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Medical cannabis and travelling abroad

If you have a prescription for medical cannabis and are thinking about travelling abroad, we have put together some points to consider so you can travel abroad and return with your medication safely.

This page is for general guidance purposes only and should not be regarded as a substitute for taking advice from the embassy or authorities of the country to which you are travelling. You should keep yourself informed of the most up-to-date regulations for travelling with medicines containing a controlled drug, including returning with such medicines to the UK, on to ensure that carrying such medicines is permitted.

Can I bring my medical cannabis prescription on holiday?

Going on holiday abroad with medical cannabis is a complex subject, as there is no universal answer. The legality of medical cannabis varies from country to country.

As a good first step, you should always contact the embassy of the country you’re planning to visit. You’ll be able to check the legal status of medical cannabis and what you might need to take for visiting your destination country.

While some countries have legalised medical cannabis, other countries don’t recognise medical cannabis, with some countries giving out serious penalties if you’re found with medical cannabis, even with a prescription.

Assuming you’re planning on returning to the UK, you should also ensure that you read the requirements for bringing medicine containing a controlled drug into the UK here.

Steps you might need to take

You may need a letter of proof from your specialist doctor. This letter will likely need to be shown at the border of the destination country and should include the following information:

  • Your name
  • Your date of birth
  • The country or countries you’re entering and how long you’re visiting
  • A list of your medication and details on how much you are bringing, including doses and strengths
  • The name of the health condition that you need your prescription for
  • The signature of your specialist doctor

You might also need to submit a request to the embassy of your destination country, asking to travel with medical cannabis. They might have restrictions, such as the amount of medical cannabis you’ll be allowed to bring.

You should always carry a physical copy of these documents, but it’s also a good idea to keep a digital copy for easy access.

Your medication

Any medication you bring on holiday with you should be kept on your person, in its original packaging, with any corresponding documents within easy reach. You should check that the expiry dates of your medication shall be valid whilst you are travelling. It may also be a good idea to keep a copy of your specialist doctors’ contact details, in case you need to also provide this. If you’re travelling to a warm country, you should seek advice from a pharmacist about storing your medication.

If you’re unsure before travelling, or if you end up travelling and miss something important and find yourself in a difficult situation, support and further advice can be found from Release. They are a national registered charity that specialises in drugs and drug law.

Finally, if you decide you don’t want to take the risk, it’s important not to stop your medication without first checking with your doctor.

Further information

The following links are helpful organisations that can offer further advice, information, or support.

PLEA For Quality of Life with Medicinal Cannabis