Canadian Cannabis Investors
Canadian Cannabis Investors

Why Is The US Treating Canadian Cannabis Investors Like Drug Traffickers?

Canadian Cannabis Investors Hear Rumors of Being Banned at the Border

Posted by:
DanaSmith on Sunday Sep 16, 2018

Why Is The US Treating Canadian Cannabis Investors Like Drug Traffickers?



As the legalization of recreational cannabis use draws closer, the border battles between the USA and Canada heat up.


In the latest news regarding the border issues, a top US Customs Border Protection official just announced that anyone working in the Canadian cannabis industry, whether employee or merely an investor, will be treated just like drug traffickers.


By October 17, Canada will legalize adult-use cannabis yet the tight regulations that may lead to Canadians facing a lifetime ban from the United States is causing friction between the two world leaders. Since cannabis is still a federally illegal substance, anyone working in the cannabis industry is viewed in the same manner as someone working for the illegal drug market, no matter what their home country’s laws say.


Todd Owen, the Office of Field Operations for Customs Border Protection’s executive assistant commissioner, said on Thursday that border agents will automatically ban Canadians for life as long as they are linked to the legal cannabis industry in Canada. “If you work for the industry, that is grounds for inadmissibility,” Owen revealed to Politico. “We don’t recognize that as a legal business. Facilitating the proliferation of the legal marijuana industry in US states where it is deemed legal or Canada may affect an individual’s admissibility to the US.” He also cites previous cases wherein investors from Israel were denied entry to the country.


During the summer, news that US border officials would ban anyone who admitted to smoking cannabis, potentially for life. “Our officers are not going to be asking everyone whether they have used marijuana but if other questions lead there – or if there is a small coming from the car, they might ask,” Owen reported to Politico. “If you lie about it, that’s fraud and misrepresentation, which carries a lifetime ban.”


Since Trudeau announced in June that he would legalize recreational use cannabis, legal experts have been cautioning Canadians about the possible risks involved when they try to cross the border. “It’s basically black and white – if you admit to a US border officer at a US port of entry that you’ve smoked marijuana in the past, whether it’s in Canada or the US, you will be barred entry for life to the United States,” says Washington lawyer Len Saunders.  Saunders warns people concerned that it’s better to omit answering questions rather than lying at the border.


The Politico report was released on Thursday after markets closed, which led to Canadian cannabis market stocks to see drops as low as 15% by Friday morning. Canadian cannabis stocks have been ballooning in value since August, especially after Canopy Growth Corp. announced that they received $3.8 billion in investments from Constellation Brands Inc, perhaps the biggest deal in the cannabis industry to date.


“A lot of people don’t understand that they are still going to have problems after legalization,” Henry Chang, a Blaney McMurtry LLP partner, told Fortune. “You need to stay off the radar – if there’s something that prompts them to think that you are a marijuana user, the first question will be: Do you smoke marijuana?”

Canadian Public Safety Minister Ralph Goodale has tried to appease the public, saying that he’s been talking to US law enforcement officials to ensure border activities are as smooth as possible. He echoes the advice of PM Justin Trudeau, which is just to be honest when approached at the border, and of course: don’t carry any pot with you.  The Canadian government is working on increasing awareness to citizens by sending in advertising messages, reminding them to comply with the laws of both countries, but Continental Travel Group President Daryl Silver said that it still hasn’t “fully sunk in” yet.


What’s messed up is that these new regulations affect a significant amount of people. You’re at risk even if you smoked pot in Canada before October 17, yet you can’t lie to border officials about it. An estimated 4.6 million Canadians are cannabis consumers, which represents around 16% of the adult population. But even if you cross the border regularly because you live in towns nearby just to buy supplies, you still face the risk of a lifetime ban. Canadian cannabis executives are not spared.


The USA is treating Canadian Cannabis Investors Like Illegal Drug Runners from CannabisNet on Vimeo.








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