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