In an updated statement released on October 9, 2018, the U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) agency has clarified its stance regarding travel for Canadian workers in the legal marijuana industry. Amidst confusion over whether these individuals would be admitted into the United States, the CBP has announced that Canadian marijuana workers can enter the U.S. only for reasons unrelated to their work. Recreational marijuana will officially become legal in Canada beginning on October 17, 2018.
Although marijuana is currently legal in some U.S. states, it remains prohibited under U.S. Federal Law. At the border, Federal Law is enforced over state laws. Therefore, in most cases anyone found facilitating the sale, possession, distribution, or production of marijuana is violating the law and will be inadmissible to the U.S.
Despite this, Canadian citizens employed in the legal marijuana industry will generally be allowed to visit the U.S. for leisure or personal reasons. Travel will not be allowed for anyone wanting to enter the U.S. for purposes related to the marijuana industry. It will remain illegal to transport any amount of marijuana from Canada across the American border.
CBP officers have the discretion to turn foreigners away from the border. This includes anyone who is convicted of (or admits to committing; plans to commit) acts against federal drug laws, as well as anyone deemed to be a drug addict. The CBP states that its officers “are thoroughly trained on admissibility factors” and will make decisions on entry based on the information available to them at the time.
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