Roughly one week before Canada’s legalization of marijuana goes into effect, the U.S. government has issued a clarification to an earlier policy announcement that many feared would prevent people who work or invest in the marijuana industry from entering the country.
“A Canadian citizen working in or facilitating the proliferation of the legal marijuana industry in Canada, coming to the U.S. for reasons unrelated to the marijuana industry will generally be admissible to the U.S.,” reads the clarification release on Tuesday by U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP).
Previous statements by Trump administration officials led to concerns—and resulting pushback from members of Congress—that any Canadian who is affiliated with the cannabis industry would be barred from visiting the U.S.
The new CBP clarification will likely be met with a sigh of relief from Canadians who work for or invest in marijuana businesses.
However, the updated statement does have a big caveat.
[I]f a traveler is found to be coming to the U.S. for reason related to the marijuana industry, they may be deemed inadmissible,” it says.
So as long as a Canadian isn’t crossing the border for the purposes of seeking investments for their cannabis business or for other reasons related to marijuana, they should be able to enjoy a visit to the U.S.
Canada’s legal marijuana sales go into effect next Wednesday.
Marijuana Stores Will Be Hard To Find For Most Canadians On Day One Of Legalization
See the original article published on Marijuana Moment below:
U.S. Government Loosens Border Policy For Canadian Marijuana Industry Workers
The U.S. Small Business Administration issued guidance earlier this month clarifying that marijuana businesses — and even some firms that don’t touch the plant but serve those in the cannabis industry — cannot receive aid in the form of federally backed loans.
“Because federal law prohibits the distribution and sale of marijuana, financial transactions involving a marijuana-related business would generally involve funds derived from illegal activity,” the new memo says. “Therefore, businesses that derive revenue from marijuana-related activities or that support the end-use of marijuana may be ineligible for SBA financial assistance.”
The new document details the type of marijuana-related businesses that it says are “ineligible” to participate in the agency’s loan programs:
(a) “Direct Marijuana Business” — a business that grows, produces, processes, distributes, or sells marijuana or marijuana products, edibles, or derivatives, regardless of the amount of such activity. This applies to personal use and medical use even if the business is legal under local or state law where the applicant business is or will be located.
(b) “Indirect Marijuana Business” — a business that derived any of its gross revenue for the previous year (or, if a start-up, projects to derive any of its gross revenue for the next year) from sales to Direct Marijuana Businesses of products or services that could reasonably be determined to support the use, growth, enhancement or other development of marijuana. Examples include businesses that provide testing services, or sell grow lights or hydroponic equipment, to one or more Direct Marijuana Businesses. In addition, businesses that sell smoking devices, pipes, bongs, inhalants, or other products that may be used in connection with marijuana are ineligible if the products are primarily intended or designed for such use or if the business markets the products for such use.
(c) Hemp-Related Business” — a business that grows, produces, processes, distributes or sells products purportedly made from “hemp” is ineligible unless the business can demonstrate that its business activities and products are legal under federal and state law. Examples of legal hemp products include paper, clothing and rope.
The new memo, issued by SBA Administrator Linda E. McMahon, is intended to provide clarification on a longer document laying out rules for loan programs that SBA issued earlier this year.
The policy document also specifies that SBA borrowers can’t rent office space to marijuana-related businesses.
“For consistency with the changes identified above regarding marijuana-related businesses, Lenders are advised that, during the life of the SBA-guaranteed loan, a borrower may not lease space to the ineligible businesses described above because the collateral could be subject to seizure and because payments on the SBA loan would be derived from illegal activity,” McMahon wrote. “If a borrower does lease to an ineligible marijuana-related business, SBA District Counsel should be consulted to determine what action should be taken.”
Legalizing the use of cannabis for either medicinal or recreational purposes has produced many positive results. The plant, itself, helps to ease the suffering of many people with debilitating medical conditions. Legalization and sales have provided state and local governments with tax revenue. It has even reduced strain on the judicial system by allowing law enforcement officers to focus efforts and allocated much needed resources elsewhere, thus reducing court costs by processing fewer non-violent offenders.
There may even be a greater benefit provided by the newly budding cannabis industry in the form of job creation. CannaInsider estimates that the legitimate cannabis industry will introduce 200,000 new jobs by the end of 2015.
Matt Karnes of GreenWave Advisors, an independent financial research company for the cannabis industry, agrees. He explained in the released statement,
“By 2020, assuming the most likely progression of state by state legalizaiton, we expect the combined (medical and adult use) retail marijuana market to reach $21 Billion. Jobs are just the beginning. A cultural shift towards the cannabis plant is taking place.”
CannaInsider released a list of some of the new job titles created with marijuana legalization in an effort to shed some light for those living in states where marijuana prohibition is still very present. The list includes the following job titles:
- Edible Artisan
- Lab Technician
- Extraction Technician
- Compliance Consultant
- Cannabis Tour Guide
- Software Developer
- Dispensary Manager
- Cannabis Attorney
- Packaging Designer
- Security Consultant
- Health Educator
Just as with any industry, some positions are at the bottom of the totem pole, while others are at the top. Head cultivators can make over $200,000 per year, while the average budtender makes closer to $30,000. An interesting point about the jobs in this industry is that they cover a wide spectrum. For example, there are positions representing the fields of science, technology, agriculture, culinary, law and more, all in one industry. As more states pass marijuana policy reform measures, more jobs will be created.
photo credit: theproscons