Does this whole marijuana legalization process have your head spinning as much as it does mine? With the recent news that smoking and investing in weed could land you a lifetime ban from the U.S., Canadians are justifiably shook - and the whole dilemma just got a tad more complicated. Allow me to explain why.
According to an article by Global News, U.S. authorities don't need a warrant to go snooping into your credit card transactions. With that being said, if one were to purchase marijuana with their credit card and tried to cross the border, patrol officials could potentially see this.
If a U.S. border guard has credit-card data that clearly showed a cannabis purchase, they could easily put a Canadian in an impossible position — admit to marijuana use and be banned for that, or deny it and be banned for lying.https://t.co/7x114XpPCD— Globalnews.ca (@globalnews) September 20, 2018
So what are you going to do? Admit to marijuana use and be banned for life? Or lie to a border patrol officer and be banned for life? Hmm, decisions, decisions.
In certain provinces, it could be nearly impossible to avoid purchasing marijuana with a credit card. That's because very few stores in those provinces will be ready to go by October 17th, leading people to only have the option of purchasing online.
In B.C. for example, come the legalization date, only one store location will be open in the entire province. Ontario will have zero stores until April of next year.
Other provinces, however, are trying to develop some sneaky strategies around the issue. Global News reached out to some provincial spokespeople to get word on what type of plans they have.
In Nova Scotia and Alberta, cannabis will be sold in their liquor stores. Therefore, credit card statements from N.S. will read, NSLC and Alberta's will read, AGLC. This essentially leaves no indicators someone has purchased pot.
Manitoba, Saskatchewan, and Newfoundland will have retail shops opened up by Canopy Growth in October. The stores will not only sell weed but will also have a gift shop.
“(Statements) will say the store that it was purchased from, the location, and the price. In no way does it say what was purchased, and that’s consistent with our online medical sales right now,” said spokesperson Catlin O’Hara to Global News. The company also hopes to expand to Alberta and Ontario soon.
New Brunswick, whose marijuana stores will be separate from alcohol, hasn't come up with a solution just yet. However, a spokesperson insured statements won't read anything as obvious as "Cannabis NB."
#DYK? The North American Industry Classification System (NAICS) Canada 2017 Version 3.0 is now available, including 5 new #cannabis-related industries 👉https://t.co/Fze2J61iOH pic.twitter.com/dPKIezSSln— Statistics Canada (@StatCan_eng) September 20, 2018
For Quebecers, statements will read something clearly identifiable, since their marijuana will be sold through Société québécoise du cannabis store. They have yet to say if they will be offering a solution.
Ontario and B.C. both have yet to release details on how cannabis payments will be identified. An Ontario spokesperson says they will announce information very soon, while B.C. spokesperson said they're doing what they can to mitigate issues at the border.
To avoid this credit card debacle, you'll obviously want to make your purchases in cash where available. Other than that, Interac is also an option where available, since debit card data is stored only in Canada.
If there was an emoji for Katniss Everdeen's three-finger salute of rebellion, I'd put it right here ___. Good luck crossing those borders, Canada!
Source: Global News