Are you planning a trip to another state to try some legal cannabis? We at Cannabis & Tech Today understand this whole “legal weed” tourism thing is fairly new and you might have some questions. We are here to help.
A recent study by the Pew Research Center found 61 percent of Americans believe marijuana should be legalized. This is encouraging news for the nine states that recently passed legislation permitting the use of recreational cannabis. The surge in approval ratings is causing an onslaught of tourism for pot-friendly states.
If you are one of the thousands of visitors hoping to enjoy the cannabis culture available in a nearby state, you may be wondering what to expect during your stay. Hopefully, you are also interested in learning some marijuana etiquette to employ during your travels. This guide should answer some of your pressing concerns and offer a few tips for enjoying responsibly.
Can I buy it?
Before traveling to another state to partake, make sure they have legalized recreational marijuana consumption. If it is a medical-only state, you would have to obtain a medical license, which is only available to full-time residents. When visiting a place where recreational consumption is legal, you may purchase all variety of cannabis products if you are over 21 years old and have an I.D. to prove it.
How much can I have?
Many states with legalized recreational cannabis vary on the amount of flower an out-of-state visitor may purchase in a day. The average legal quantity available for purchase tends to be one ounce or less. For example, a visitor to Colorado may legally obtain up to one quarter ounce of cannabis at a time; whereas in-state residents may purchase up to one full ounce. According to the Official State Web Portal of Colorado, this rule applies to all forms of marijuana, including edibles and concentrates.
Cash or credit?
Federal law still considers marijuana to be a class 1 substance and prohibits banking institutions from accepting money obtained from the sale or distribution of the product. With this in mind, many dispensaries do not accept credit or debit card payments for marijuana transactions. The purchase of weed is still largely a cash only enterprise, so stopping by an ATM is a wise decision before visiting the dispensary.
How do I transport my purchase?
First and foremost, you cannot legally transport any marijuana products across state borders, even from one legalized state to another. Second, you will need to take the cannabis to a private place to enjoy it. The Colorado Department of Transportation takes the following stance on the issue: “Neither drivers nor passengers are allowed to open any marijuana packaging and use the product while in a vehicle. You can be charged with a traffic offense if the marijuana product seal has been broken, some of the product has been consumed, and there’s evidence that it was used in the car.”
Interestingly, RVers may have an advantage in this situation, as open containers are permitted within RV living spaces as long as there are no open containers within the passenger area. So, consuming in the car is illegal, but you still need to get the product from point A to point B.
According to Colorado Springs lawyer Steven T. Rodemer, “The best advice I can give on this issue is to place it in a closed trunk. This way, if you are stopped by law enforcement, there’s no question that you weren’t consuming it.”
Where can I consume it?
Now, brave cannabis tourist, you have your products and are ready to partake. Unfortunately, public consumption of any marijuana product is illegal. You may only ingest cannabis in a private residence, certain private social clubs, or in cannabis-friendly hotels. You are also prohibited from using any weed substances on federal lands, such as National Parks.
What else should I know?
When visiting a legal cannabis state, keep these few points of etiquette in mind: consume discreetly and privately, never drive while under the influence, respect the locals and their varied viewpoints on the topic, and ingest your products in low doses and at a slow pace until you are familiar with their potency and subsequent effects.
Now that you have a general cannabis travel guide, be sure to do your own research on the area you intend to visit in order to ensure your safety and adhere to local laws.