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Canadian man forgets he has a bottle of CBD in his car, gets banned from the U.S. for life

Nov 23, 2022 | Media Partners, The GrowthOp

This post is presented by our media partner The Growth Op
View the original article here.

B.C. man that operates a cross-border business says he will likely have to fold his company following lifetime ban

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A B.C. man that operates a cross-border business says he will likely have to fold his company after he attempted to enter the U.S. with a bottle of CBD oil in his car.

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Jonathan Houweling was banned from the U.S. for life after he was selected for a random search at the Peace Arch border in Surrey, B.C., a trip he’s made dozens of times without issue, reports CBC.

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  1. Despite her cannabis possession charge being pardoned in the '80s, Robyn Jones still can't cross the border. PHOTO BY SUZANNE CORDEIRO/AFP VIA GETTY IMAGES

    Canadian woman unable to cross the border for rolling a joint 40 years ago

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    Canadian may be banned for life from U.S. after attempt to cross border with CBD oil

  3. FILE: A Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) sign. /

    As travel restrictions ease, CBSA reminds Canadians not to cross the border with cannabis

Houweling, who owns an events company that works with Christmas festivals in the U.S., said he put the CBD in his centre console a few years ago and had forgotten about it.

CBD which contains less than 0.3 per cent THC is not a controlled substance in the U.S. However, the border agent reportedly told Houweling that the oil tested positive for THC.

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Houweling was detained at the border for hours, fingerprinted, DNA swabbed and fined US$500. He has since applied for an entry waiver for people who are inadmissible, which cost US$585. The waivers are temporary and there’s no guarantee that they will be approved.

With the ban in place, he’s not optimistic about the future of his business in the U.S.

“I simply can’t see a way to make it work in the future if I can’t be there in person. It would have to fold,” he told CBC, adding his clients “can’t associate a family-friendly oriented Christmas festival with someone like myself who has this lifetime ban.”

In October, as travel restrictions eased, the Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) reminded Canadians not to cross the border with cannabis.

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“Transporting cannabis across the border in any form, including any oils containing tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) or cannabidiol (CBD), without a permit or exemption authorized by Health Canada remains a serious criminal offence subject to arrest and prosecution, despite the legalization of cannabis in Canada,” the agency noted.

In 2019, a Canadian woman was also given a lifetime ban from the U.S. after she was found to have CBD oil in her possession. The woman consumed CBD to help mitigate the pain and other side-effects of scoliosis. She was attempting to enter the U.S. in Washington and reportedly thought it was legal to travel with the CBD since Washington is a legal state.

“I use CBD daily and it’s not psychoactive, it can’t get me high at the dosage that I’ve been told to take it at,” she said, adding that she “felt like a criminal.”

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“I didn’t feel like I was treated with respect on it, considering it’s for a medical purpose,” she said.

The woman’s lifetime ban was later reversed but that isn’t always the case.

Earlier this month, The GrowthOp reported on the case of a Canadian woman who has been banned from the U.S. due to a cannabis charge dating back more than 40 years ago.

Robyn Jones was 17 when she was busted for cannabis possession in 1981. Despite receiving a pardon seven years later, the charge reared up in 2013 at the Niagara Falls border crossing. Jones was driving with her family to Florida when she was brought into the border office, questioned, photographed and fingerprinted.

Jones was temporarily allowed to enter the U.S. but hasn’t been back since. The temporary entry waivers are expensive and provide no guarantee, she says.

“My own country had pardoned me for this but that didn’t matter,” she says. “They told the federal government of the United States of America not to forget. They hold on to that information.”

We’d love to hear from you. Get in touch with feedback and story tips at thegrowthop@postmedia.com

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