Part one of our “if you are going to travel during the pandemic, here is what you can and can’t do” series.
For starters, we will focus on travelling within Canada since there have been so many questions. Where can you go? Where can you drive to? Can you stay in a hotel? Can you bring your weed with you? Then, I will move on to international travel options. Maybe you have already recovered from COVID and are willing to take your chances on a trip abroad? Maybe you are ready to roll the dice and finally visit family or you may have to travel for work?
In Ontario, you can now rent airbnb’s, stay in hotels and rent cottages since most of the province is currently in Stage 3 in pandemic recovery mode. In fact, many airbnb’s are catering their rentals to COVID conscious travellers, offering contactless, self check-in, enhanced cleaning protocol and/or longer vacancy periods between guests. But, if you want to leave the province, check the situation in your desired destination. For instance, BC has just announced new limits on rental properties due a recent spike in Covid19 cases.
Hotels are open, often at reduced capacity but your stay will feel much different. Some of the adjustments include contactless check-in, keyless room entry, potential temperature checks, no room service, no extra pillows or blankets in the room and guarantees of guest rooms being vacant for a period of 48 hrs or more between guests. Check with your hotel first, before booking and then check again closer to your travel dates as the pandemic recovery plans continue to evolve. For camping in Ontario Parks, you can check the website for up to date information here.
First up: Travelling in Canada with Cannabis
One of the silver linings of sticking to Canada and leaving Tuscany to hopefully next summer is that you can, indeed, take your cannabis with you, wherever and however you travel. You might want to rent an isolated cottage or cabin and enjoy the end of summer and fall seasons with some kayaking or hiking. You may prefer to stay in a small, trusted hotel and spend your time exploring wineries, eating on patios and enjoying the great outdoors. Each province has it’s own self-isolation rules but this is all very fluid. Before you set out for any type of trip outside your own province, check with your destination to see what their current restrictions are. Your safest bet is to stay within your own province, travel in your own vehicle and don’t venture too far from home as travelling between provinces might still be allowed but it is not recommended.
We all know the rules around travelling with alcohol but I still get tons of questions about travelling with cannabis so, I reached out to someone who could answer your questions.
I spoke to Maria Acededo, the Director of Brand Marketing at High Park Company to get the lowdown. Basically, as long as you are at the minimum “age of majority” (19 yrs old, in most Provinces and Territories), you can safely travel with a maximum of 30 grams of flower or the equivalent. Helpful comparisons = 5 grams fresh cannabis= 15 grams edible, 70 grams liquid, 0.25g concentrates and 1 cannabis plant seed.
You can carry your cannabis in your car (or boat) if it’s still sealed in its original packaging — no different than booze, and it should be out of reach of everyone in the vehicle. Make sure you pack it away in a bag and stored in the trunk. Don’t even think about leaving your infused chocolate in the glove box during the summer in Canada. I can’t believe that even needs to be said.
You can also fly with it in either checked luggage or your carry-on bag but don’t forget the 100ml limit on liquids if you are planning to travel with oils. I would still check with each airline and province to see if they have their own set of requirements to be safe.
Can you consume in hotels, public spaces like parks and patios? “It depends where you are,” says Acededo. “Some hotels and Airbnbs do not allow cannabis consumption in or around their properties, but others are 420-friendly so do your research. In British Columbia, Ontario, Alberta and Quebec, the rules around cannabis consumption in public spaces are similar to tobacco use, which means you can generally consume in open outdoor spaces, like parks, but not enclosed ones, such as on patios. Other provinces (Saskatchewan, Manitoba, New Brunswick, Newfoundland and Labrador, Prince Edward Island, the Yukon) forbid consumption in public spaces.”
In Parks Canada Campgrounds, you can consume cannabis at your campsite BUT not in any common areas. Remember, it’s a pandemic so you should be avoiding common areas as much as possible anyway. When you are not on a Parks Canada campground, check the official regulations for the area you are planning to visit.
Grown-up camping treat: grab your favourite cookie – mine is Anna’s Cappuccino Things, slather on a dollop of dulce de leche, slap a square of Chowie Wowie milk chocolate on top, toast a marshmallow, top with a second cookie and enjoy the campfire!
Aside from treats like Chowie Wowie Chocolates, I love the Hibiscus Tea and the Ripple THC powder from The Green Organic Dutchman for travelling. You can throw the Ripple powder into anything – into a can of soda, a glass of juice or a bowl of soup. The flavourless, odourless powder comes in a handy little pixie stick and the Hibiscus tea is delicious and easy to throw in your purse for a quick nighttime tea or cold brew it all afternoon in a water bottle.
NOTE: It’s not necessary, but I would strongly advise everyone who wants to take a holiday within Canada, to get a COVID test first for some peace of mind. While you are travelling, take all safety precautions, travel only with people that are within your household, or your tightly controlled bubble. Wear your mask, maintain social distancing as much as humanly possible, consider protective eyewear as well as a mask for travel on any sort of plane, train or bus. Be responsible and stay safe.