Are Weed Disposable Vapes Allowed During Travel?

Electronic smoking devices, like vapes and e-cigarettes, contain lithium batteries and are considered dangerous products due to their risk of smoke, fire, and extreme heat. 

Between August 14, 2009, and May 3, 2024, 113 aviation-related incidents involving lithium batteries were due to e-cigarette and vape devices. If you’re planning to travel with a weed vape, here’s how to take your disposable vapes wherever you are in the USA.

Key Takeaways:

  • The Transportation Security Administration has different rules for handling cannabis vapes. Most vape pens are allowed but must be in your carry-on bags.
  • When traveling within the U.S., familiarize yourself with the state’s cannabis rules to ensure you can bring your vape with you.
  • You are allowed to bring marijuana paraphernalia, such as bowls or pipes, in your carry-on luggage.

Can You Bring Disposable Vapes on a Plane in the USA?

The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) protects the nation’s transportation systems to ensure freedom of movement. According to the TSA, vapes are permitted on planes but with specific conditions.

The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) warned airlines that devices using lithium batteries with a heating element to vaporize liquid pose fire risks. These devices must be carried in your carry-on bag and not in checked baggage.

TSA Regulations for Traveling with Marijuana Vapes

TSA regulation of marijuana vapes and regular vapes may differ. You can bring vape pens when you travel, but if they contain lithium batteries that last more than 100 watt-hours, you cannot check them in. 

If the cartridges for your vape pen contain THC, it’s important to know that there are regulations on the national level applying to it. It’s permitted to bring marijuana paraphernalia like bowls or pipes in your carry-on luggage.

Vapes in General

TSA implemented measures to prevent the heating element from being unintentionally activated on board the aircraft:

  • Each lithium-ion battery must have a Watt-hour (Wh) rating not exceeding 100 Wh or a lithium content of 2 grams for lithium metal batteries.
  • Each person can have a maximum of 20 spare batteries.
  • Spare lithium batteries must also be carried by one person or in carry-on baggage and individually protected to prevent short circuits. 

Can you bring cannabis oil or vape juice on a plane?

TSA adjusted its cannabis policy last year, but traveling with the substance remains unsafe. On their site, they stated that medical marijuana is also permitted in carry-on and checked-in baggage.

State cannabis rules vary greatly, from no limitations to strict penalties. TSA doesn’t search for drugs, but travelers must give up any questionable items at airport security.

Griffen Thorne, a cannabis law expert, advises against bringing cannabis on flights due to potential risks at airport security. The only exception is Epidiolex, an FDA-approved CBD medication for seizure disorders, introduced in 2018.

What Happens If TSA Confiscates Your Vape?

In places where recreational marijuana is permitted, authorities might not respond. TSA agents cannot arrest you, but they can confiscate the marijuana. Their website states, “The final decision rests with the TSA officer on whether an item is allowed through the checkpoint.”

Some officers may allow you to return the marijuana to your car, while others might simply ask you to dispose of it. As long as you comply with their instructions, you may be allowed to proceed through security and continue your trip. 

States with Specific Rules About Traveling with Weed Vapes

Medical cannabis cardholders can fly out of Portland, Oregon, without issue. As of 2018, this was not the case in Denver, Colorado, although it appears that TSA agents there are not actively searching for cannabis.

In Las Vegas, airport authorities have taken a different approach by installing amnesty boxes. Police direct travelers with cannabis to dispose of it, similar to how they would dispose of liquids exceeding the allowed limit for travel.

Despite these varied approaches to cannabis, U.S. travelers must understand that cannabis remains under national rule.

Are There Airline-Specific Policies for Vapes in the USA?

Almost all U.S. airlines require passengers to follow TSA regulations by placing all vape materials in carry-on bags instead of checked baggage. Passengers must also store vapes in their original packaging or containers to prevent the devices from being activated. All airlines prohibit charging vape pens on board.

Steps for Disposing Vapes While Travelling

When it comes to vape recycling, you need to know that there are two kinds of vape pens: one where you can remove the battery and one where it can’t. For the latter, you need to recycle the whole vape. 

  1. Remove the vape’s insides.
  2. Free the juice pod from the battery.  
  3. Cut the vape’s wires.
  4. Wrap the battery up and recycle.

How to Travel with Weed Vape in the US?

Pre-flight Preparation

  • Check Airline Policies. Visit your individual airline’s website or contact customer service to confirm whether there are additional restrictions or guidelines about vaping devices you need to follow.
  • Pack Appropriately. Pack vapes in your carry-on bag to keep your device within reach if you need to address any concerns at the security checkpoint. 
  • Prepare for Liquid Restrictions. Verify that your vape liquid cartridge adheres to the TSA’s liquid rules. Pack any cartridges in containers smaller than 3.4 ounces and store them in a clear, quart-sized bag. 
  • Battery Safety. Turn off your vape and ensure that any devices with removable batteries are appropriately secured. Cover battery terminals with tape and carry them in separate plastic bags.

At the Airport

  • Inform TSA Officers. Proactively inform the TSA officer at the security checkpoint about your vape device. 
  • Prepare for Inspection. Remove your vape and cartridge bag from your carry-on for separate screening. Place these items in a bin visible and accessible for TSA inspection.
  • Comply with Screening Requests. If security personnel request it, be prepared to power on your vaping devices. This is a standard procedure for many electronic devices to demonstrate that they function normally and safely.

Read also: A Guide To Buying Weed In Montreal

During Flight

  • Store your vape safely in your bag under the seat, in front of you, or in an overhead bin.
  • Using your vape on the plane is strictly prohibited. 
  • Do not attempt to charge your vape or any electronic device onboard the aircraft. 

Arriving at Your Destination

  • Check Local Rules. Be aware of the destination’s rules regarding vapes. Some places have strict regulations or bans that could impact your ability to use or even possess your vaping device.
  • Respect No-Vaping Zones. Even if vaping is allowed, be mindful of designated smoking areas and comply with local smoking and vaping regulations.

Know Before You Go

Traveling with vape pens, especially those containing cannabis, can be confusing due to varying rules. You can bring medical cannabis in your carry-on bags, but the TSA may still confiscate it. Whether an item is allowed depends on the TSA officer’s discretion. To avoid issues, check the rules for cannabis vape pens in the state you’re traveling to. For reliable products, visit GetLoud cannabis dispensary.

Frequently Asked Questions

Are the rules for packing vapes the same on domestic and international flights?

Yes. When packing vape devices, the primary rules focus on using lithium batteries, which is consistent with ICAO regulations. The liquid substances used in these devices may fall under different rules and restrictions. To ensure compliance, refer to the TSA’s liquids rule and consult your airline regarding any concerns about the substances based on your destination.

Does the ban on smoking on planes extend to vaping?

Yes, the ban on smoking on planes extends to vaping. The FAA prohibits the use of electronic cigarettes or vaping devices on all commercial flights, including those in the cabin and lavatories..

What if I forget I have my weed vape in my bag?

  1. TSA will likely confiscate the vape.
  2. Depending on the state and the amount of cannabis, you may face fines.
  3. TSA may call local authorities, especially if cannabis is prohibited in that state.
  4. You might experience delays or be prevented from boarding your flight.
  5. An incident could affect future travel experiences, with increased scrutiny at security checkpoints.

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