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Don’t Cross The U.S./Canada Border With CBD

Don’t Cross The U.S./Canada Border With CBD

You are traveling to Canada and want to take your bottle of CBD oil with you. Regarding cannabis legalization, Canada recently joined the ranks of liberal countries, so you're probably thinking it should be fine, right? Well, things are a little bit more complicated than that.

If you want to know more about what Canadian law permits regarding the use of cannabis or CBD oil in Canada, or you want to know where to buy CBD during your stay, read on. In this article, we answer your most pressing questions, and give practical tips for travellers with CBD oil.

If you are traveling to Canada and want to take your bottle of CBD oil with you, read on.

RELATED: Is CBD Oil Legal in NY?

Legal Regulations on Entering Canada with Cannabis

Although cannabis is legally permitted in Canada, under the current law it remains illegal to transport any cannabis, including CBD oil, across the Canadian border without permission. Take note that Canadian law sees even hemp-CBD as cannabis, unlike in the USA.

If you try to take marijuana across the US/Canada border without a permit or exemption, you will be committing a serious criminal offense. (Permits or exemption should be obtained, prior to traveling, through Health Canada a federal health department). For this, you could be arrested and prosecuted, even though cannabis is legal in Canada.

You are not allowed to enter Canada with cannabis even if:

  • You are authorized to use cannabis for medical purposes
  • You are traveling to or from an area that has legalized or decriminalized cannabis
  • You are carrying small amounts of cannabis [1]

RELATED: Is CBD Oil Legal in Maine?

I am about to cross the US/Canada border and have cannabis or CBD oil in my suitcase. However, I’ve just found out that I am not allowed to bring any amount of cannabis in Canada. What should I do?

If this is the case, stay calm and don’t try to hide it! If you possess cannabis or CBD oil, it is your responsibility to declare it to the Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA). As mentioned, if you don’t declare possession of cannabis (including CBD) at the border, you are risking arrest and prosecution by the authorities. [1]

Your oil will possibly be confiscated by the Customs Officers. Yet,

  • if you need it for medical purposes,
  • if you have no more than a month's supply with you,
  • if the label on your oil bottle shows that you bought it at a medical dispensary, and
  • if you have the doctor's prescription with you,

you could try your luck by pleading with the officer in charge. There is a chance that you will be allowed to keep the oil entering Canada, but it is not guaranteed. That will be for the discretion of the person in charge.

If you need your CBD oil for a serious medical condition, be sure to do your research before you travel to Canada.

RELATED: Is CBD Oil Legal in New Hampshire?

It is the traveler's responsibility to familiarize themselves with the import and export laws of the country they're visiting. Especially if you need your CBD oil for a serious medical condition, rather be sure to do your research before you travel. [6]

Since Canada's provisions regarding import and export of cannabis need to be in line with its international drug treaty commitments, the country is not free to supply cannabis to countries that have legalized marijuana for recreational use. [3]

RELATED: Is CBD Oil Legal in Montana?

Legal Regulations on Leaving Canada with Cannabis

As you might have guessed, the rules that apply when entering Canada with cannabis also apply when leaving the country with cannabis.

It is important to remember that cannabis is illegal in most countries, including the U.S. If you try to enter any of these countries with any amount of cannabis in your possession, you may be deemed inadmissible.

Travelers taking hemp-CBD oil shouldn't have these challenges, as hemp has not only been declared a legal substance, the U.S. customs regulations are fairly clear on this.

The U.S. Customs and Borders Protection says on their website:

"Federal law prohibits human consumption and possession of schedule I controlled substances. Products containing tetrahydrocannabinols (THC), the hallucinogenic substance in marijuana are illegal to import. Products that do not cause THC to enter the human body are therefore legal products."

Therefore, products that don’t contain THC are legal. [5]

However, you will probably still need to be able to prove that your CBD oil is indeed THC free, so familiarize yourself with the U.S. Customs' requirements in this regard.

