Canadians can’t take marijuana across the U.S. border, even with legalization on both sides. The status of B.C. cannabis industry employees is not yet clear. (Black Press files)

Canadians can’t take marijuana across the U.S. border, even with legalization on both sides. The status of B.C. cannabis industry employees is not yet clear. (Black Press files)

B.C. marijuana workers may face U.S. border scrutiny

Cannabis still illegal federally south of the border

As B.C. gets ready to launch government-run wholesale and retail sales of recreational marijuana, the province is concerned about its own employees running afoul of U.S. law at the border.

Wholesale and “BC Cannabis Stores” run by the province’s Liquor Distribution Branch will be staffed by provincial employees and managers, with the first store set to open in Kamloops Oct. 17.

Public Safety ministry staff confirm that minister Mike Farnworth has warned Ottawa that people involved in the legal trade may be prevented from entering the U.S., even though B.C. will be joining Washington and other states with legal recreational sales.

RELATED: BC Cannabis stores to start with 150 strains

“Concerns regarding border crossing have been brought to the attention of the U.S. officials,” the ministry said in a statement. “Canadians with questions or concerns should speak directly to the Canadian Border Services Agency or other federal departments.”

The federal government’s “Cannabis in Canada” website warns that Canadian citizens may not bring any quantity of marijuana into the U.S., even for licensed medical use or when travelling to a state where it is legal.

U.S. border agents may ask Canadians their occupation, and if it is marijuana-related, they are bound to apply U.S. federal law that still prohibits the drug.


@tomfletcherbc
tfletcher@blackpress.ca

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