As Canada Prepares to Legalize Weed Across the Country, America Picks Another Battle to Smoke Canadian Investments Out of the US
President Trump’s Border Obsessionssie isn’t just related to Mexico anymore. His administration has declared another trade war against our neighbor to the north — or, more specifically, against Canadians associated in any way with that country’s legal marijuana trade.
A recent report from Politics confirmed that the US Customs and Border Protection Agency is banning Canadian workers and investors in the cannabis industry from entering the United States. In some cases, travelers have even been threatened with lifelong bans.
The California cannabis industry has benefited immensely from Canadian investors who have the money. Marijuana stocks in that country are booming as Canada legalizes recreational use nationwide on Oct. 1. 17.
But while marijuana is legal in both Canada and border states for recreational use like Washington or Maine, it remains illegal under federal law. Yyou don’t even have to carry a pot to be sent away at the border.
“If you work for the industry, that’s grounds for inadmissibility,” said Todd Owen, executive assistant commissioner of U.S. Customs. Politics. “We don’t recognize that as a legal business.”
Even cannabis companies in San Francisco are feeling a chilling effect from this new exposure to the North.
“The policy itself has not changed at all. Enforcement has,” said Benjamin Bradley, co-founder of Miles Bradley, a financial advisor and cannabis management company based in San Francisco.
His company does business with several Canadian brands that have been rejected at the border, all of whom have asked not to be named in the press.
“One of the questions being asked is what you do for a living and what your business is here,” Bradley says of these boundary hearings. “If someone were to come out and say, ‘We’re here to invest in cannabis or to research this market,’ according to federal policy, they don’t see that as a legitimate business and you will be denied entry. “
US Customs will now refuse entry to a Canadian simply because he admitted to having once used drugs. But they also return deep-seated investors with completely non-narcotic business interests.
“I came into contact with some Canadian clients developing nanotechnology and had the [intellectual property rights] to hold that technology itself,” says Bradley SF Evergreen. “They were not producing in any way. But they just worked in the cannabis industry and wanted to expand into the California market.
“They were denied entry,” he adds.
First-hand accounts of these border denials indicate that the agents aren’t too hostile about it, and the airlines will fly you back home for free.
“There were no legal fees or fines or anything like that applied,” Bradley noted. “However, they were not allowed entry into the US”
One creative method MilesBradley has seen customers use is to create alternative identities on paper.
“Setting up these fictitious companies became a problem,” he says. “They form a holistic business, or an agricultural supply business, without having to use the word ‘cannabis’. ”
But even that strategy carries some risk in the drug demand segment of a customs interview.
“Lying about it is fraud and misrepresentation, which carries a lifetime ban,” said Customs Commissioner Owen. Politics.
Trump is known to hate Canada more than any other president, and he always craves another culture war that splits the nations to divert attention from his eerie constitutional crises. But the industry can find hope in a constant truth from the Trump administration: money talks.
“Now we have such a strong Canadian market,” says Bradley. “A lot of that Canadian money wants to expand into California. The stronger those organized companies get, the more money goes into the federal lobby.”
Canadian business travelers’ struggles with marijuana bans are a first-world problem compared to the heartbreaking crisis of family separation on the Mexican border. But they’re another nasty attack in the escalating battle of legal weed policy, and the prospects for the US-Canadian cannabis business appear to be heading south.