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Correa Leads Congress in Demanding DHS Briefing on Canadian Cannabis Legislation

Congressman Lou Correa

Washington, DC – Today, Congressman Lou Correa (D-CA), joined by 18 of his colleagues, sent a bipartisan letter to Department of Homeland Security Secretary Nielsen, and Customs and Border Patrol Commissioner McAleenan requesting a briefing on the United States’ border policy with Canadian cannabis users and industry employees.

The letter comes as a response to reports that U.S. Customs and Border Patrol is banning Canadians involved in legal commerce with the American cannabis industry from entering the United States, and also seeks clarification on how Canadian cannabis legalization will affect cross-border mobility.

Rep. Correa said, “Canada is our largest trading partner, and the first G7 country to legalize recreational cannabis. With cannabis legal in some way or another for more than half of Americans, it is vital to Americans and legitimate American businesses that we clarify and rewrite our federal laws regarding cannabis. Right now, contradictory federal policy is winning over common sense.

Today, more than half of all Americans live in a place where cannabis is legal in some form. To ban legitimate American companies from doing business with legitimate Canadian businesses hurts both our economies, and takes good jobs away from Americans. The explosion of the legal cannabis industry is upon us. For the federal government to continue to deny this is foolish.”

Signatories: Rep. Earl Blumenauer, Rep. Steve Cohen, Rep. Matt Gaetz, Rep. Raúl Grijalva, Rep. Elanor Holmes Norton, Rep. Pramila Jayapal, Rep. Ro Khanna, Rep. Ruben Kihuen, Rep. Denny Heck, Rep. Barbra Lee, Rep. Zoe Lofgren, James McGovern, Rep. Jimmy Panetta, Rep. Mark Pocan, Rep. Dana Rohrabacher, Rep. Bonnie Watson Coleman, Rep. Don Young, Rep. Peter Welch.


Dear Secretary Nielsen and Commissioner McAleenan:

We write to request a briefing from the U.S. Department of Homeland Security concerning the impact of Canada’s legalization of recreational cannabis on cross-border transit.

Today marks the legalization of recreational cannabis in Canada, though medical cannabis has been legal in the country since 2001. Even before today, issues have arisen at the U.S.-Canada border regarding individuals with ties to cannabis. For example, U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officers have labeled Canadians associated with cannabis as “inadmissible,” regardless of whether the individual has used or is in possession of cannabis. If an individual is banned for life, they must apply in advance for a temporary waiver, which is granted on a discretionary basis and are valid from one to five years, to enter the United States.

According to The Star Vancouver, in April 2018, three individuals “with Nexus passes” conducting lawful business activities for an agricultural equipment manufacturer were questioned by CBP when they attempted to enter the United States. The employees, who were not in possession of cannabis or under the influence of any controlled substance, had a meeting with an American company to discuss the design of a new machine that would be used in the cannabis industry, which reportedly prompted CBP officials to send them to secondary questioning. Subsequently, CBP confiscated their Canadian issued trusted traveler credentials and banned the individuals from the United States for life.

We recognize the Immigration and Nationality Act, which governs the admissibility of foreign nationals into the United States, allows for the debarment of foreign nationals associated with controlled substances. We appreciate that CBP clarified that “a Canadian citizen working in or facilitating the proliferation of the legal [cannabis] industry in Canada, coming to the U.S. for reasons unrelated to [cannabis] will generally be admissible to the U.S.” However, as CBP noted, Canadians traveling to the U.S. to conduct work with legitimate American cannabis businesses may still be deemed inadmissible.

Last year, Canadians made more than 42 million trips into the United States. Given Canada’s proximity and close trading ties with the United States, there is a significant likelihood that some Canadian nationals traveling to the United States will be connected to the legal cannabis industry, or may be financial investors or shareholders in cannabis companies — several of which are openly traded on the US stock exchange. Therefore, we believe that clarification of CBP’s admissions policies and procedures is critical.

We urge CBP to clarify its admissions policies and procedures at U.S. ports of entry with respect to individuals associated with the legal cannabis industry, or who may be shareholders in these businesses, to help ensure transparency of such processes. The role that CBP plays in processing thousands of foreign nationals who come to the United States daily to conduct business is critical not only to the success of our economy, but also the safety and security of the American people.

Please be prepared to address the following questions during the briefing:

  • How will CBP officers evaluate and determine whether a foreign national should be barred from the U.S. for disclosing that they have consumed cannabis?
  • How will CBP officers determine if a foreign national is associated with the legal cannabis industry and whether secondary questioning is appropriate?
  • What level of involvement or activity (e.g. investment in a legal cannabis company) will result in lifetime ban?
  • In the past year, how many foreign nationals were questioned and/or barred from entry into the U.S. from countries or jurisdictions that have legalized recreational and/or medical cannabis?
  • What impact will the debarment of foreign nationals associated with the legal cannabis industry have on the entry of their immediate family members into the U.S.?
  • Will Canadian government officials responsible for the development of cannabis regulations be considered inadmissible?
  • What steps are necessary to reform our regulatory and legislative environment to reflect the emerging cannabis industry in Canada, the U.S. as well as other countries?

We look forward to your timely response. Thank you for your attention to this important matter.



  1. 4th District Resident 4th District Resident October 18, 2018

    Good to see Lou Correa endorsing the Republican in the 4th District Supervisor election. Shows real class and bipartisanship.


