Cannabis gummies are not a safe food at the border. Or airport. I am increasingly hearing reports of persons denied entry due to being in possession of cannabis gummies.
I routinely speak with clients about marijuana issues that arise at the border and airports. Since Canada legalized cannabis, and many U.S. states have as well, there has been a surge in the availability of different types of cannabis products. The variety of products is astounding. And confusing.
Cannabis edibles are very popular. Gummies are particularly so. And there are so many different types of gummie products. The cannabis gummies are clear contraband in CBP’s eyes. Hemp based gummies might not be. The 2018 Farm Bill make hemp product legal if they have .3% or less of THC using a dry weight measure.
U.S. Customs and Border Protection is denying entry to persons found in possession of cannabis gummies, and requiring them to apply for a waiver of inadmissibility. If found inadmissible, waivers will have to be renewed for life, and at some great expense.
This scenario is playing out at major international airports and major border crossings. A person has a few cannabis or CBD gummies in their bag. Maybe they’re the sort of edible meant to help a person sleep, or slightly ease anxiety. Maybe the person forgot the gummy was in their bag. CBP finds it. CBP then confiscates the contraband, and denies the person entry, and may inform them a bit on the waiver process.
It is painful to hear of these situations, especially when a sudden finding of inadmissibility has far-stretching effects. The prevalence of legalized cannabis products has led to more incidents like this.
Eligibility for waivers depends on a number of factors. And there are different types of waivers…. waivers for nonimmigrants, waivers for immigrants, and consent to apply for re-entry, to name a few. As a rule of thumb, the passage of time helps for eligibility, but every situation has its own set of facts. And sometimes a waiver isn’t needed at all. The facts of the situation have to be considered, as well as the short and long-term goals of the person encountering this difficulty.