried across state lines. Therefore, technically, you could be at risk if you decide to try.

There is, however, some ambiguity when you step outside the cut-and-dry laws created by the federal government. In practice and in reality, the likelihood of the Drug Enforcement Agency or a federal agent waiting to nab everyday people at state lines with cannabis is something that’s not really taking place.

In short, the feds have bigger fish to fry than catching people carrying small amounts of cannabis from one legal state to the next. But transporting large volumes of cannabis across state lines is something entirely different.

But What About Transport for Interstate Cannabis Commerce?

Unfortunately, unless the United States government chooses to reform the current laws, there is no interstate cannabis commerce. All cannabis industries operate within the states they are created, from the products grown to the products sold to customers, without affiliation with neighboring states.

For example, a dispensary owner in Massachusetts cannot rely on a processor outside of MA for inventory, even if the availability of products within the state is limited. This is one reason newly legal states are slow to meet demand when dispensaries first open. Cannabis is an agricultural product and must work its way through cultivation and processing before it can be made available on dispensary shelves.

There are some states taking steps to change cross-border cannabis commerce, however. For example, Oregon, California, and Washington State on the West Coast have passed laws that would allow cross-border commerce with neighboring states. However, all but California have stated they will not proceed with doing so unless federal laws change, so they don’t face unintended consequences.

While there are supporters of a nationwide change that would allow interstate cannabis commerce, some in the business and even in state governments are firmly against the idea. The latter group fears that allowing transporting weed across state lines commercially would inhibit the profitability of the market in some states.

What About Transporting Weed on a Plane?

Transporting weed across states on a plane is also illegal. The same federal interstate travel laws apply regardless of the means of transport. In fact, customers traveling with cannabis on their person will likely not make it through TSA when they try to board a flight. And, due to restrictions on interstate commerce, bulk cannabis or cannabis products can also not be flown across state lines.

What Happens If You Are Caught Transporting Weed Across State Lines?

In the event you are caught transporting weed across state lines, you could definitely face some pretty serious consequences, even if it is your first offense. The laws written in the U.S. Code do not differentiate or make exceptions if someone is simply caught traveling from one legal state to the next or not.

The feds treat interstate travel with controlled substances as drug trafficking offenses, which you definitely do not want on your record. Additionally, it should also be noted, the charges can be based on just how much weed you are transporting. Therefore, if you are a business owner, and you are caught taking a shipment over state lines, even if by accident, you could face some of the stiffest penalties.

Repercussions for being caught transporting weed across states include:

  • Confiscation of the cannabis or cannabis products
  • Sentencing to federal prison for up to five years
  • Fines of up to $1 million or more

Keep Your Cannabis Shipments Safe and Legal with Cannabis Transport

Bottom line, taking the risk of transporting anywhere near a state line is simply not worth it. A simple misstep, misguided direction, or detour to shorten your trip could mean losing your product and other massive concerns. At Plymouth Armor Group, we offer cannabis transport services that ensure your product and your business stay within the law at every level. Reach out to discuss how we can help.

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