Big bump in pot busts at the US-Canada border

Published on May 12, 2022 by oz. staff

Photo: Adobe Stock/the oz.
The Blue Water Bridge border crossing connects Port Huron, Mich. and Sarnia, Ont.

Don’t cross the border with weed.

That’s the message from the Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) as the amount of cannabis seized at the border has increased dramatically. The CBSA says in 2021 it made 22,779 cannabis seizures totalling 16.5 millions grams, which compares to seizures totalling less than 500,000 grams of cannabis in the 2017-18 fiscal.

Yes, cannabis is legal in Canada, but it’s still illegal to bring it in or out of Canada.

“Individuals who do not declare their cannabis when entering Canada may face enforcement action, such as seizure, arrest, and/or monetary penalties,” says the CBSA. “The penalty will be applied based on the type, severity and frequency of the contravention.”

“Travellers visiting or returning to Canada can contribute to a smooth border crossing by understanding and complying with their obligations at the Canadian border,” it says.

The CBSA is also telling people to buy from licensed Canadian cannabis retailers when shopping online to avoid possible criminal prosecution.

“All goods entering Canada, whether by mail, or other modes of entry (air, marine, land, rail), must be reported to the CBSA and may be subject to a more in-depth exam. The CBSA enforces over 100 acts of Parliament on behalf of the Government, as they apply at the border. CBSA officers have the authority to examine in-bound shipments as well as goods for export,” it says.

“Personal, mail, courier, and commercial shipments are subject to the Customs Act and may be examined for prohibited goods, including cannabis and cannabis products.”