Pot work­ers won’t au­to­mat­i­cally be de­nied en­try into U.S.: bor­der agency

The Telegram (St. John’s) - - CANADA -

Cana­di­ans work­ing in the pot in­dus­try will not au­to­mat­i­cally be barred from trav­el­ling to the United States, the U.S. Cus­toms and Bor­der Pro­tec­tion agency now says.

The news will be a re­lief for hun­dreds of Cana­di­ans al­ready work­ing to scale up Canada’s le­gal pot in­dus­try ahead of the le­gal­iza­tion of recre­ational mar­i­juana next week. And it ap­pears to be an about-face for the Amer­i­can gov­ern­ment.

In Septem­ber, agency spokes­peo­ple said any­one who ad­mit­ted to work­ing le­gally in Canada’s cannabis shops and fac­to­ries could be barred en­try to the U.S. — and pos­si­bly even be banned for life. Even just be­ing an in­vestor in a pot com­pany could be enough to raise sus­pi­cion at the bor­der.

How­ever, in an up­dated state­ment posted to its web­site this week, the agency now says that work­ing in the in­dus­try alone is not likely enough to be de­nied en­try.

“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 state­ment says.

“How­ever, if a trav­eller is found to be com­ing to the U.S. for (a) rea­son re­lated to the mar­i­juana in­dus­try, they may be deemed in­ad­mis­si­ble,”

Canada’s le­gal mar­i­juana law takes ef­fect Oct. 17 but, while sev­eral U.S. states have made pot le­gal, it re­mains il­le­gal un­der U.S. fed­eral law. Gen­er­ally, a per­son who is a known drug abuser or has been con­victed of or ad­mit­ted to drug of­fences in the U.S., Canada or else­where, will be turned away at the bor­der.


The U.S. Cus­toms and Bor­der Pro­tec­tion agency says in an up­dated state­ment that some­one work­ing in the le­gal pot in­dus­try in Canada will “gen­er­ally be ad­mis­si­ble” as long as their travel is not re­lated to the in­dus­try. Work­ers process med­i­cal mar­i­juana at Canopy Growth Cor­po­ra­tion’s Tweed fa­cil­ity in Smiths Falls, Ont., ear­lier this year.

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