For several years now, the Border Protection or CBP and the U.S. Customs and Border have been given the power to interrogate Canadian residents who are planning to enter the U.S. soils about their cannabis use.
But with the recent plans of Canada in cannabis legalization, the U.S. is focusing on the whole cannabis industry which includes the investors.
Apparently, Canadian residents who have invested in the cannabis companies in the U.S might be prohibited to enter U.S. soils. This is even after they pass drug tests or even if they haven’t used cannabis all their life.
Toronto Star, Canada’s largest online news site described the recent tension at the border of the United States and Canada as an underlying effort of the US to stop the cannabis industry from growing in their country.
According to the news site, the tension might be quiet but it is slowly turning into a bigger conflict.
The U.S.’ cannabis market is steadily growing with more states legalizing cannabis both for medical and recreational use.
Sam Znaimer, a venture capitalist from Vancouver, British Columbia, had started investing in several American startups that dealt with cannabis.
According to CTV News, Znaimer was stopped by the officials in the U.S.-Canada border when he was about to enter United State in May this year.
Znaimer said that he was never asked about if he possessed cannabis or if he has consumed the drug before even if this question is permitted. Instead, Znaimer said that he was interrogated about his investments in the cannabis industry in the U.S. by the Homeland Security.
“In the course of four hours, they never did ask [about pot consumption] and I believe that was because they wanted to send a message to Canadians that it has not only to do with your personal behaviour but whether in any way you have invested in these companies,” Znaimer told CTV Vancouver on Thursday.
Canadian officials find the action of the Homeland Security strange as their fellow man was not asked if he has ever used cannabis considering that the law enforcement officers of the border patrol are compelled to ask that question.
Len Saunders, an immigration lawyer from the State of Washington said that the whole case is not that unique anymore.
Atty. Saunders said that he has observed an uptick in the number of businessmen, particularly those who have invested in the cannabis industry in the U.S. being denied entry into the United States and being stopped or were even forbidden from investing in the companies in the U.S.
According to Saunders, Canadian entrepreneurs were caught off guard with the action. As of the moment, cannabis is legal in the state of Washington, and it will be legal soon in Canada, and the people who crossed over the border are baffled with why the border patrol is making a big deal out of it.
But as Saunders explains, the definition of the Department of Homeland Security of “business” seem to be very vague and broad and can include any investment plans or any other mutual funds in the U.S. He also cited an Edmonton man who has received a lifetime prohibition from entering the U.S. territory because he was a part owner of a Colorado building that had leased a space to a cannabis dispensary.
The Cannabis Business Times have seen these concerns raised in a number of times where a lot of Canadian citizens have either been banned from crossing in the U.S. or being just denied entry as a major difficulty at the border if the CBP continues its ambiguous and aggressive examination tactics.
It also seems that even Canadians who also have some investments in cannabis companies in Canada have a problem as CBP agents become stricter as soon as they discover this. Canadian analysts think that this dubious actions by the border patrol are premeditated to stop Canadian entrepreneurs from investing in U.S. cannabis industry.
As a matter of fact, on March 19, 2018, Saunders testified before the Canadian Senate Committee on Bill C-45. He said that when Donald Trump talks about building a wall that would separate the U.S. from its neighbors in the south, he also sees the U.S. president creating a wall in the northern border because of cannabis.
In an interview with Cannabis Business Times, Saunders said that the border interrogation used to be only for cannabis-related cases were the people crossing over admitted to smoking it.
But within the last six month, Saunders reported a significant uptick on the cross-examination on Canadians who work for or own a cannabis-related business.
A press officer of the Bureau of International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs of U.S. State Department stated that “the admission requirements into the United States will not change due to Canada’s legalization of cannabis.”
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