Some licensed operators in Alaska are transporting their products on commercial airplanes with the blessing of local and airport officials, according to an Alaska Dispatch News report. Using planes to ship products in-state is necessary for some canna-business owners in Alaska because their communities are accessible only by air or sea.
Michelle Cleaver, owner of Weed Dudes in Sitka, has been flying with her dispensary’s products since December and hasn’t had any problems yet, she said. Cleaver indicated that she alerts local police of her arrival ahead of time and when she gets to security she tells the TSA that she has cannabis in her carry-on bag – as much as five pounds of flower and 65 pounds of edibles.
The TSA, though, doesn’t search for cannabis and if it is discovered they call local law enforcement – who know Cleaver is coming.
“As long as they have all of their proper Marijuana Control Board documentation … they can continue to travel at their own risk,” Deputy Chief Aaron Danielson of the Fairbanks International Airport Police and Fire Department, said in the report.
Cleaver says she doesn’t tell the airline itself that she is flying with cannabis, though, because according to Federal Aviation Administration regulations an airline is at risk if it knowingly carries marijuana and the airline could decide to contact federal authorities because the plane flies in federal airspace.
Mike Emers, owners of Fairbanks’ Rosie Creek Farms, said he too has started flying with his products, calling it “a little nerve-racking.”
“As long as you let people know what you’re doing, and that you’re within the law … I don’t see a problem,” he said.