U.S. Marijuana Business Conference goers faced scrutiny while crossing the border, one investor gets entry ban.
A Canadian investor travelling to Las Vegas, Nevada, to attend a prominent marijuana conference and tour a new marijuana facility has been issued a lifetime entry ban to the United States, a report in the Financial Post said.
The Financial Post article which quoted the investor’s immigration lawyer also said many others were detained at the border and subject to questioning.
At least 12 Canadians, who were heading to the conference, were detained at the border. Many others managed to circumvent the process by flying down to a different but nearby city in the U.S. and then driving to the conference.
The Marijuana Business Conference & Expo is held annually in Las Vegas in the fall and is widely recognized as the largest professional trade-show for legal marijuana markets and ancillary products in the world.
The investor who was banned from entry into the U.S. was hoping to attend the conference, his lawyer said.
“He was travelling straight from Vancouver to Vegas. When they found out he was going down to tour the marijuana facility and that he was an investor in marijuana, they gave him a lifetime ban,” said Len Saunders, an immigration lawyer, who was consulted by the individual after receiving the ban.
The individual, who invests in a Canadian marijuana business that has an operation in Nevada, received the ban on the morning of November 14, as he travelled to Las Vegas to attend the Marijuana Business Conference & Expo, one of the largest gatherings of marijuana industry players. The conference attracted close to 25,000 investors, entrepreneurs, lenders, lobbyists and executives of major U.S. and Canadian licensed cannabis producers, among others, the Financial Post article said.
A U.S. border guard at Vancouver International Airport’s pre-clearance area asked the individual if he understood that an investment in the U.S. marijuana industry was a “violation of the Immigration and Nationality Act related to controlled substance trafficking.”
The only way to circumvent a lifetime entry ban to the U.S. is to apply for a temporary waiver that will permit you to cross the border for up to five years. But applying for a waiver is a long and cumbersome process, full of paperwork, according to experts.
Marijuana is now federally legal in Canada, and legal for both recreational and medical use in 10 U.S. states, including Nevada, as well as Washington D.C., but remains illegal federally in the U.S.
There are concerns of how Canadians who are affiliated with the marijuana industry will be treated when trying to cross the U.S. border and whether more bans are likely to come.