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4 US states out of 13 bordering Canada allow recreational use of marijuana

4 US states out of 13 bordering Canada allow recreational use of marijuana

Dina Al-Shibeeb
recreational use of marijuana

Four US states out of the 13 bordering Canada already allow the recreational use of marijuana.

These states include Washington, which in 2012 became the first US state to legalize the recreational use of marijuana, Maine, Alaska, and Vermont. With a population of 623,657, Vermont recently became the ninth US state to legalize recreational cannabis.

California, Massachusetts, Nevada, Oregon and Colorado are the other five US states where recreational cannabis is also legal.

This tidbit of information comes as media reports bode a boon to Canada’s cannabis market when throngs of American tourists are expected to pour into Canada following legalization of recreational marijuana nationwide on Oct. 17.

Maybe people from these states especially if they live in a big state like New York, known for its high-consumption of marijuana, will feel far more enticed to drive to a place much closer like Toronto than even Maine, for example, to freely consume marijuana with no hiccups with the law. 

New York’s almost 20 million population could definitely be a lucrative good fortune to Canada’s cannabis market if marijuana tourists decide to go for a drive up north to smoke some joint freely and totally legally.

But of course, the status quo on marijuana is continuously changing in the United States.

Michigan has a November ballot in the works for its 10 million population to decide whether they want to legalize recreational marijuana or not.  North Dakota, yet another neighboring state with 755,393 inhabitants, has recently collected signatures to bring a ballot to the fore to decide on recreational cannabis.

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Who received a lifetime ban?

But these news reports about marijuana tourism is not as rosy for Canadian pot entrepreneurs who could easily cash from such US influx.

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau had announced Oct. 17 as the date for legalization. However, Canadians are already getting into hot water with the US federal government over cannabis.

Last week, the Toronto Star reported that a Canadian had received a lifetime ban from entering the US for selling cannabis equipment.

Jay Evans, CEO of Keirton Inc., an equipment manufacturer, received a lifetime ban when US border guards discovered some of his machines are used by cannabis producer.

Canadians, who are involved in the cannabis industry, are also been labeled “inadmissible” since they are living off the profits of the marijuana trade.

While this is inflicting Canadians entering their southern neighboring country, US customs can also give a hard time to Americans, which could probably reduce incentives for Americans to go through ordeals for Canadian cannabis.

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But who knows, cannabis regulations are always changing with observers mulling legalization of the green herb could be taken as the – it – hot topic for the 2020 US presidential elections.

Edibles not legal yet

Also, on Oct. 17, edibles won’t be officially legal in Canada yet as Ottawa believes there need to be more regulations for any magical brownies to do its work. That in itself could further wane US incentive to cross over into the border to gulp some magical brownies.  

The US itself has states like Colorado, which already has an advanced edible market. It has been reported that Colorado is expected to be the first state to get a marijuana-infused craft beer.

Like Washington, Colorado was also one of the earliest US states to legalize recreational cannabis, officially in 2014, making it a very experienced cannabis connoisseur.

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There thirteen US States bordering Canada (east to west):

  • Maine: 1.33 million
  • New Hampshire: 1.343 million
  • Vermont: 623,657
  • New York: Almost 20 million
  • Pennsylvania (border on Lake Erie): Almost 13 million
  • Ohio (border on Lake Erie): Almost 12 million
  • Michigan: Almost 10 million
  • Minnesota: 5.6 million
  • North Dakota: 755,393
  • Montana: 1.05 million
  • Idaho: 1.7 million
  • Washington: 7.4 million
  • Alaska: 755,393
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