Is Cannabis Use in Canada Covered by World Nomads?

October 17th 2018 was a green-letter day for Canada when the recreational use of cannabis was legalized, but are you covered if you're using?


Photo © Getty/Stephanie Nantel

Canada is only the second country in the world to legalize the recreational possession and use of cannabis. FYI the other one is Uruguay. While some US state laws allow recreational use, it is still illegal under federal law. It is also technically illegal in Netherlands – who knew!

So, the next time you visit Canada, legally you’re feel free to light up, but be aware - being intoxicated by anything, legal or otherwise, is not covered by travel insurance. More on that in a moment, but for now...

The rules about cannabis in Canada

You can have 30 grams of dried pot in your possession, that’s about an ounce. This is what 30 grams looks like.

It’s also not how you spell marijuana

You can also have the equivalent in non-dried marijuana – that’s about half of a mature well-fed plant. That’s not small, that sucker is going to be poking out of your pockets!

You can’t sell to, or use it with, minors, or ask them to obtain it for you. You can use it with other adults, but you can only buy through the official retail outlets (some are physical shops, some are online). The cost will vary depending on, among other things, state taxes and the variety of weed they are selling.

Is smoking and driving OK?

The law in Canada says you must not drive while impaired by cannabis use.

Impaired is defined as having between 2 and 5 nanograms of THC in your blood. If police find you behind the wheel with this level of high you could be fined up to $1000CAD. More than 5 nanograms, or you have been drinking alcohol AND using cannabis, the fine could be higher.

How much will get you over the 2 nanogram limit? Hard to say because it depends on the THC content of the pot you smoked, and how you smoked it - or ate it.  Consequently, the Canadian government says: If you are using cannabis do not drive.

Cannabis and travel insurance

Are you covered by your World Nomads travel insurance policy if you have been smoking pot? The short answer is “no”, your insurance won’t cover you if you’re under the influence and something goes wrong (see the don’t smoke and drive advice above). That would mean you are responsible for the cost of the medical treatment to patch you up.

Going home after a Canada bender

It is legal (and permissible) to carry cannabis on board an aircraft that is flying within Canada’s borders, but the usual no-smoking rules apply onboard an aircraft.

Cannabis is most likely not legal in the next country you visit and prior cannabis use may be a reason to refuse you admission, or worse, get you into trouble under their laws.

Illegal behaviour is NOT covered by travel insurance. What’s “illegal” is determined not by us, but by the authorities where you are at that moment, so stepping across a border could change your status and therefore your eligibility for cover. It’s something to think about before you finish off that last doobie at the Canadian departure terminal.

Important note

The information we provide about travel insurance is a brief summary only.

 It does not take into account your personal needs and does not include all terms, conditions, limitations, exclusions and termination provisions of the travel insurance plans described.

Please carefully read the policy wording available at for a full description of coverage.

1 Comment

  • Robert Merrell said

    Does this mean that if you have any canabis in your system you are not covered .
    You say if you are smoking ,but what If you smoked last week .

Add a Comment