A month into legalization, a Canadian cannabis investor was handed lifetime ban from entering US for his connection with the industry.
And since then, it seems the bans continue to be given to Canadians crossing the border.
According to the CBC, a Canadian woman is the latest to face a lifetime ban from entering the US. The ban was given after CBD oil was found in her backpack.
Unlike THC, CBD generally has no intoxicating effect. The Ontario Cannabis Store states that CBD interacts with the human Endocannabinoid System by binding to our CB1 receptors, and it is most commonly made available as an oil or in capsule form.
When legalization took place in Canada, the US Customs and Border Protection agency released a statement saying that US laws will not change, and that cannabis remains an illegal substance under their federal law.
“Consequently, 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,” said the CBP, adding that “determinations about admissibility and whether any regulatory or criminal enforcement is appropriate are made by a CBP officer based on the facts and circumstances known to the officer at the time.”
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Generally, the CBP states that “any arriving alien who is determined to be a drug abuser or addict, or who is convicted of, admits having committed, or admits committing, acts which constitute the essential elements of a violation of (or an attempt or conspiracy to violate) any law or regulation of a state, the United States, or a foreign country relating to a controlled substance, is inadmissible to the United States.”
Locally, according to Transport Canada, air passengers travelling on domestic flights are able to possess 30 grams of cannabis in their carry on or checked baggage. However, they warned that flying internationally with cannabis remains illegal.
The woman recently banned, who was interviewed by CBC anonymously, told the national news agency that she was pulled for a secondary check at the Blaine, Washington crossing last weekend. She was allegedly asked by border patrol officers if she had any “leafy greens” on her.
CBC reports that the officer didn’t use the word “cannabis.”
“I said no because, to me, ‘leafy greens’ is like marijuana, the actual bud, things that you smoke, recreational drugs. I use CBD daily and it’s not psychoactive, it can’t get me high at the dosage that I’ve been told to take it at,” the woman told CBC News.
It was then the woman was searched, and the bottle of CBD oil was found.
The Canadian told CBC she thought the oil was legal to take across the border because it is legal in Washington State as well as BC. She was fined $500 for failing to declare the CBD oil, and denied entry into the country.
CBC said that she was sent away with an application for a special waiver form through an online website called e-SAFE, which has to be completed if she wants to regain entry to the US. The form costs $600.
The US border authority reminds Canadians that federal law still supersedes state laws, and anyone crossing the border in violation of its laws “may result in denied admission, seizure, fines, and apprehension.”