Cannabis (Marijuana) Legalization and the Canada Border Services Agency

The following information was shared by email with key CBSA stakeholders. A link to the Portable Document Format (PDF) of this form is provided below. The content of the form is duplicated in HTML following the PDF link.

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The CBSA is committed to providing integrated border services that balance the need to support national security and public safety priorities while facilitating the cross-border movement of legitimate travellers and goods. Travellers visiting or returning to Canada can contribute to a smooth border crossing by understanding and complying with their obligations at the Canadian border.

As you may know, the Government of Canada has passed legislation that creates a strict legal framework for controlling the production, distribution, sale and possession of cannabis (marijuana) across Canada. Under the Cannabis Act, the importation and exportation of cannabis remains prohibited unless authorized by Health Canada. Taking cannabis or products containing cannabis across the border without authorization from the Government of Canada remains a serious criminal offence. In addition, foreign nationals who commit, on entering Canada, certain cannabis-related offences continue to be inadmissible to Canada when the new legislation comes into force.

If you transport cannabis or products containing it across the border, regardless of quantity, and even to or from jurisdictions that have legalized cannabis, you could face prosecution. For businesses, import and export of cannabis or cannabis products will continue to be allowed for medical and scientific purposes, with the proper permits issued by Health Canada. In addition, industrial hemp will be allowed to be imported and exported. For information regarding the import and export of cannabis, contact Health Canada.

Holding a medical authorization for cannabis in any country, including Canada, does not grant the ability to take cannabis into or out of Canada. In rare and exceptional circumstances, Health Canada may authorize an exemption for an individual to bring cannabis across international borders for medical or scientific purposes on a case-by-case basis.

To raise awareness regarding the border-related laws and rules associated to cannabis, the CBSA is undertaking a number of key measures. First, in order to inform travellers entering Canada of the requirement to declare cannabis upon entry, the CBSA is installing signage at its ports of entry, and will ask all travellers entering Canada if they are bringing cannabis into Canada. Additionally, the CBSA is deploying a comprehensive digital communications strategy informing travellers of the continued prohibition of importation or exportation of cannabis and reminding of the continued obligation to declare it.

The CBSA would like to take this opportunity to remind travellers that cannabis is illegal in most countries. Travellers have a responsibility to be informed about the laws of the countries they intend to visit. You can visit for more information. If you would like more information related to the legalisation of cannabis in Canada, visit and the CBSA website at We also encourage you to follow us on Twitter (@CanBorder), join us on Facebook or visit our YouTube channel.

Customs Enforcement Policy Unit
Enforcement and Intelligence Programs
Canada Border Services Agency

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