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Matt Maurer speaks to Cannabis IQ about legally transporting cannabis

Torkin Manes' Cannabis Law Group Co-Chair, Matt Maurer, was featured in the recent newsletter, Cannabis IQ – Global News.

A reader asked:

If I have to move from my home to a new town, how can I legally transport my personal stash if it exceeds 30 grams?

Matt answered this one, starting by writing that “the question is a bit more nuanced than I thought, which is always fun.”

“The 30 g possession limit under federal law relates to possession in public,” he writes.

“My first thought was that if you were to put it in the trunk of your car (permissible in Ontario), you should be okay, because arguably the trunk of your car is not a public place. Even that had a bit of uncertainty because you could argue that the car is in public, the cannabis is in the car, and therefore you have more than 30 g in public.

“Indeed, some people have been charged after getting pulled over with more than 30 g (granted, usually it is way more than 30 g, the cannabis is illicit and the reason they have more than 30 g is because they are selling it). I haven’t read about anyone who got pulled over with 40 g of legal cannabis in its original containers and been charged.

“So then I thought about putting it on a moving truck (same considerations as above) or shipping it in the mail or via courier.

“Under the federal act, you’re also not allowed to distribute more than 30 g. My first thought here was, if you’re sending it to yourself are you really ‘distributing’ anything?

“But the definition of ‘distribute’ in the federal act includes: ‘administering, giving, transferring, transporting, sending, delivering, providing or otherwise making available in any manner, whether directly or indirectly, and offering to distribute.’

“So, it’s a bit unclear, and if you were to put it in the trunk of your car, on a moving truck or on a plane or courier, there are arguments on both sides — that you haven’t done anything wrong, and also that you have in fact done something wrong.

“I have a hard time believing that if a moving truck got pulled over, and they searched the entire thing, and found 40 g of LP cannabis packed away in a moving box, that you’d be charged with illegal possession or distribution. However, if you wanted to be absolutely safe then you have two options, or a combination thereof:

Transport it in multiple shipments or in multiple vehicles, with each shipment containing less than 30 g. Have yourself a VERY good time in the days and weeks prior to your move and get your personal stash under 30 g.”

This newsletter was originally published in Cannabis IQ – Global News. To read the complete article, click here.

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