Cannabis workers’ U.S. border ban lifted
Canadians with pre-legalization cannabis convictions will still be inadmissible to the U.S.
Nick Hague and Alexei Ovchinin lifted off as scheduled from the Russian-leased Baikonur cosmodrome in Kazakhstan, but their Soyuz booster rocket failed about two minutes after the launch.
FULL STORY AT THESTAR.COM
VANCOUVER—Canadians who work in the domestic cannabis industry will be allowed free entry to the United States according to an update made quietly on Tuesday to the U.S. Customs and Border Protection’s policy on cannabis and the border.
The update came with little fanfare but it indicates an enormous shift in a policy stance that had generated fears that thousands of legally employed Canadians would be banned from the U.S. for life post-legalization.
“A Canadian citizen working in or facilitating the proliferation of the legal marijuana industry in Canada, coming to the U.S. for reasons unrelated to the marijuana industry will generally be admissible to the U.S.,” the updated statement reads.
Canadian businesspeople or investors with ties to the American cannabis industry will still risk inadmissibility if those links are made apparent to CBP officers. Likewise, Canadians with criminal histories related to pre-legalization cannabis — or those who have admitted past cannabis use to CBP officers — will still be eligible for border bans. But Blaine, Wash.-based immigration lawyer Len Saunders said this change is an enormous win for Canadians.
“As Donald Trump would say, ‘This is huge,’” he said.
But Saunders cautioned that what may actually happen after legalization is still unknown. Whether the CBP will perform the same aboutface for Canadian cannabis users remains to be seen, he said.
The policy, he said, “is definitely a very, very powerful tool going forward after Oct. 17.”
The CBP’s update comes following a September congressional letter — which quoted reporting from StarMetro as a source — from U.S. Rep. J. Luis. Correa to Secretary of Homeland Security Kirstjen Nielsen requesting clarification of the policy grounds on which Canadian cannabis workers were being denied entry to the U.S.