In the case of transporting marijuana products, the U.S border is known to be extremely strict. The U.S. guard on the Canadian border has been known to ban travelers from entry, for life, simply because they admitted that they have smoked pot before. Do research to familiarize yourself with the transport restrictions for medical marijuana.

As said—it is your responsibility to know the laws of the country you're visiting. [1]

Buying and Traveling with CBD Oil Within Canada

The Cannabis Act that came into force on October 17, 2018, allows provinces and territories in Canada to determine cannabis distribution and selling within their jurisdictions. Canada's national law defines CBD as cannabis, so these regulations apply. Every province and territory has its own, also an excise stamp, and it is your responsibility as a traveler to be properly informed about them.

Aside from Alberta and Quebec, where the legal age to buy cannabis is 18, the other provinces and territories have made it legal to buy cannabis at the age of 19. The legal limit of cannabis you are allowed to possess in Canada is 30 grams. [4]

Depending on the regulations in each district, you can buy CBD oil without a prescription in:

  • Private license stores (Alberta, Manitoba, Newfoundland and Labrador, and Saskatchewan)
  • Government-operated stores (British Columbia, New Brunswick, Northwest Territories, Nova Scotia, Nunavut, Ontario, Prince Edward Island, Quebec, and Yukon)
  • Making an online purchase of CBD oil in Canada is allowed in all districts and territories. [4]

RELATED: Is CBD Oil Legal in Idaho?

Why Is It Illegal to Bring Cannabis into Canada When It's Legal There?

Transportation of cannabis into Canada is illegal because the country is a signatory to various international conventions that regulate drug use, including the Single Convention on Narcotic Drugs (1961), the Convention on Psychotropic Substances (1971), as well as the United Nations Convention Against Illicit Traffic in Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances (1988).

These international drug conventions oblige every signatory country to maintain control over the movement of cannabis. The control should be compliant to the strict trade rules that make cannabis transportation between countries possible only if it is for medical and scientific purposes. [2]

RELATED: Vermont CBD Oil: How to Find the Highest Quality

Consequently, The Cannabis Act strictly regulates the production, distribution, possession, and sale of cannabis in Canada.

After legalizing cannabis in Canada, the lawmakers passed laws that allow transportation, importation, and exportation of cannabis in very limited circumstances. [3]

The Cannabis Act strictly regulates the production, distribution, possession, and sale of cannabis in Canada.

RELATED: Is CBD Oil Legal in Michigan?

Health Canada issues permits or grants exemptions for medical or scientific purposes. You can also get a permit for transporting industrial hemp. It also is the responsibility of Health Canada to maintain control over the movement of cannabis in a way that is consistent with the international drug control conventions that, again, strictly limit cannabis trade to scientific and medical purposes. [3] [2]

To sum it up—you are not allowed to cross the US/Canada border with any cannabis product, including CBD oil. If you are traveling to Canada, to stay out of trouble, we recommend simply buying a new bottle of CBD oil. You can either buy it in a licensed store or online. [5]

Sources:

  1. https://www.canada.ca/en/services/health/campaigns/cannabis/border.html
  2. https://www.cbsa-asfc.gc.ca/travel-voyage/cannabis-eng.html
  3. https://www.canada.ca/en/health-canada/services/drugs-medication/cannabis/licensed-producers/policies-directives-guidance-information-bulletins/import-export-cannabis-licensed-producers-information-bulletin.html [Under: Import and Export]
  4. https://www.canada.ca/en/health-canada/services/drugs-medication/cannabis/laws-regulations/provinces-territories.html
  5. https://help.cbp.gov/app/answers/detail/a_id/1751/~/importing-hemp-products-into-the-u.s
  6. https://www.canada.ca/en/health-canada/services/health-concerns/controlled-substances-precursor-chemicals/policy-regulations/policy-documents/section-56-class-exemption-travellers-who-importing-exporting-prescription-drug-products-containing-narcotic-controlled-drug.html

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