As of October 17, 2018, Canadians can legally use recreational marijuana. However, federal marijuana law in the United States remains unchanged. U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) has issued a reminder that it will continue to enforce federal law at the border regardless of medical or recreational marijuana use that is permitted in Canada or by some states. An individual entering into the U.S. in violation of this law will face penalties such as denial of admission, marijuana seizure assessment of fines, and/or apprehension or arrest.
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, CBP said, “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 who is working in or facilitating the proliferation of the legal marijuana industry in Canada and is coming to the United States for reasons unrelated to the marijuana industry will generally be admissible, CBP said. However, if a traveler is found to be coming to the United States for a reason related to the marijuana industry, he or she may be deemed inadmissible. CBP noted that the burden of proof is on the Canadian citizen.