For tourists partaking of legal marijuana in Colorado: If there are concerns about being drug tested back home, be aware that THC could stay in your system for weeks. (Hyoung Chang, Denver Post file)

Cannabist Q&A: Drug testing, edible limits, fly/ship pot

Welcome to our new Ask The Cannabist column. Clearly you have questions about marijuana, be it a legal concern, a health curiosity, a Colorado-centric inquiry or something more far-reaching. Check out our expansive, 64-question Colorado marijuana FAQ first, and if you’re still curious, email your question to Ask The Cannabist at

Hey, Cannabist!
When out-of-state people come to Colorado to try marijuana and return to their home state, can they be tested by employers or the police and locked up for marijuana being in their system? It was done in a legal state. –Nervous Nelly

Hey, Nervous!
Yes, it’s possible. Colorado has legalized marijuana but there are still plenty of risks involved, including testing positive for THC in a drug test. Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), from cannabis, resides in the body longer than other substances like alcohol, and can be detected in a drug test three weeks (or more) after ingestion.

For an employment drug test, what is the testing policy at your work? Find your employment contract and reread it, so you know what to expect from your employer. If marijuana is not specifically addressed, look for clauses that discuss controlled substances because marijuana is federally defined as a Schedule 1 controlled substance. (It should be noted that Colorado residents also can be fired for legal marijuana use.)

For the police hypothetical, in order to drug test you, the police need a probable cause first. Unless you are already participating in the criminal justice system and submitting drug tests, the police can’t demand a drug test from you out of suspicion. Citizens have a Fourth Amendment Constitutional right from unreasonable search and seizures. XO

More Cannabist Q&A: Hotel pot policies, tracking rec buyers, hefty tax rates

Hey, Cannabist!
What are the restrictions on the amount of edibles that can be purchased at one time for recreational use?  Also, what are the restrictions on the amount of edibles one can possess for recreational use? –Edible Eddie in Edgewater

Hey, Edible Eddie! 
“There is no explicit limit on edibles. It is based on the amount of cannabis in the product,” according to Ean Seeb, owner of Denver Relief.  For a recreational sale, a Colorado adult can purchase up to 28 total grams (one ounce) of cannabis, Seeb said. An out-of-state customer can purchase up to 7 grams (a quarter-ounce) of cannabis at a time.  Possession limits are the same for residents and tourists, up to 28 grams.  XO

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Hey, Cannabist!
I was wondering if it would be illegal, or would I get caught if I have edibles — in either carry-on or checked luggage — with me on a plane. And, would it be illegal, or would I get caught, if I sent brownies or something through UPS/FedEx? Thank you so much for your time, I look forward to your response. –Baba O’Riley

Hey, Baba O’Riley!
Yes, it is illegal to fly with cannabis. It is illegal to cross the state borders with cannabis. It is illegal to ship cannabis brownies via FedEx. Marijuana is banned at Denver International Airport, among others.

Would you get caught? Possibly. In airport screenings, TSA does not actively search for cannabis. If an agent finds cannabis in your carry-on or checked bag, they may report you to local law enforcement authorities. Which is why Colorado Springs Airport installed pot amnesty boxes to help forgetful travelers.

Bag of weed in your luggage? How airport security deals with carry-on pot

As for shipping cannabis,  corporate FedEx spokeswoman Shea Leordeanu said the penalties for shipping marijuana, a controlled substance, are determined by federal statute.  I asked Leordeanu if FedEx had a policy for searching packages originating from Colorado shipping centers with greater scrutiny to find packages containing cannabis. She clarified this is a security issue, and  as a policy, FedEx does not discuss security procedures. So they may or may not be searching for your cannabis brownies. XO