Canada's legal marijuana creates risk for investors at U.S. border

Roman Schwartz
September 16, 2018

Todd Owen, who spoke to the US website Politico, said the USA does not plan to change its border policies to account for Canada's marijuana legalization, which takes effect on October 17. "They have legalized marijuana in a number of their states and we're trying to make sure that travel between our two countries is not disrupted", Trudeau told CBC Manitoba.

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.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said Tuesday Canada is working with USA officials try to make sure travel between the two countries is not disrupted.

"Although medical and recreational marijuana may be legal in some U.S. States and Canada, the sale, possession, production and distribution of marijuana remain illegal under U.S. federal law", Niezgoda said. She agreed they can be lawfully turned away at the border and banned for life.

In July, a Vancouver businessman was banned from entering the U.S. for life because he had investments in USA marijuana companies. Individual stocks have posted more outsize gains, with Tilray Inc. up more than 600 percent since its July IPO.

In a piece titled, "U.S. Border Policy on Pot Is About to Get Even Stupider", Splinter's Sophie Weiner points out that upcoming "midterms could change all of this".

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"Despite one-in-eight Canadians using cannabis today, 400,000 people move between our two countries every day nearly entirely without incident", Goodale spokesman Scott Bardsley said by email.

Grant McLeod, a senior vice-president of regulatory affairs at Beleave Kannibis, has been in the USA several times since entering the cannabis industry.

"It's going to happen even more, and especially now that they're going after business travelers, it's going to be the Wild West at the border". "This could add to that".

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

Owen gave Politico a detailed preview of how the US Customs and Border Protection agency will continue to apply long-standing US federal laws that treat marijuana as a banned substance and participants in the cannabis industry as drug traffickers. Under the policy, United States officials are to bar entry to Canadians who acknowledge having consumed marijuana at any time in their past, as well as those who are either employed or invested in legal cannabis enterprises. "That you are going to start seeing some problems with - especially if they buy operations or start doing business with a USA company", he said.

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