Study finds Canadians are confused about travelling with Cannabis

Published: November 29, 2018

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A survey by the Travel Health Insurance Association of Canada (THiA) found on fifth of respondents who are vacationing this year are not away of the rules around travelling with marijuana. 22% of Canadians that currently use the drug for medical purposes believe they can take pot onto a flight in carry-on luggage because it is now also legal for recreational use.

THiA executive director, Will McAleer, commented: “Even though cannabis has been legalized across the country, travellers need to be vigilant if they decide to travel with the drug. People work hard to enjoy their vacations and should be aware of all implications before they travel, regardless of whether they decide to travel with marijuana or not. The most popular travel destination for Canadians is the US, a jurisdiction where it’s illegal under federal laws to possess cannabis in any form.”

However, the framework of the Cannabis Act does not change Canada’s border rules. That means taking any marijuana in or out of Canada is still illegal and comes with serious penalties. Of course, entering other countries runs the risks of being subject to those nation’s laws and punishments.

“Legalization of cannabis in Canada and international travel aren’t compatible since you can’t travel with cannabis (whether recommended by a physician for medicinal use or bought for recreational use), and it’s still illegal in the majority of other countries,” commented Patrick Robinson, CEO of Canadian travel insurer TuGo.

No Insurance

The information is the latest data to show Canadians are not preparing properly for travel. Earlier this month, Allianz Global Assistance Canada (AGAC) released a study that found less than 1.4% of medical travel insurance purchased through its channels are for one of two-day trips.

“That is concerning, especially when you consider how many Canadians take short trips,” said Dan Keon, vice president of market management with AGAC. “Over 12.5 million Canadians have travelled to the U.S. this year for at least one night, according to Statistics Canada.”