January 14, 2019

November 26, 2018, US

Last week, the US Customs and Border Patrol handed a life ban to an unidentified Canadian marijuana investor from entering the United States. The said investor was on his route to MJ Bizcon, a marijuana business conference held in Las Vegas.

The investor was directly traveling from Vancouver to Vegas. According to Len Saunders, a Washington-based immigration attorney who is representing the investor, the border security asked the man about his purpose of visit to the US. He told them exactly why he was visiting the country since he was a legitimate cannabis proprietor. The border security read him the Immigration rules of the visiting country and issued him a life ban.

The investor, whose identity has yet to be revealed, was stopped at the pre-clearance area of Vancouver International Airport. He told the immigration officers that he was a partner in a Canadian company that had marijuana operations in Nevada. The agents asked him if he knew the new US traveling laws pertaining to blanket cannabis legalization in Canada. The investor was not aware of any such update and only came to know about it at the airport. He was later told that he would be banned from traveling to the US for life due to ‘the violation of immigration and Nationality Act related to controlled substance trafficking’.

US Customs and Border Patrol
US Customs and Border Patrol – Image powered by Thestar.com

The Man was Caught Unawares

While Canada was heading for historical nationwide cannabis legalization last month, the US immigration officials devised an updated and stricter travel policy pertaining to Canada. The new provision categorically mentions that anyone associated with the cannabis industry would not be allowed to enter the country if the visit is industry-related.

Apart from imposing a life travel ban on the investor, the border agents also stopped 13 more Canadians to visit the US in the coming days since they were also flying to Las Vegas to attend MJ Bizcon. According to a vice president of a lobbying form who was one of the detainees at Toronto International Airport, the border agents used delaying tactics so that they couldn’t board on the flight. It is important to mention here that these 13 individuals were only provisionally barred from traveling to the US.

Life travel ban of Cannabis
Life travel ban of Cannabis – Image powered by Usatoday.com

Anticipating the same consequences, some Canadian investors made some changes in their route to attend MJ Bizcon. Instead of directly flying to Las Vegas, they flew to San Diego or Los Angeles to avoid the scrutiny put up for people flying to Las Vegas on those dates. Before Saunders’s client, the border agents gave a life ban to a venture capitalist with investments in US marijuana companies.

It is an unfortunate reality that federal laws vehemently override state laws when it comes to cannabis. Las Vegas held MJ Bizcon by acting within the rules prescribed by the state. Businessman and investors from all around the US participated in the conference but international visitors were barred completely. Experts are of the opinion that such federal restrictions will only thwart the growth of statewide cannabis operations.

Marijuana stays in the news, and Alice is always ready to keep us updated. A world traveler and lover of freedom, Alice knows what is going on, no matter where she roams. She specializes in marijuana legalization stories across the globe, with up to date... [read more]


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  1. By Tofer ,27 Nov 2018
    Who ever said honesty is the best policy is sadly mistaken. I was not allowed to join the coast guard because I admitted smoking marijuana when I was a kid. I could have lied and had a career in the […]Read More

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