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Dear Herb: Can I legally import cannabis from abroad?

There's lots of weed in the world, but importing it into Canada is a tall order

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Dear Herb: Once things are legal here, will I be able to import cannabis from other countries? — Weed from Abroad

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Hey there, time traveller!
This article was published 29/08/2018 (1618 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.

Dear Herb: Once things are legal here, will I be able to import cannabis from other countries? — Weed from Abroad

Dear Weed from Abroad: Perhaps you dream of bringing some true Colombian Gold to Canada, or Jamaican Lamb’s Bread? It’s a nice idea.

Herb answers your questions about legal consumption and growing, the law, etiquette — you name it, he'll look into it.

Unfortunately, the short answer is no, you will not be able to import cannabis from outside of Canada unless you meet some specific criteria.

The rules for importing and exporting cannabis from Canada are set out in the federal cannabis regulations, and are fairly extensive. To even think about importing cannabis legally, a company would first need to hold a federal licence to possess cannabis.

Then, that company would have to apply for a special import permit. They’d have to let the government know what kind of cannabis they’re importing, why it’s being imported, how much cannabis it is, how much THC and CBD it contains, plus specific details about where it’s coming from, where it’s going and how it’s getting there.

Import permits for cannabis will only be issued if the cannabis in question is being imported for “medical or scientific purposes,” or for industrial hemp — so it doesn’t look like any cannabis companies will be importing “recreational” weed into Canada.

Importing (or exporting) foreign cannabis without both a licence and a permit would be illegal, and carries some hefty penalties under the federal Cannabis Act.

An individual such as yourself could face, at best, a fine of up to $5,000, up to six months in prison, or both. At worst, the maximum prison term is 14 years.

That all brings us back to the short answer: no, individuals won’t be able to legally bring foreign cannabis into Canada. If you feel the need to sample some exotic foreign weed, you’d be better off planning a cannabis tour abroad and going straight to the source.

Got a question about cannabis? Herb answers your questions about legal consumption and growing, the law, etiquette — you name it, he’ll look into it.

First, please check this list of questions already answered by Herb. Then, email dearherb@theleafnews.com, or to submit anonymously, fill out the form below.

Please include an email address if you’d like to be notified if Herb answers your question. 

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