WATCH: There’s a new reason to head south for a little cross border shopping, but as Catherine Urquhart reports, you’ll want to think twice before going on this shopping excursion.
The ability to buy marijuana is now closer than ever for British Columbians, if only in the physical sense of the word.
Evergreen Cannabis opened last week in Blaine, just 10 blocks from the Canada-U.S. border. The store’s owner says that the Canadian market was a big reason he set up shop in Blaine.
“I knew it would get a lot of out of state traffic and I knew Canadians tend to be a bit more warm and inviting,” said Jacob Lamont, who says he hopes to create a discount program for frequent buyers north of the border.
“We definitely are catering to people from Canada.”
Marijuana was legalized in Washington State after voters approved the change in a 2012 referendum.
However, it’s still illegal to bring marijuana into Canada and people can be banned from entering the United States for telling border agents they’ve used marijuana in the past.
“If you admit you’re coming down to buy it, or purchase it, or admit you’ve smoked marijuana in the past, you’ll be denied entry,” says Blaine immigration lawyer Len Saunders. “It’s so close, yet so far away legally.”
“As an attorney, I can’t tell people to lie. I’m not going to advocate for people to lie. But you’re also under no obligation to answer those questions.”
Lamont isn’t overly concerned about the quandary.
Still, Saunders suggests caution.
“As more and more states legalize marijuana, the federal government is going to have to legalize it. It’s going to happen at some point,” he says.
“But until now and that change of the law, if it happens, it’s a catch-22. You can’t tell them what you’re doing, because if you do you’ll be in trouble.”