Travellers – Cannabis (marijuana) legalization Although cannabis is legal in Canada and many states in the US you can be denied entry to the US for carrying CBD. An immigration lawyer lets you know how to enter the US with CBD.
Cannabis at the border
The Cannabis Act, legalizing and regulating cannabis (marijuana), creates a strict legal framework for controlling the production, distribution, sale and possession of cannabis in Canada.
Transporting cannabis across the border in any form – including any oils containing THC or cannabidiol (CBD) – without a permit or exemption authorized by Health Canada remains a serious criminal offence subject to arrest and prosecution, despite the legalization of cannabis in Canada. The prohibition applies regardless of:
- The amount of cannabis you have with you,
- Whether you hold a medical document authorizing the use of cannabis for medical purposes,
- Whether you are travelling from an area with legalized or decriminalized cannabis.
Don’t bring it in. Don’t take it out.
If you are entering Canada from another country, remember: if you have cannabis with you in any form, you must declare it to the Canada Border Services Agency. Not declaring cannabis in your possession at the Canadian border could also lead to arrest and prosecution.
If you are leaving Canada, remember: you may not take cannabis out of the country either. You may be subject to criminal charges if you attempt to travel to other countries with any amount of cannabis in your possession.
Only Health Canada retains the authority to issue permits or grant exemptions to import or export cannabis. They do so under very limited circumstances and for limited purposes: medical, scientific or industrial hemp. For importers with the Health Canada granted authority, please refer to Customs Notice 18-19 on calculating cannabis duty.
Laws for cannabis at the Canadian border
An explanation about the laws for cannabis at the Canadian border.
Can I Bring CBD Over the US Border?
Canada legalized cannabis in 2018 which brought out many questions about bringing cannabis over the border between Canada and the US. There have been many legal issues with bringing cannabis into the US from Canada but recently a new issue has been raised. Recently a woman was banned from entering the US because she had CBD on her.
Issues With Bringing CBD Into the United States
US Border Patrol stopped a woman from entering the US because they found CBD oil in her backpack. Cannabidiol (CBD) oil is taken from the cannabis plant with many health benefits without the psychoactive part. CBD oil is made by extracting CBD from the cannabis plant, then diluting it with a carrier oil like coconut or hemp seed oil. It’s gaining momentum in the health and wellness world, with some scientific studies confirming it may ease symptoms of ailments like chronic pain and anxiety.
Previously, people have been banned from entering the US when they’ve admitted to smoking cannabis before but this has been the first time CBD has come into question. This unnamed woman who was stopped for CBD was threatened to be banned from the US for life. Even though cannabis is legal in a few states travellers are prohibited from carrying cannabis and its related products over the border.
The woman said she was asked by border patrol officers if she had any “leafy greens” on her person. The officer did not say the word “cannabis,” she said.
“I said no because, to me, ‘leafy greens’ is like marijuana, the actual bud, things that you smoke, recreational drugs. I use CBD daily and it’s not psychoactive, it can’t get me high at the dosage that I’ve been told to take it at,” she told CBC News. The woman in question said she knew loose cannabis and joints are prohibited at the border — there are signs at the border warning travelers not to bring them — but she didn’t realize the same rules apply to the CBD oil she uses for medicinal purposes.
Consequences of Bringing CBD Across the Border
Currently bringing any type of cannabis product across the border can lead to being barred from entering the US forever. The woman was fined $500 for failing to declare the oil, fingerprinted and subsequently denied entry to the U.S. If she ever hopes to enter the US again she will need to apply for a waiver which is $600. The U.S. government demands a criminal record check from the RCMP, letters of reference, a letter of remorse for past wrongs, proof of employment and documentation outlining a person’s residence and work history.
- Banned for life
- $500 fine for failure to declare
- $600 waiver for denied entry
- Letter of remorse for past wrongings
Are You Worried About Bringing CBD Over the Border or Have Been Denied Entry to the US Because of CBD?
Whenever someone is denied entry at the border, the individual is not only unable to enter the U.S., but he or she faces an unexpected trip back home (not to mention feelings of humiliation and depression). However, in addition to exploring opportunities to waive inadmissibility, a legal expert can help ensure that an individual is not wrongfully denied entry in the first place.
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VisaPlace Immigration News Contributor
Hello! I am one of VisaPlace’s many immigration news contributors. Comment below if you have any questions or comments about this article.