Our office has increasingly received requests for guidance on importation of marijuana paraphernalia products to the U.S. where twenty-six (26) states have legalized the use of marijuana for medical purposes and/or personal consumption such as California, Massachusetts, Maine and Nevada. The purpose of this article is to dispel the confusion as to why paraphernalia products (grinders, storage containers, rolling paper, pipes, vape pens, etc.) are continuously being seized by U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP), even when such products may be used by tobacco smokers. It is important to address the realities between federal and state laws regulating drug paraphernalia products so importers can avoid CBP’s enforcement of U.S. Laws.
Why Does CBP Stop Drug Paraphernalia?
- CBP secures America’s borders at and between ports of entry by stopping inadmissible people and illicit goods. The Tariff Act of 1789 provides one of CBP’s core functions: to act as the leading federal agency in determining the admissibility of goods that may enter the Commerce of the United States. Even though each State has internally legalized marijuana either for medical or recreational purposes, CBP still has the express power to authorize or not any merchandise that comes into the U.S. Thus, CBP can detain and seize “drug paraphernalia” even if you did not intend to use the product that purpose pursuant to 19 U.S.C. § 1595a(c) stating a violation of 21 U.S.C. § 863.