Customs Agency Formalizes Policy Barring Canadians Involved In Legal Cannabis Industry From Entering United States

Washington, DC: A newly released memorandum by the Department of Homeland Security, US Customs and Border Protection Agency reaffirms that those working in the legal cannabis industry in Canada or in other jurisdictions may be denied entry into the United States. The memo formalizes sentiments publicly expressed by a US Customs representative last week.

It states: “Generally, any arriving alien who is determined to be a drug abuser or addict, or who is convicted of, admits having committed, or admits committing, acts which constitute the essential elements of a violation of (or an attempt or conspiracy to violate) any law or regulation of a state, the United States, or a foreign country relating to a controlled substance, is inadmissible to the United States. As marijuana continues to be a controlled substance under United States law, working in or facilitating the proliferation of the legal marijuana industry in U.S. states where it is deemed legal or Canada may affect admissibility to the U.S.”

Canada legalized the regulated production and distribution of medical cannabis nearly two decades ago, and several Canadian-based companies operating in this space are currently traded on the US stock exchange. In June of this year, Canadian lawmakers gave final approval to separate legislation regulating the adult use marijuana market. The new law takes effect on October 17, 2018.

For more information, contact Paul Armentano, NORML Deputy Director, at: paul@norml.org.