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Two Canada-bound travellers fined after being caught at the border with cannabis

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Separate incidents occurred on March 11 and 12

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The Canada Border Services Agency is reporting two recent cannabis busts at the Windsor-Detroit Tunnel involving two Canada-bound travellers.

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The first stop occurred on March 11 and resulted in CBSA officers seizing 2,722 grams of cannabis. No charges were laid but the traveller was fined $2K for the importation of cannabis, reports iHeartRadio.

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The following day, CBSA officers seized six grams of magic mushrooms and 1,894 grams of cannabis. Again, no charges were laid but the traveller was fined $2K.

It is illegal to take cannabis – including edibles, extracts and topicals, and all products containing CBD – across the Canadian border, whether you are entering or leaving the country, notes the Canadian government.

The prohibition applies even to those who hold a medical document authorizing the use of cannabis for medical purposes, though individuals with a permit or exemption authorized by Health Canada may travel with cannabis. 

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Penalties for cannabis-related offences at the border include fines of up to $2,000. The CBSA also maintains records on previous enforcement actions, including monetary penalties.

For those entering the U.S., cannabis-related offences can lead to a lifetime ban from the country. Despite the plant being legal in many states, it remains federally illegal and federal law supersedes state laws.

Travellers who arrive at a U.S. port of entry or border crossing with cannabis in their possession may be denied admission, and face seizure, fines and apprehension.

Canadians who work in cannabis and attempt to enter the U.S. for reasons related to the industry may also be deemed inadmissible.

In November, a B.C. man that operates a cross-border business said he would likely need 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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The man, 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. As a result, he was handed a lifetime ban and fined US$500 (about $670).

The man can attempt to enter the U.S. with a waiver, though the waivers are temporary, there’s no guarantee they will be approved and they cost US$585. 

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