The U.S. Border Patrol has been giving lifetime bans at the border to those associated with Canada’s legal cannabis industry, according to The Star Vancouver. Because the border is under federal jurisdiction — even in states like Washington that have legalized cannabis — Border Patrol agents are required to obey U.S. federal requirements and issue lifetime bans to anyone who profits from cannabis.
One doesn’t need to handle cannabis plants directly or even have ever used cannabis — agricultural equipment manufacturers in the cannabis industry have been targeted as well. Jay Evans, CEO of Canadian processing equipment manufacturer Keirton Inc., was briefly detained and given a lifetime ban while crossing into the U.S. to begin the process of designing a new cannabis processing machine.
“We had not yet designed the product, we had not yet marketed the product and we’d not yet sold the product.” — Jay Evans, in an interview with The Star Vancouver
However, Evans doesn’t blame the border patrol; instead, Evans blames the U.S. Department of Justice and Jeff Sessions‘ paranoid anti-cannabis stance. The feds have not gone light on enforcing drug trafficking laws and still prevent banks and other financial institutions from dealing with the industry.
According to the report, the best thing to do for those detained by border patrol because of their work in the cannabis industry is to not admit anything. Lying is also grounds for a lifetime ban, so the best strategy is to neither confirm nor deny their questions and simply rescind the request to enter the United States.