O Canada! I hear you have made cannabis legal throughout your entire country! When added to your socialized medicine and much, much lower rates of "sadly unavoidable" shootings in schools, you are making it ever more enticing for me to renounce my US citizenship. And due to our syphilitic-brained, xenophobic, traffic-cone-colored Dictator-in-Chief, you're looking more attractive by the minute. I very much look forward to spending your "loonies," eating your french fries needlessly topped with strange sauces, and of course, partaking of your sweet Canadian cannabis soon.
But first, I will need to negotiate a border crossing. That's not a big deal, as I (shockingly) don't have a criminal record. But I need to remember that even though cannabis is legal in the four West Coast states beneath your border as well as your entire beautiful country to the north, the football-field-wide strip of land separating them is staffed by officers of the law who hold a different view.
Border-crossing traffic is expected to increase when Canadian cannabis access begins in full later this year. Just as there are US citizens who avail themselves of Canada's legal drinking age of 19, the legal age for cannabis purchases and consumption will be 18 or 19, depending on the province. (At 18, I would have crawled across broken glass to enter a utopia where weed could be legally purchased.)
American cannabis tourists heading into Canada should tell the truth, but perhaps not advertise that the main purpose for their trip is to buy weed. When returning home, don't bring back that one bud to show friends. That can get you a stiff fine and possibly arrested.
Like every country right now, Canada and their citizens are getting screwed by the US. If you have Canadian friends—and all Canadians are our friends—coming to visit the US, and they are employed or benefiting in any way from the cannabis industry, let them know while they're here: "Ixnay on the eed-way usiness-bay alk-tay, eh?")
People entering the US from Canada are finding that admitting you have consumed cannabis, work in Canada's legal cannabis industry, or even have invested in (or otherwise have a financial interest in) cannabis, can result in permanent banishment from the former colonies. Lifetime level of banishment.
This isn't anything new, although enforcement is strict and growing, thanks in part to Canada's white-hot investment money pouring into the US cannabis market. Oregon continues to be a favored shopping mall of brands and dispensaries for Canadian investors, and consolidation is already well underway.
In a story from Canadian TV news channel CTV, the banned-for-life penalty is lately being applied in greater numbers. The story looks at an executive with a harvesting equipment company, an industry executive, and a high-profile venture capitalist, all of whom were banned solely because of their cannabis industry involvement, and not consumption.
And once banned, as with many, many things in line with the US at present, you are pretty much fucked. CTV concludes with this:
"For those Canadians who are banned from the States for their cannabis use or business dealings, there’s little recourse.... They can apply for temporary waivers that will permit them to cross the border for up to five years. The process for applying for a waiver can be cumbersome and costly, however. The application requires a lot of paperwork and can take up to a year to process. It also costs US$585, according to the US Customs and Border Protection website."