It is just days before recreational cannabis becomes legal throughout Canada but difficulties are already shaping up regarding how this legalization will affect Canadians who wish to travel to the U.S. The Customs and Border Protection (CBP) service has confirmed that steps will be taken to bar people who are involved in the Canadian marijuana industry from entering the U.S.
CBP’s confirmation comes at a time when numerous media reports emerged about individuals who were handed lifetime bans from entering the U.S. as a result of their investment interests in the cannabis industry.
Customs and Border Protection is simply enforcing the U.S. federal government position that marijuana is a controlled substance that has no medical value and has a high potential for being abused. The feds therefore don’t recognize the marijuana industry as a legitimate business or industry. Anyone involved is regarded as a drug trafficker just like those found with heroin and other such drugs.
Some of the consequences of being found with cannabis or admitting to an involvement in the cannabis industry may include being fined and/or having your cannabis seized, arrests and bans on admission into the U.S.
CBP officials also warned that Canadians should not be tempted to lie about their involvement in the cannabis industry either as investors or consumers since such misrepresentations will carry serious consequences once discovered. The stored data on any affected persons will be kept and referred to in future when those people try to reenter the U.S.
It is still unclear how the Customs and Border Protection agents will screen Canadians entering the U.S. CBP itself admits that not everyone will be questioned about cannabis, but questions may arise when a person is found with cannabis or when the smell of cannabis is detected in the car of the person at an entry point.
Congressman Lou Correa has written to Homeland Security asking its head to clarify a number of issues regarding the implementation of CBP’s position on Canadians involved in the legal marijuana industry. For example, how will the agents determine that someone at the entry point is a participant in the cannabis industry?
People who are handed a lifetime ban can apply for that ban to be waived for a while. That waiver comes at a cost of $585 (not including the person’s legal fees). It isn’t yet clear how long it can take for that waiver to be processed.
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