U.S. Customs and Border Protection Updates Policy on Canadians Employed in Legal Marijuana Industry

By Bryan Fitzpatrick

Until recently there was considerable uncertainty in Canada when it came to how U.S. Customs and Border Protection would treat Canadians who were soon to be lawfully employed in the marijuana industry and who would be seeking entry to the U.S.

Fortunately, on October 9, 2018, U.S. Customs and Border Protection issued a formal statement, which is reproduced in part below, on Canada’s Legalization of Marijuana and Crossing 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. 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.

https://www.cbp.gov/newsroom/speeches-and-statements/cbp-statement-canadas-legalization-marijuana-and-crossing-border

The upshot is that while this certainly assisted in clarifying matters for Canadians who are or soon to be employed in the marijuana industry in Canada and wanting to travel to the United States it left several questions answered.

Namely, which activities will be considered “unrelated to the marijuana industry”? For example, would a Canadian citizen or permanent resident attending a marijuana related tradeshow in the United States be deemed inadmissible?

Given this ongoing uncertainty it is a good idea to consult with a U.S. immigration lawyer prior to planning a trip to the United States.