Cannabis and Travel to the United States

Posted by on Monday, October 1st, 2018
in Immigration, Privacy Law, Uncategorized


On October 17, 2018 Bill C-45 comes into effect under the Cannabis Act; the distribution and consumption of cannabis products will be legalized, regulated, and controlled.
For Canadians who have a business interest in a cannabis-related company this may prove problematic for future travel to the United States. A senior official with the Department of Homeland Security stated anyone involved in the “sale, possession, production, and distribution of cannabis” may be denied entry, fined, or detained.
It remains illegal to cross into the United States with cannabis and you are subject to severe criminal penalties.

Travel to the United States
Direct or indirect involvement in a cannabis-related company may result in a life-time ban from entering the United States. This policy appears to also apply to individuals who hold investments in cannabis companies through either pension plans or mutual funds.
You should always take extra caution when crossing the border into the United States. U.S. Customs and Border Protection Directive No. 3340-049A gives border officers authority to conduct searches on all individuals and merchandise entering and exiting the United States, including electronic devices. Under this Directive, you must provide your device passwords if requested. If you are unsure of the material on your device you should leave it at home or wipe your device.

Returning to Canada
Crossing the US-Canada border with cannabis in your possession remains illegal. It is your responsibility to declare to a Canadian border officers if you are transporting any cannabis products. If you fail to make a declaration and you have cannabis in your possession when you may be subject to enforcement action up to and including detention and criminal charges.

If you are concerned about your ownership in a cannabis-related company, consider consulting with a licensed US Attorney.

This recent update provides some further direction including “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. however, if a traveler is found to be coming to the U.S. for reason related to the marijuana industry, they may be deemed inadmissible.”
by Adam Pawlovich