US officials seized over 30kg of cannabis coming across the US/Canada border today. The packed and sealed cannabis was found mixed in with a commercial shipment.
Although the US/Canada border is currently closed to all non-essential travel, the border remains open for many commercial goods and services.
US Customs and Border Protection agents say they discovered the packages of cannabis during a “Non-Intrusive Inspection scan” that led them to discover hidden panels in crates holding the marijuana.
Officials estimate the value of the 70 pounds of cannabis at $225,000 (US).
“Even during these unprecedented times, our officers continue to step up and show their dedication to protecting our communities,” said Port Director Jennifer De La O in a released statement. “From our cargo environment to our passenger environment, our officers are committed to intercepting these illicit drugs from being smuggled in.”
Data provided by the U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) earlier this year showed a large increase in seizures of cannabis entering the US from Canada after Canada legalized on October 17, 2018.
A CPB spokesman, Kris Grogan, told CBC that the increase, while noteworthy, was more an “uptick” rather than a significant spike, and that the numbers tend to fluctuate year by year. For example, there were 3,917 in the year after legalization, compared to 3,139 incidents the year before. Grogan also pointed out that the total number of U.S. enforcement actions for cannabis seizures actually somewhat declined after Canada legalized.
Canadians who have consumed cannabis have also faced increased scrutiny at the US border, with Canada issuing official messaging reminding Canadians that cannabis remains illegal in the US. They have also reminded Canadians that some online credit card purchases of legal cannabis products in Canada could be reviewable by US authorities.