Busted! Going through airport security with CBD cream can be trickier than you think

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Oh Canada, that bastion of northern liberalism, legalized cannabis in the fall of 2018, so air travel with CBD cream some 3 years on is no problem – right?

Guess again.

Going through airport security yesterday on a domestic Canadian flight presented two problems:

They wanted to know what CBD was. I explained – it drew a blank stare – so the security guy who pulled it from my carry-on bag called someone else over, presumably his boss. They quickly conferred and decided it was okay.

Second, Canada and the US have a rather weird cream rule: Creams must be in containers no larger than 3.4 ounces. But my CBD (above photo) was a fraction above weight – a 4 oz jar – so it does not get to pass go. At which point you’re given a choice: dump it (65 bucks worth) or check your bag (30 more dollars).


So I proposed a third option: How about if I remove half the cream and put it in another container that I happen to have on me and that way the original container will no longer weigh 4 ounces?

More blank stares, a longer conference this time – and they went for it!

So they escort you back out of security, supervise your offloading of half the CBD cream from the first container into the second, then have you go through security one more time.

Where you meet the ‘cream lady’ again – the person who takes your bags from the trays on the conveyer belt and runs them through the scanner – and who had watched my CBD bust unfold a feet downstream just minutes earlier.

She remembered me. I had arrived quite early and so no one else had been through security in the meantime.

Sternly this time, she asks: “Are you carrying any creams with you that are not packed in accordance with Transport Canada rules”?  

The question was troublesome. The rule says the container must be 3.4 oz or less “regardless of the amount inside.” Since I still had my 4 oz container, now half full of CBD cream, I was clearly violating the rule.

But at this point there was only one possible answer:

“No ma’am,” I lied.  

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