Border Patrol Official Confirms Lifetime Bans for Cannabis Employees

A senior U.S. Customs and Border Patrol Official has confirmed that Canadians who work in that country’s legal cannabis industry — or who admit to working in the stateside cannabis industry — will be given lifetime bans upon attempting to enter the United States, Politico reports.

In June, reports surfaced of Canadians receiving lifetime bans at the U.S. border for admitting to working in ancillary cannabis industries like machinery manufacturing. However, only reports from those banned were received and the U.S. Border Patrol had not provided clarification.

Politico spoke to Todd Owen, executive assistant commissioner for the Office of Field Operations for the Border Patrol, who confirmed that lifetime bans will indeed be given out to anyone who works in any facet of either country’s cannabis industry. Even investors in the cannabis industry should be careful with their disclosures.

“Our officers are not going to be asking everyone whether they have used marijuana, but if other questions lead there — or if there is a smell coming from the car, they might ask. If you lie about it, that’s fraud and misrepresentation, which carries a lifetime ban. … Facilitating the proliferation of the legal marijuana industry in U.S. states where it is deemed legal or Canada may affect an individual’s admissibility to the U.S.” — Todd Owen, via Politico

Owen pointed out the fact that Israeli cannabis industry investors had also been denied entry in the past, making it clear that it was not any special change in policy regarding Canada’s federal legalization.

Changes to this policy will most likely not occur until the U.S. passes cannabis law reform on a federal level, which some lawmakers expect as early as next year.

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Authored By

Patrick Beggan is a writer and photographer based in Bellingham, Washington. After serving as a US Army medic, he developed a passion for natural and herbal medicine that led him to the West coast. As a photographer, he strives to capture mood & narrative simultaneously to create images that speak volumes.

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