November 03, 2022 5 min read

THC-O is like cannabis 2.0. It’s super potent, federally legal, and easily accessible, which makes it a popular choice for social events. The question is–can you have THC-O in your car? In other words, since THC-O is legal to buy and consume, is it legal to drive around with and carry to parties?

It's a tough question to answer. It's really a matter of state regulations since transportation isn't really addressed by federal law. In all honesty, there aren't many hard and fast rules about carrying hemp-derived THC products in your car.

To try to answer this question, we’ll need to take a look at state regulations in states where cannabis is legal. Then, be sure to also check your local state regulations to determine whether THC-O is legal near you. For now, here are our recommendations on driving with THC-O safely:

Table of Contents
Is it Legal to Drive with THC-O?
State Laws for Cannabis Transportation
THC-O vs Cannabis Transportation Laws
How to Carry THC-O in Your Car
Where to Get Legal THC-O Products

Key Takeaways

  • There are generally no specific state laws regarding how to transport Delta-8-THC.
  • It's best to transport Delta-8 and its original, sealed container, in an area that is out of the driver's reach.
  • If your state has laws regarding cannabis transportation, apply them to transporting Delta-8-THC as well.
  • Individually packaged Delta-8-THC products may be the most convenient option for traveling with Delta-8.

Is it Legal to Drive with THC-O?

As we mentioned, you first need to check your local laws and regulations regarding THC-O products. It probably goes without saying, but it's illegal to carry THC-O in your car in any state where THC-O is legal. This includes if you are crossing state lines or traveling across multiple states–THC-O must be legal in every state you intend to cross into for any amount of time.

That’s not all–local regulations also come into play. While THC-O is federally legal and may not necessarily be banned at the state level, local law enforcements sometimes has different ideas about how to regulate THC-O and other hemp products while on the road. Sometimes, its simply that they are unfamiliar with THC-O and it’s newfound legality. Either way, you need to be prepared and ensure that you are carrying THC-O in a legal manner.

State Laws for Cannabis Transportation

After you've verified that THC-O is legal in your state, you can also check state law to see if there are any transportation regulations. To date, we're not aware of any state that has specific transportation laws regarding THC-O products, but hemp laws are evolving rapidly across the country, so it's definitely worth a check.

In lieu of THC-O transportation laws, we'll take a look at the laws regarding how to travel with cannabis products in states where high-THC cannabis is legal. Again, there are no federal laws here, so you'll notice that there are some discrepancies in cannabis transportation laws from state to state.

Still, these laws can give you a basic idea of how to safely carry THC-O in your car in a manner that may be considered “most appropriate” by legal standards. Most cannabis transportation laws are similar and involve storing cannabis in its original container in a place that is out of the driver's reach.

For instance, Illinois state law allows the transportation of cannabis in a motor vehicle providing it is stored in an odorless, childproof container that is completely sealed and is placed in an area that is out of the driver's reach. Storing cannabis in any other type of container, having it in an unsealed container, or in an area that is directly accessible by the driver is considered a class A misdemeanor.

Colorado has similar laws. In Colorado, however, cannabis can be stored in the passenger area of the car as long as it is in a sealed container. Travelling with cannabis in an open container is considered a traffic violation.

California also has a closed container law, and breaking the law can be grounds for a fine of up to $100.

In Massachusetts, cannabis cannot be stored in any area of the car designed to carry passengers. That means that cannabis cannot be stored in the cab of the car, including in the glove compartment. Instead, you must carry cannabis in a closed container in the trunk or equivalent area of the vehicle.

It's important to note a few things:

  • In all states it is illegal to consume cannabis in a motor vehicle. This usually includes when it is stationary. Signs that cannabis has been consumed in the vehicle can be grounds for arrest.
  • It is illegal and unsafe to drive while under the influence of cannabis, including hemp-derived THC products. Doing so can result in a DUI.
  • An "open container" generally refers to any container that has had its original seal broken. Having the lid on does not make the container a "closed container." It must be properly sealed.

As you can see, most cannabis transportation laws are similar from state to state. The primary difference between states are the penalties associated with breaking the laws. With that said, let's look at how these cannabis transportation laws compare to THC-O laws:

THC-O vs Cannabis Transportation Laws

We mentioned that THC-O laws regarding transportation are generally left untouched in most states. That means that travelling with THC-O is presumably legal so long as buying THC-O is legal in the state. You cannot, of course, travel with THC-O while under the influence of THC-O.

In all other areas, we recommend combining the strictest regulations in order to cover all bases. The primary difference in THC-O vs cannabis transportation is that it is always illegal to transport high-THC cannabis products across state lines or to carry it on any federally owned land. Because THC-O is federally legal, the same restrictions may not apply, but you should make sure that you are not breaking any state laws while transporting THC-O products.

How to Carry THC-O in Your Car

To clear things up, we want to recap the basics for carrying THC-O in your car in areas where THC-O is legal to buy and consume:

First, if you live in a state where it's legal to carry high-THC cannabis products in your car, follow the same state regulations when carrying THC-O products.

If you live in a state where cannabis is illegal but hemp THC products are legal, we recommend the following:

  • Carry THC-O products in their original, sealed container.
  • Also carry any receipts or lab results that came with the product that prove its THC content.
  • Place the container and documentation in the trunk of your car.
  • Consider travelling with individually packaged products, like gummies or candies, so that you will not have leftovers to travel with after the container has been opened.
  • Do not consume THC-O products in your vehicle and do not drive while under the influence.

Where to Get Legal THC-O Products

Before you can safely and legally drive with THC-O products, you have to ensure that the THC-O you buy is safe and legal to begin with. We recommend finding a brand that uses clean, USDA certified hemp material and routine third-party testing to ensure label accuracy.

At Vida Optima, our Elev8 Collection includes a variety of different hemp-derived THC-O products, like our THC-O + Delta-8 Vape Pens. All Vida Optima products are 100% Farm Bill compliant, third-party tested, and made from premium, U.S. grown hemp.

Vida Optima Elev8 Collection

Resources

  1. “Illinois Information for Purchasers” https://www.idfpr.com/FAQ/AUC/FAQ%20-%20Information%20for%20purchasers.pdf
  2. “Reisch Law Firm LLC: Is It Legal to Drive With Marijuana in the Car?” https://reischlawfirm.com/legal-drive-marijuana-car/
  3. “Colorado Legal Defense Group: Driving With an Open Marijuana Container in Colorado CRS 42–4–1305.5” https://www.shouselaw.com/co/defense/laws/driving-with-open-marijuana-container/
  4. “Cannabis Law Group: Cannabis in Your Car – California Vehicle Code” https://www.marijuanalawyerblog.com/cannabis-in-your-car-california-vehicle-code/
  5. “Cannabis in Massachusetts: Recreation Use of Cannabis by Adults is Legal” https://www.visit-massachusetts.com/state/cannabis-marijuana-in-massachusetts/

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