Canadian Cannabis Investor Banned from the US for Life after trying to go to MJBizCon
An unrecognized cannabis investor from Canada has been denied entry to the United States for life after being stopped by U.S. Customs and Border Patrol on his way to MJBizCon. The Canadian cannabis investor wanted to visit a marijuana cultivation facility and take part in a cannabis business conference in Las Vegas.
According to Len Saunders, an immigration attorney in Blaine, Washington, the investor stated his plans to U.S border agents when he was inquired about his trip to Las Vegas on the morning of October 14.
Saunders said that he was driving right from Vancouver to Vegas and when it was discovered that he had plans on touring the marijuana facility and that he was a cannabis investor, he was given a lifetime ban.
At the Vancouver International Airport pre-clearance area, the man said to a border agent that he invests in a Canadian company that has a cannabis operation branch in Nevada. The transcript of the exchange obtained by Saunders stated that the agent told the man that investing in a U.S. cannabis company is a “violation of the Immigration and Nationality Act related to controlled substance trafficking.”
The investor answered by saying that “I learned that today,”
After that, the investor was told that he would be banned from entering the United States for life.
When the recreational use of cannabis was legalized in Canada in October, immigration officials in the U.S. declared that anyone associated with the marijuana industry would be banned from entering the country. The statement was later overhauled to specify that trips unrelated to the cannabis industry would be permitted.
According to the update, a Canadian citizen who is employed in the proliferation of the legal marijuana industry in Canada, visiting the U.S. for reasons beyond the marijuana industry will generally be accepted in the U.S., but if a visitor comes to the U.S. to do business in the marijuana industry, they may be denied entry.
On November 13 twelve travelers working in the Canadian cannabis industry were detained at the pre-clearance area of Toronto International Airport on their way to MJBizCon. According to the senior vice-president at the lobbying firm Global Public Affairs, Roderick Elliot he and a colleague missed their flight to Las Vegas due to delays at the CBP secondary screening area.
Elliot said that the chief border guard ask them about their trip to Las Vegas, and when they told the guard that they were going to the Marijuana Business Conference, he said they should come with him.
According to Elliot, the guard told them to wait in a room with ten others going to the conference. They were also asked not to utilize their cell phones while they were detained.
Elliot said that he is a fan of secure borders. However, these border guards were intentionally wasting time, and he was shocked that it was a reasonably additional measure, which could have been handled more professionally.
Some Canadian cannabis executives headed to MJ BizCon had to travel to Los Angeles or San Diego to avoid questions about the meeting.