Is It Legal To Cross Canadian Border From New York State With Cannabis?
Now that marijuana is legal in both Canada and New York State, can you take it with you when you drive across the border to visit? The Canadian government legalized adult-use recreational cannabis on October 17, 2018. According to Canadian law,
- adults can possess up to 30 grams of legally-produced cannabis
- adults can grow up to four cannabis plants per household
- the minimum age for purchase and use is 18 years of age, but provinces can increase the age limit
Canada was the second country to legalize cannabis. Uruguay was the first,
Uruguay was the world's first country to legalize the production and sale of marijuana, in 2013. In the years since, countries including Canada and Morocco have created their own legal cannabis markets.
When Did New York State Legalize Marijuana?
New York decriminalized cannabis on July 29, 2019. Then-Governor Andrew Cuomo signed the legislation. It took almost three years after decriminalization of weed for New York to legalize it,
Governor Andrew Cuomo signed the bill into law the following day on March 31, 2021. This legislation legalized recreational cannabis where adults aged 21 and over are allowed to possess up to 3 ounces (85 g) of cannabis or 0.85 ounces (24 g) of concentrated cannabis.
It seems as though the state budget deficit created by COVID-19 pushed New York to legalize adult-use recreational marijuana. Unlike Canada, New York requires users to be 21 years of age or older.
Now That Marijuana Is Legal In Both New York And Canada, Can You Drive Across The Border With It?
Unfortunately, the answer is NO. You cannot legally cross the New York-Canada border with cannabis, even though it is legal in both the state and country.
Cannabis is legal for adults in Canada. However, it is still illegal to transport cannabis and products containing cannabis – including edible cannabis, cannabis extracts and cannabis topicals – across the Canadian border.
Weed must be declared at the border. If you do not declare it, you could be arrested and prosecuted criminally,
- No matter how much cannabis you have with you
- Even if you are authorized to use cannabis for medical purposes in any form, including cannabidiol (CBD)
- Even if you are travelling to or from a municipality, state or country where cannabis has been legalized or decriminalized
The bottom line is, you don't want to get caught up at the border with cannabis, regardless of its legalization on both sides of the border. The good news is that since it is legal on both sides, you can consume it legally once you have crossed. New York hasn't opened its first legal dispensaries, but that should be happening soon.
**This article does not provide legal counsel. Please consult an attorney for legal advice.