Canada’s privacy commissioner warns against leaving a paper trail when purchasing cannabis even though it is legal in this country. (Jeremy Eaton/CBC)

Pay cash for cannabis, warns privacy commissioner

While it became legal to use cannabis recreationally in Canada in October 2018, it is not legal in many other jurisdictions, warns Canada’s Office of the Privacy Commissioner. Therefore, it recommends Canadians take action to protect the privacy of their pot purchases so they cannot be traced when they cross borders.

Crossing the border into the U.S. is so routine, that Canadians may forget previous cannabis use can cause problems. (iStock)

Millions of visits to the U.S. yearly

Most Canadians live very close to the border with the United States and many frequently visit that country for shopping, tourism, business or other reasons. In 2017, Canadians made over 42 million visits to the U.S. It is so routine to cross the border that it is easy to forget that even admitting to having consumed cannabis can cause U.S. border officials to refuse entry into the country.

Advice for purchasers and retailers

The privacy commissioner has several recommendations to help both pot purchasers and retailers to protect privacy. Retailers are advised to collect the least amount of customers’ personal information possible. Purchasers should not give retailers more personal information than is necessary and are advise to pay cash for cannabis.

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