    • Dan Chmielewski Dan Chmielewski Post author | October 18, 2018

      Party rules allow elected like Lou to endorse anyone without consequence; he explained why he endorsed Shaw on VoOC. Given that the “progressives” at the OJ blog are gunning for Chafee, take it over there

      • SweetLou's Sweet Gig SweetLou's Sweet Gig October 19, 2018

        Chaffee? Your guy who’s wife was caught red-handed trespassing and stealing campaign signs in the middle of the night?

        Nice candidate you “progressive” Dems got there.

        It’s just funny that Correa has very little party loyalty. Acts like a Republican most of the time. Maybe he’ll just switch.

    • Dan Chmielewski Dan Chmielewski Post author | October 19, 2018

      A few comments have gone up attributed to me and to Vern Nelson written by neither one of us based on IP addresses; looks like I need to place my own name and email in moderation to stop the spoofers. My apologies to Vern for the comment that was up for several hours. I’m not on the blog 24/7 so it was dealt with as soon as I could. Some clever folks have figured out a way around moderation holds and have posted directly. It’s going to take some time to resolve this.

      • Greg Saphire Greg Saphire October 19, 2018

        Sounds like Greg Diamond to me!

    • Dan Chmielewski Dan Chmielewski Post author | October 19, 2018

      See the VOC story on that. Lou explained things pretty well.

  2. SweetLou's Sweet Gig SweetLou's Sweet Gig October 19, 2018

    Chaffee? Your guy who’s wife was caught red-handed trespassing and stealing campaign signs in the middle of the night?

    Nice candidate you “progressive” Dems got there.

    It’s just funny that Correa has very little party loyalty. Acts like a Republican most of the time. Maybe he’ll just switch.

  3. Greg Saphire Greg Saphire October 19, 2018

    Sounds like Greg Diamond to me!

    • SQS hates Greg SQS hates Greg October 20, 2018

      Why did he ask for money or leftovers?

  4. TRUMPTASTROPHE for the GOP in November TRUMPTASTROPHE for the GOP in November October 19, 2018

    The bottom line is the Rapepublicans are done, son! Nitpick at “The Left” all you want to no avail, right-wing racist Republitards. Because a Blue Wave is going to wash most of your fascist fools right out of office on November 6th.


  5. Jake McCormick Jake McCormick October 22, 2018

    So I saw and spoke with both Lou and Dana, who were co keynote speakers at the canabis show at the Anaheim Hilton today.

    I asked Lou if he was gay, as Vern Nelson had suggested and Dana broke up laughing when I mentioned Vern Nelsons name. But Lou held his sharpest words for Diamond, of whom he’s no fan.

    Good speeches by both congressmen, and evidence of what an APPLE Vern has become!

  6. Greg Diamond Greg Diamond October 26, 2018

    Lou is the WORST Democrat in Congress.

    He should be arrested and recalled
    he is responsible for killing dozens of people. He, like Vern says: SUCKS BALLS
    He is an enemy of all that is good and just.

    Correa closer to Hitler and Donald Trump than most Nazi repuglican butt faces. Lou is worse. A fake, lying Hispanic fraud.

    • TRUMPTASTROPHE for the GOP in November TRUMPTASTROPHE for the GOP in November October 26, 2018

      “A fake, lying Hispanic fraud.”

      Isn’t that Lyin’ Ted Cruz you’re talking about? You know Ted Cruz. He’s the Canadian Cuban Senator from TX whose father killed Kennedy.

      • Greg Diamond Greg Diamond October 26, 2018

        As the owner of this blog should be able to tell, that commenter above was someone else stealing my name. I’ve never used that sort of language for Correa.

    • BAboso BAboso October 28, 2018

      No Diamond obviously

    • Commenting Gnome Commenting Gnome October 28, 2018

      Wow! Dan you should bring this to the next DPOC meeting and have him removed for insulting an endorsed Democrat. Spread the word, this was Greg Diamond, in his own words.

  7. Lola Aodh Lola Aodh October 28, 2018

    Greg Diamond has asked that someone who can comment here point out that apparently there are two posts above that are spurious. The first (Oct. 22) is by a presumably fake commenter who praises Reps. Correa and Rohrabacher and makes up a story about Vern Nelson that Greg has stated that he believes to be false. The second comment (Oct. 26) Greg states was not written by him, as he has said that he is not allowed to post here. He says that someone has stolen his identity to make disparaging remarks about Rep. Correa, well beyond anything he has ever said. He said also, on another page, “Some people apparently believe that this is really from me. It isn’t — and it wouldn’t be.” So I’m asking due diligence be performed to maintain the high integrity of this page and prevent others from posting using false identities.

    • Dan Chmielewski Dan Chmielewski Post author | October 29, 2018

      Four things: the email address used to post is the same Diamond has used here before. He is allowed to post here; his comments go into moderation which he does not like. Mr. Diamond has a long history of disparaging remarks about Congressman Correa. Mr. Diamond has also written a number of things that are demonstrably false over the years (the name of the third Los Angeles NFL team is one easy example).

      • Dan Chmielewski Dan Chmielewski October 29, 2018

        This is actually Greg Diamond writing under Dan Chmielewski’s name and email address, simply to remind Dan Chmielewski how easy that is to do. Dan Chmielewski knows that both the name and email address of a comment can be spoofed in comments to his blog. (Apparently, as he has stated, the same is now true of ISP addresses that have evaded his security system. I demand that Dan C. remove the comment attacking Lou Correa that he wants people to believe was from me.

        • Dan Chmielewski Dan Chmielewski Post author | October 31, 2018

          You have attacked Lou Correa far worse. Your comment is denial enoough

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