After initial reports that Canadians who work in the cannabis industry, or are investing in the sector, may risk a lifetime ban on travel to the US, Customs and Border Protection has updated their restrictions.
According to this update, made on October 9, “a Canadian citizen working in or facilitating the proliferation of the legal marijuana industry in Canada, coming to the US for reasons unrelated to the marijuana industry will generally be admissible to the US.”
But, if a traveller is found to be heading to the US for reason related to the cannabis industry, they may be deemed inadmissible, says the US Customs and Border Protection.
The agency says it enforces the laws of the United States and laws will not change following Canada’s legalization of pot.
Although medical and recreational marijuana may be legal in some US States and in Canada, the sale, possession, production and distribution of marijuana remain illegal under the country’s Federal Law.
As a result, crossing the border or arriving at a US port of entry in violation of this law “may result in denied admission, seizure, fines, and apprehension.”
Any traveller found carrying cannabis at the border is subject to referral for prosecution in the US.
In Canada, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said that he doesn’t think he has the right to press the US on its admission policy.
“Every country has the right to judge who gets to come into their borders or not. I wouldn’t presume to have any other country tell me how or who we can let into Canada. And I certainly won’t work to assume or impress upon the US who they have to let in or not,” Trudeau said last month.
“But there is no question that we are working with US officials; they have legalized marijuana in a number of their states, and we’re trying to make sure that travel between our two countries [is] not disrupted.”
In the US, nine states consider weed legal, but the US federal government continues to consider it illegal.