Canada Post wants Canadian cannabis producers to stop sending shipments to a tiny island because U.S. border officers keep seizing them from its sealed trucks when they briefly enter Maine.
Canada’s federally owned postal carrier sent letters to the cannabis firms in late October in response to an increase in Customs and Border Protection (CPB) officers’ searches of Canada Post trucks servicing Campobello Island in New Brunswick, according to a January report from Public Services and Procurement Canada.
All mail service to Campobello Island travels via Maine. While CPB officers have the legal right to search Canada Post trucks and may seize the cannabis — illegal under U.S. law, residents of the island of 900 and at least one lawmaker have called it a violation of Canadian sovereignty.
Canada Post worked with CPB after Canada legalized recreational cannabis in 2018 to address the U.S. transit issue by sealing its trucks. Nevertheless, CPB searches and seizures have continued.
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“They are usually caught when one of their trucks is involved in a serious crash or is placed out of service for a safety violation.”
— Joe Rajkovacz, of the the Western States Trucking Association, on what happens to so-called “chameleon carriers.” A federal judge recently ordered two chameleon carrier owners to forfeit $1.3 million.
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While it’s hard to see the value of U.S. border personnel taking a hard line on the small quantities of recreational cannabis briefly transiting through Maine, a state that has legalized the stuff, it also raises the question of why Canada Post makes deliveries to Campobello with a ferry.
Pot producers, meanwhile, haven’t shown any indication they intend to stop sending their products to the island.
Hammer down, everyone!