(403) 452-9515

Ackah Law

Search Ackah Law...

Contact us

Contact Information

1 (403) 452-9515

1 (800) 932-1190

Book a Consultation

More Options...

Marijuana Medical Use: Can I Get a Visa Waiver to Enter the US?

Blog posted on by Evelyn Ackah in Inadmissibility Issues and Waivers and U.S. Visa Waivers of Inadmissibility

Marijuana Medical Use: Can I Get a Visa Waiver to Enter the US?

In the United States, cannabis use is legal in many states, particularly for medical use, but is still classified as a Schedule I narcotic drug by the DEA and remains federally prohibited. If a Canadian is caught by U.S. customs with marijuana or any derivative such as CBD oil, there are serious legal consequences, regardless of whether cannabis is legal in the U.S. state where the border crossing is located.

Medical use is not a valid reason to possess a cannabis product when entering the United States. Recently a 21-year-old Canadian woman with CBD oil in her backpack was searched when entering Washington via British Columbia, fined $500, fingerprinted, denied entry, and told that if she wished to attempt to re-enter the U.S. she would have to apply for a $585 waiver. Eventually, her case was reversed, but many other Canadians crossing the U.S. border with a criminal history of a cannabis conviction or who are carrying a product such as CBD oil are denied entry or receive a lifetime ban on entering the United States, including marijuana for medicinal purposes.

Canada immigration and
visa waiver lawyer Evelyn Ackah

Canada immigration and visa waiver lawyer Evelyn Ackah says the Canadian federal government needs to do more to educate people about traveling with cannabis-related products:

Cannabis for medical use cannot be carried over the border from Canada to the United States. It is a criminal offense. You can't bring marijuana to the U.S., including any derivatives such as CBD oils or edibles such as gummies, lollipops or brownies. The United States views them the same as bringing leafy marijuana across the border, which is a federal crime. We can apply for a waiver for a past cannabis criminal conviction, and if we succeed that waiver must be renewed every year, two years or five years. But under present U.S. law you cannot get a marijuana medical use waiver to travel to the United States."

U.S. Visa Waiver of Ineligibility

If you are denied entry at the border, receive a lifetime entry ban or are ineligible for a visa to the United States due to a cannabis conviction or other reason, you may be able to apply for a U.S. visa waiver of ineligibility. A waiver can be for 1, 2 or 5 years depending on the justification for requiring the waiver, the seriousness of the crimes that resulted in the inadmissibility and the amount of time that has passed since the conviction(s) occurred, and other factors. If a waiver is granted, you can visit the United States multiple times during the time period of the waiver, but if you intend to stay in the U.S. for more than 3 months at one time, additional forms may need to be completed and submitted with the application.

Applying for a Waiver of Inadmissibility is time and labour intensive, and an incorrectly completed form or missing document can result in your application being rejected. You should seek the assistance of a qualified immigration attorney to assist you through the application process.

Learn More:


Evelyn Ackah

Founder/Managing Lawyer

Ms. Ackah is passionate about immigration law because it focuses on people and relationships, which are at the core of her personal values. Starting her legal career as a corporate/commercial ...

More About Evelyn Ackah

Cannabis Pardon Does Not Guarantee You Can Enter the U.S.

Canada Bill C-93, an amendment to the Criminal Records Act to expedite granting pardons for Canadians with criminal records for simple possession of cannabis was tabled by the federal ...

Read More

New TSA Rules on CBD Oil Do Not Include Canada Users

In May 2019 the United States Transportation Security Administration (TSA) updated their cannabis policy to allow some forms of cannabidiol (CBD) oil on flights. TSA.gov new regulations ...

Read More

US Visa Applicants & Travellers Denied Entry Due To Their Social Media

More and more visitors to the United States are being denied entry by U.S. border officials after a review of their social media and other online accounts. In late August a 17-year old ...

Read More

Lifetime Ban For Canadian Crossing Into U.S. With CBD Oil

Canada's marijuana legalization and decriminalization have resulted in many criminal inadmissibility questions for individuals and corporate Canada/U.S. cross-border business. ...

Read More

Canada and U.S. Border Agents Share Traveller Data

U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) and the Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) have begun to exchange biographic traveller data, travel documents, and other information ...

Read More

Episode 4: Overcoming Criminal Inadmissibility to Enter Canada or the United States

Show Notes: One of the most stressful issues for people traveling to Canada or the United States is criminal inadmissibility. DUIs, an assault, possession of marijuana convictions ...

Read More

We are grateful for your service and support, and will not hesitate to refer your firm to others.

– Barry Nelson, Director, Human Resources

View All Testimonials