The number of Canadians who may be willing to admit their perfectly legal pot use or cannabis industry employment is set to grow exponentially this fall, but the U.S. is not planning to walk back its restrictions.
Those who are banned for life can still apply to enter the country if they have a legal waiver from an immigration lawyer, which can allow access for a period of one to five years.
U.S. border officials may actually even be ramping up their efforts to catch foreign cannabis industry members and prevent them from visiting. Saunders said that he believes authorities are actively searching the websites of Canadian canna-businesses in order to identify staff members and create “Lookouts” for them in the border agency’s computer systems, so that guards will know to question these individuals about their involvement with marijuana.
The combination of fully legal weed in Canada and increased border restrictions in the U.S. is likely to greatly exacerbate this problem this fall. “It’s going to happen even more, and especially now that they’re going after business travellers, it’s going to be the Wild West at the border. It’s going to be crazy.”
For any Canadian cannabis users or employees who wish to enter the U.S., Saunders recommends keeping quiet about one’s involvement with the cannabis industry. Admitting this involvement is a certain way to get banned from the country, but being caught lying about it will also get one barred for life. The best solution would be to refuse to answer any questions about marijuana, and withdraw one’s request to enter the country if necessary.