U.S. Customs and Border Protection enforces the laws of the United States and U.S. laws will not change following Canada’s legalization of cannabis. Requirements for international travelers wishing to enter the United States are governed by and conducted in accordance with U.S. Federal Law, which supersedes state laws. Although medical and recreational cannabis may be legal in some U.S. States and Canada, the sale, possession, production and distribution of cannabis or the facilitation of the aforementioned remain illegal under U.S. Federal Law. Consequently, crossing the border or arriving at a U.S. port of entry in violation of this law may result in denied admission, seizure, fines, and apprehension.
CBP officers are thoroughly trained on admissibility factors and the Immigration and Nationality Act, which broadly governs the admissibility of travelers into the United States. Determinations about admissibility and whether any regulatory or criminal enforcement is appropriate are made by a CBP officer based on the facts and circumstances known to the officer at the time.
Generally, any arriving alien who is determined to be a drug abuser or addict, or who is convicted of, admits having committed, or admits committing, acts which constitute the essential elements of a violation of (or an attempt or conspiracy to violate) any law or regulation of a State, the United States, or a foreign country relating to a controlled substance, is inadmissible to the United States.
A Canadian citizen working in or facilitating the proliferation of the legal cannabis industry in Canada, coming to the U.S. for reasons unrelated to the cannabis industry will generally be admissible to the U.S. however, if a traveler is found to be coming to the U.S. for reason related to the cannabis industry, they may be deemed inadmissible.
CBP officers are the nation’s first line of defense in preventing the illegal importation of narcotics, including cannabis. U.S. federal law prohibits the importation of cannabis and CBP officers will continue to enforce that law.
For more information regarding U.S. entry requirements, visit https://www.cbp.gov/travel.