The Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) yesterday began issuing monetary penalties to travelers who fail to properly declare cannabis and cannabis products when crossing the border. The agency noted in a press release that while cannabis was legalized federally in 2018, it remains illegal to cross the border with cannabis without a valid permit or exemption.
The coronavirus has shuttered the border between the U.S. and Canada, and it remains closed to non-essential travel until at least April 21.
The financial penalties are “another tool, besides criminal prosecution” to enforce “unauthorized cross-border movement of cannabis in any form,” the CBSA said. The penalties will apply to travelers who provide false information to an officer or fail to report imported goods containing cannabis.
“The CBSA also reminds Canadians that although the possession of cannabis is legal in some U.S. states, it remains illegal under U.S. federal laws. Do not attempt to cross the Canada-U.S. border with any amount of cannabis in any form, even if you are travelling to a U.S. state that has legalized possession of cannabis.” – CBSA in a press release
Penalties will range from $200 to $2,000 CAD depending on the type of contravention, the severity of the offense, and any history of non-compliance. Those who disagree with the penalty will have 90 days to request a review of the officer’s decision.
The notice also notes that exporting cannabis products without a license – including CBD or hemp-derived products – remains illegal.
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