As marijuana legalization begins in Canada, a warning about crossing the border with weed

SEATTLE — At Hashtag Cannabis in Seattle, customers don't just inquire about the products.

"We definitely get questions about crossing the border," said co-owner Logan Bowers.

People ask about taking Washington weed into Canada or to other U.S. states.

"We're cannabis purveyors, we're not lawyers, so we're not the best source of advice on that subject, but just remember it's illegal other places so you have to be a little more cautious when you're going somewhere that is not Washington State," Bowers said.

That's good advice, especially at the international border.

As of Wednesday, marijuana is legal in Canada, the second country to legalize recreational pot after Uruguay.

But U.S. Customs and Border Protection officials remind people marijuana is illegal under federal law.

U.S. border officers will continue to enforce a ban on importing pot.

So, what about bringing marijuana north?

KIRO 7 sat down with Brandon Lee, Canada's consul general in Seattle.

"As far as our border and international security is concerned, nothing is changing. So our message is, don't cross with cannabis," Lee said.

Canada's legal pot system will be different than Washington's.

Instead of a minimum age of 21, in B.C. people will be able to buy weed at 19.

There will also be online sales, although only to addresses in Canada.

B.C.'s legal cannabis system will start slowly, with just one store at first in a Kamloops shopping center.

Consul General Lee wants to make sure there are no misunderstandings at the border.

"We're hoping we can get the word out enough that we don't see a big spike in people trying to cross with cannabis," Lee said.

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