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Potential Immigration Impact of the Legalization of Cannabis in Canada

Posted October 18, 2018Articles

On October 17, 2018, Canada's new cannabis legalization law went into effect. The use, possession, and distribution of cannabis remain illegal under U.S. federal law, so it's important to keep that in mind from an immigration perspective.

While U.S. Customs and Border Protection does not intend to ask all visitors entering the U.S. about cannabis use, questions may arise in some instances such as if officers smell marijuana or if CBP dogs detect the drug. If asked, travelers should not lie about their drug use, however, they should be aware that illegal drug use can result in the traveler being found inadmissible to the U.S. Other potential consequences include, but are not limited to, denial of entry, denial of a visa, denial of the visa waiver program (ESTA), or losing trusted traveler privileges such as NEXUS.

Individuals who work in the legal marijuana industry in Canada will likely be admissible so long as the purpose of travel to the U.S. is not related to the marijuana industry. If the travel is related to the industry, CBP may deem the traveler inadmissible.

If you have an questions about inadmissibility please reach out to your designated Meltzer Hellrung LLC attorney.