Sneaking cannabis into Canada? Fines up to $2,000 on the way

The Canadian border crossing is seen during the COVID-19 pandemic in Lacolle, Que., Friday, Feb. 12, 2021. The federal government is introducing administrative fines next week to deter people from sneaking pot into Canada, while easing the burden on already backlogged courts. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Paul Chiasson

Land borders may be closed and international travel restricted, but the federal government is making moves to clamp down on slipping cannabis into Canada.

The federal government says it will be introducig fines, ranging from $200 to $2,000, for travellers who fail to properly declare cannabis imports.

Those products will be seized and the amount of the fine will be based on a person’s prior incidents sneaking pot into the country, as well as the severity of the infraction.

The Canada Border Service Agency will still have the option to also pursue criminal prosecution.

Meanwhile, travellers fined will have 90 days to dispute the fine.

Since legalization took effect in 2018, adult Canadians have been allowed to possess and share up to 30 grams of cannabis at any given time, but this doesn’t include while crossing the border into or out of the country – even if the U.S. state has legalized posession.

Recreational cannabis remains illegal under American federal laws.

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