Economy

Border official: Canadians entering USA risk lifetime ban for marijuana use

Border official: Canadians entering USA risk lifetime ban for marijuana use”

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.

As Canada prepares for the legalization of marijuana nation-wide, people who invest in the booming pot sector could risk a life-time at the border, according to a senior official who oversees the United States border operations.

Canada subsequently legalized marijuana earlier this year, following through on a campaign promise pledged by Prime Minister Justin Trudeau prior to being elected in 2015 and paving the way for provinces to start allowing retail pot sales starting October 17.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said Tuesday Canada is working with USA officials try to make sure travel between the two countries is not disrupted. The United States of America does not recognize legal marijuana as a legal business.

Another official said those participating in the marijuana business may be turned away at the border.

CBP has not specified a minimum investment threshold in marijuana businesses that would trigger the lifetime ban. Individual stocks have posted more outsize gains, with Tilray Inc. up more than 600 percent since its July IPO.

Public Safety Minister Ralph Goodale said during a 2016 interview that he would raise concerns with the US after several major news reports highlighted specific examples of Canadians barred from visiting on account of their admitted marijuana use amid states legalizing the plant for medical and recreational purposes in spite of federal prohibition.

"Despite one-in-eight Canadians using cannabis today, 400,000 people move between our two countries every day nearly entirely without incident", Canada's public safety office told Bloomberg.

But Owen says the States will continue to act upon its federal prohibition of weed, which also applies to the border - and if you're not careful, you could face both inadmissibility and a lifetime ban from the U.S. "That person who owns a mutual fund and maybe doesn't even know where their money is going, are they going to be covered as well?" he asked.

Canadians spent $19.8 billion on tourism south of the border in 2016, according to the International Trade Administration.

"People are careless and I think people will be caught by accident and this will create problems", said Lorne Waldman, an immigration lawyer.

Although you may not be denied entry simply for having a job that's legal in Canada, marijuana executives who work with USA companies may be seen as being engaged in criminal activity, Chang said. Companies hiring new employees should ask prospective hires if they have any current or past connection to the marijuana industry that could put them in the crosshairs of USA border officials, he said.

"You're not just going to see these northern Washington cases, you're going to see them Canada-wide from east to west coast", he said.



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