We are all thinking of traveling when pandemic is over and many anxiously await that first trip to visit their extended family or their vacation property. If you like us and like your cannabis products, you have definitely thought about packing some of your favorite herb or your CBD medi gummies on a trip abroad.
Be aware when crossing US-Canada Boarder with any cannabis products which includes CBD products derived from cannabis or hemp you are now required to declare them or face a monetary penalty. Starting on March 29, 2021, Canada Border Security Agency (CBSA) has began fining individuals crossing the boarder who fail to to declare and provide a valid permit or exemption issued by the Government of Canada for any cannabis or cannabis products that they may carry.
The fine ranges from $200 to $2000 and the contravention will be stated on a written Notice of Penalty Assessment that will be served to the traveler. If you don’t provide accurate information in your declaration, that will also count as a contravention.
CBSA has previously notified the public of it’s intentions in 2019 in their Departmental plan. This measures stands to reduce the burden on criminal justice system and serve as an additional compliance tool. CBSA still reserves the right to pursue criminal charges alongside the fine if violation is deemed severe or an individual has history of non-compliance.
With these new fines in place CBSA reminds Canadians to remember that crossing US-Canadian boarder with any cannabis products is still illegal. Despite many US states that have decriminalized possession of cannabis and have thriving retail industry cannabis remains illegal under the federal law and is classified as schedule 1 narcotic. So do not cross the border with any amount of cannabis in any form, even if you are travelling to a U.S. state that has legal marijuana. It seems that the new regulations are a step in the right direction by avoiding over punishing for otherwise legal substance. Although prohibition on carrying some pot in our luggage still reminds us that changes in federal law are slow and sharing our homegrown with our neighbors to the south remains a pipe dream.