Fraser Horton
Fraser Horton
Last Updated on April 15, 2021

Besides a few states in the US where weed is legal, along with Canada and Uruguay, weed in other countries is still bought and sold on the black market. That can be a problem for people who consume medical marijuana and more so now when cannabis use has increased as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic. 

While we’ve previously covered ordering cannabis seeds online, we haven’t really given you information on whether you can send cannabis flowers through the mail, so let’s get into it.

What Are the Risks of Mailing Marijuana in the US?

Even though shipping marijuana may seem like a great way to send your friend in California some of your Oregon home-grown cannabis, you might face serious consequences. After cannabis was declared a Schedule I drug under the Controlled Substances Act back in the 1970s, shipping weed became illegal under federal law. 

For that matter, mailing a few pounds of marijuana is a federal crime and may be an express route to a long prison sentence. If you’re caught, you’ll be breaking both federal and state laws. 

Trafficking weed can result in jail time and a federal charge if you’ve shipped more than 28 grams of weed, while shipping smaller amounts of weed can get you a fine, and even a criminal record. The severity of the charge will depend on the amount of marijuana you’ve sent. Even sending cannabis edibles can be considered trafficking.

Finally, your package could be lost, or even worse, the shippers can notify the authorities about the contents of your order. Law enforcement agencies offer a reward of up to $50,000 to employees of the U.S. Postal Service and private carriers like UPS, FedEx, and DHL that have information on people mailing illegal substances.

Mailing Marijuana – Is the Punishment Different Depending on Where I Ship Marijuana To?

There are a few differences depending on where you ship weed to, though in any case, you’re still breaking federal laws no matter where you ship to.

Mailing Cannabis Over State Lines

Shipping marijuana over state lines is interstate commerce and it makes the possible charges more serious. If you’re caught, you fall under the jurisdiction of the DEA and the FBI.

Mailing Cannabis Between Legal States

Even though weed is legal in those states, mailing cannabis between legal states is still considered interstate trafficking as a result of the Controlled Substances Act. And with the legalization of cannabis in some states, you could probably get your cannabis buds at the local dispensary if you have a medical marijuana card, and avoid having your weed mailed. 

Mailing Cannabis In State

If you want to mail weed with less risks, keep it in state. Generally, law enforcement don’t want to waste time on minor cases such as in state trafficking, even though it still isn’t legal.

Mailing Cannabis Internationally

International shipping is the worst idea of all since you won’t only be breaking federal laws, but also international ones. If you ship weed internationally, it has to go through customs. It’s very likely that it will get discovered on the x-ray machine or by sniffing dogs at the airport.

Important Information on Mailing Cannabis in the US

If you do decide to ship weed, it’s important to know that each carrier treats the act of shipping weed differently.

Can You Mail Weed Through USPS (United States Postal Service)?

Shipping weed through the US post office doesn’t require you to write a return address, though, if you’re caught, you fall under the jurisdiction of the DEA and the FBI. Since the U.S. Postal Service is an agency of the federal government, it’s considered a federal felony if you’re caught mailing marijuana even between legal states like Colorado and California.

On the other hand, shippers prefer USPS as it has fewer random package inspections. As a result of the Fourth Amendment laws, postal inspectors need a search warrant in order to open your package. Though, if caught, you could spend a year in federal prison and pay a fine as high as $250,000.

Can You Mail Weed Through Private Carriers like UPS, FedEx, and DHL?

Since these companies are private companies, federal agencies don’t need a search warrant in order to open a suspicious package. Moreover, carriers like UPS, FedEx, and DHL need a return address on the package, which helps prevent illegal drug trafficking offenses, since the carrier knows where the package is sent from.

​How do people mail weed?

Postal inspectors are trained to spot red flags and intercept weed shipments. These are the techniques that some people use to avoid them. These are not recommended and this is purely for educational use.

  • Shipping weed as next day service or priority;
  • Fake names, businesses, phone numbers, and return labels;
  • Handwritten labels;
  • Brown paper packaging;
  • Heavily taped packages;
  • Packages mailed to or from commercial mail drops;
  • Masking the smell;
  • Restrictive markings such as “do not x-ray” and “confidential.”

Is Sending CBD Through the Mail System Legal?

Even though sending cannabis through the mail system in the US isn’t legal under federal law, shipping CBD products, on the other hand, is fully legal only if they contain less than 0.3% THC and are derived from the hemp plant. Under federal law, this is legal in all 50 states, although international shipping isn’t legal everywhere.

USPS can send CBD oil through the mail if the package upholds federal guidelines, and the hemp producer has a license issued by the Department of Agriculture. The package should be sent together with a statement that clarifies that the information provided is true.

USP, FedEx, and DHL can also mail CBD products across the US, and merchants should also abide by the federal regulations for selling CBD products.

Final Words on Shipping Cannabis in the US

As cannabis legalization increases, so do the legal medical and recreational marijuana merchants. Right now, if weed isn’t legal where you live, you have the option of getting your medical marijuana via mail. And as mentioned above, there are very high risks associated with this including fines, a criminal record and jail time.


The information presented on this page is provided as a public service to aid in education and is derived from sources believed to be reliable. Readers are responsible for making their own assessment of the topics discussed here. In no event shall Leaf Nation be held reliable for any injury, loss or damage that could happen if using or abusing drugs.