Is it legal to ship cannabis? The answer is more complicated than you’d think


The volume of parcels globally was up to 131 billion in 2020. With so many shipments going through, you may be wondering how everything is tracked. Could certain items fall through the cracks?

For instance, is mailing cannabis a thing? With marijuana use becoming more mainstream, where does law enforcement draw the line?

If you are a marijuana user, you will want to know where you can and cannot ship cannabis. Fortunately, our guide below has got you covered.

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Is It Legal to Ship Cannabis?

Mailing cannabis products is illegal—full stop. This law applies to flower, edibles, vapes, etc. It also applies to medical marijuana.

Postal workers play a pivotal role in making sure no cannabis products are shipped in the US. Part of their role with the USPS is to work and identify illegal drug traffickers.

Penalties for Mailing Cannabis

While some states have legalized the possession of cannabis, mailing cannabis is still considered a federal crime no matter where you are. When you use the USPS for any illegal activities, it’s seen as a felony.

Cannabis is a Schedule I drug so anything 50 grams or less could cost you up to five years in a federal penitentiary. If you were to attempt shipping more marijuana, the penalties only increase.

Similar penalties apply even if you’re the recipient. You’ll be just as guilty since you’d have knowledge of the shipment, etc. If this were the case, then you’d be liable to face prosecution in the state it was sent from and in yours.

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The exceptions? Hemp and Delta-8

Hemp and hemp-based products like CBD can be shipped legally via USPS, FedEx, and UPS. This is because they have less than 0.3% THC and are therefore legal under the US Farm Bill. Certain state laws may prohibit this though, as well as shipping vaporizers.

What about delta-8 THC? Delta-8, a hemp-derived cannabinoid with mild psychoactive properties, currently resides in a legal gray area. This means that while you will probably be able to have Delta-8 shipped to you and ship it yourself, there is still risk involved since it is technically legal, but can easily be mistaken for Delta-9 or traditional THC. Also, Delta-8 has been made illegal in certain states.

Here’s how some major shipping companies handle CBD and Delta-8:


Just like USPS, you won’t want to start mailing cannabis anytime soon. Compliant CBD products are allowed, through.


UPS also prohibits shipping cannabis. You can ship hemp and CBD products though. You just need to make sure they comply with state and federal laws.


Anything under 0.3% THC can be shipped with DHL within the United States. Most couriers aren’t obligated to x-ray all shipments, and DHL claims to inspect 100% of them.

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Bottom line: If you need to get cannabis to a friend or family member, the safest option is to drive it over yourself, assuming they live in the same state. You don’t want to run the risk of jail time to save a few hours of delivery.

And, if you want cannabis delivered to your home, there are cannabis delivery services in many states where cannabis is legal, and many for medical marijuana, too. These delivery services will usually bring the products you ordered to your home via car or bike.

However, if you just need to ship hemp-derived products like CBD or Delta-8, you’re probably fine, as long as you live in a state where those products are legal.

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