On November 28, US Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officers at the Lewiston Bridge border crossing connecting Canada and the United States discovered 11 pounds of cannabis in a commercial shipment.
The cargo shipment, listed as being puzzles, was sent for additional examination to ensure trade compliance.
Upon further inspection of the shipment, CBP officers discovered ten vacuum-sealed packages that contained 11 pounds of a “green-leafy-substance” that was later determined to be cannabis. Law enforcement says the “estimated street value” is more than $30,000, or around $2,700 a pound ($6 a gram).
The Lewiston Bridge connects the Niagara region of Ontario with upstate New York, just north of Buffalo. Cannabis seizures of this kind along the shared US and Canadian border are not uncommon and have increased significantly in the past few years of pandemic-related border closures to non-essential traffic.
The Lewiston Bridge has been the source of cannabis seizures in the past few years, with 48 kilograms seized in a commercial shipment in April 2022. Canadian cannabis often finds its way to foreign shores in more ways than one.
US Border officials seized 17.3 thousand pounds of cannabis entering the country from Canada in fiscal year 2023 (October 2022-September 2023) and have seized 161 pounds so far in Q1 2024.
This is down significantly from nearly 80 thousand pounds of cannabis seized at the US-Canada border by US border officials in 2021 and more than 23 thousand in 2022.