As Canada prepares to legalize marijuana nationwide beginning October 17th, a high-level official in the Trump administration says the United States will now start implementing possible lifetime bans on Canadian citizens who are cannabis users, industry workers, or investors.
"We don't recognize that as a legal business", Todd Owen, executive assistant commissioner for the Office of Field Operations at CBP, told POLITICO Pro Canada, a new subscription news service and daily newsletter focused on Canada-U.S. relations.
As cannabis in the US continues to be normalized by the growing amount of domestic legal industries, it seems as though moves like these will continue to be in opposition to what the majority of the USA wants, and clearly what Canada would like to see.
Additionally, if the traveler admits to past drug use, they will be found inadmissible to the US.
Thousands of Canadians have invested in the cannabis companies, which are publicly traded on the Toronto Stock Exchange.
Meanwhile, during an interview with CBC Manitoba earlier this week, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said the federal government is working with USA officials to ensure that travel to the States doesn't become an issue when marijuana is legalized in Canada next month.
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However if you are planning a trip to the United States think twice. Justin Trudeau's government and travel agents are warning Canadians to make sure they have no trace of the drug in their cars or luggage.
Another official said those participating in the marijuana business may be turned away at the border.
If someone attempting to cross the border into the USA admits to past use of illegal drugs, he or she would be deemed inadmissible to enter. "And I certainly won't work to assume or impress upon the United States who they have to let in or not", Trudeau said at a CBC radio station in Manitoba earlier this week.
In the US, recreational marijuana is legal in nine states and Washington, D.C., while medical marijuana is legal in more than two dozen states.
"It's basically black and white-if you admit to a US border officer at a USA port of entry that you've smoked marijuana in the past, whether it's in Canada or the USA, you will be barred entry for life to the United States", said Washington-state lawyer Len Saunders.
Because of that, U.S. Immigration Attorney Len Saunders says people working in Canada's pot industry could face challenges.