Canadian pot workers to be allowed to cross border: U.S. officials

The U.S. Customs and Border Protection reversed its earlier statement saying those in cannabis industry will be free to cross the border so long as the reason is unrelated to work

U.S. border guards have reversed an earlier decision that banned those working in Canada’s legal marijuana industry from heading south across the border.

“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.,” the U.S. Customs and Border Protection said in a statement this week.

“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.”

In September, the U.S. Customs and Border Protection agency sent tremors through the country’s burgeoning cannabis sector last week with word that legalization in Canada won’t change the fact that American laws treat marijuana as a banned substance, and industry insiders as drug traffickers.

Public Safety ministry staff confirmed at the time that Minister Mike Farnworth had warned Ottawa that people involved in the legal trade may be prevented from entering the U.S., even though states like Washington and Colorado have legalized recreation marijuana.

READ MORE: Seek compromise with U.S. on cannabis at border, lawyers urge Ottawa

Despite the fact that some jurisdictions in North America permit the use of medical and recreational marijuana, U.S. federal law continues to prohibit its sale, possession, production and distribution, an agency spokesperson said in a statement.

“Consequently, crossing the border or arriving at a U.S. port of entry in violation of this law may result in denied admission, seizure, fines, and apprehension,” the statement said.

“Working in or facilitating the proliferation of the legal marijuana industry in U.S. states where it is deemed legal or Canada may affect a foreign national’s admissibility to the United States.”

With files from The Canadian Press, Tom Fletcher


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