OTTOWA – Legal sales of recreational marijuana, expected to take effect later this year in Canada, likely will result longer waits at border crossings, government officials warned in a declassified document obtained by Global News.
The Canada Border Services Agency document also said that illicit exports of marijuana “are expected to increase” after legalization.
“Unless exemptions are made for personal amounts of marijuana, cannabis legalization may increase workloads for officers and translate into longer border wait times, particularly at land borders,” the document said.
Border delays will be particularly bad during summer months as visitors arrive for outdoor festivals and concerts, according to the report by the CBSA’s Intelligence Operations and Analysis Division.
A declassified version of the report, “Cannabis Legalization: Implications for the CBSA and Canada,” was obtained by Global News under the Access to Information Act.
Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s administration, which supports pot legalization, says it is on track to begin in July, but there are some senators who are trying to delay passage of the legislation.
Several Canadian provinces have been developing plans to regulate marijuana once it becomes legal. Ontario passed legislation in December that will regulate the lawful use, sale and distribution of recreational cannabis by the federal government’s July 2018 legalization deadline.
Global News reported that the CBSA document indicates the border agency is trying to anticipate such issues as “cannabis tourists” arriving to use marijuana, impaired drivers and travelers carrying small amounts of pot.