Border official: Canadians entering U.S. risk lifetime ban for marijuana use

Canadian pot sector workers could face big troubles at the U.S. borders says analyst

Regional Pot Workers Could Face Lifetime Ban From US News Centre News

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said that marijuana will be legal across the country starting October 17. They could declare users inadmissible - perhaps for life.

While the interview generated headlines on both sides of the border, people in the industry say the threat of a travel ban has existed for years.

Owen told online news outlet Politico that the USA will continue to enforce its prohibition come Oct 17, when recreational Cannabis becomes legal.

The U.S. government views foreigners working in the marijuana industry the same way they would someone working for an illegal drug cartel or as a dealer, regardless of their home nation's laws.

If CBP inspection dogs are able to detect marijuana residue inside a vehicle, Canadians can be subjected to further questioning at the border.

"Of course there's always going to be a concern, but the reality is, I can only tell the truth", he said.

An admission of any past drug use is grounds for a lifetime ban from the US, although some banned people can successfully apply for waivers.

A resident smokes a large marijuana joint during the 420 Day festival on the lawns of Parliament Hill in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada, on April 20, 2018.

Owen said that travelers are typically allowed the opportunity for a "voluntary withdraw" from a border crossing but noted records are kept whether a traveler enters the US or not and such a traveler will not be able to return to the U.S.

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"We don't recognize that as a legal business", the official said, adding that marijuana investors from Israel have already been turned away.

Canadians who work in the marijuana industry - and those who invest in the booming pot sector - will face significant risks when crossing the US border even after the drug becomes legal in Canada next month, according to detailed comments by a senior official overseeing U.S border operations.

Although Owen didn't specify any minimum level of investment, he signaled that the focus was more on those bringing the sector to the USA, which could have implications for the burgeoning sector. Individual stocks have posted more outsize gains, with Tilray Inc. up more than 600 percent since its July IPO.

But Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said Tuesday that he does not think he has the right to press the USA on its admission policy. The advice of Goodale and Trudeau is to be honest at the border - and to make sure you're not carrying.

They say that despite one in eight Canadians using cannabis today, 400,000 people move between our two countries every day nearly entirely without incident.

"The United States may change their opinion on cannabis in the future, but they will never change their position on lying to border officials". "We already notice somewhat of a trend of some people not going to the USA", said Silver.

Canadians spent $19.8 billion on tourism south of the border in 2016, according to the International Trade Administration. "If you work for the industry, that is grounds for inadmissibility", Owen said.

"Canadians are going to let their guard down and think what's the problem", says Todd Owen, executive assistant director for the Office of Field Operations for U.S. Customs and Border Protection Agency.

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