Denver mayor: Cannabis industry ties cost legal immigrants US citizenship

Just Released! Get realistic market forecasts, state-by-state insights and benchmarks with the new 2024 MJBiz Factbook member program, now with quarterly updates. Make informed decisions.

Federal U.S. marijuana prohibition is again causing immigration problems for cannabis industry insiders, this time in Denver, where at least two employees of state-legal MJ companies reportedly have been denied citizenship in the United States because of their jobs.

According to the Denver Post, the mayor and city attorney have taken up the cause for the immigrants, one from El Salvador and the other from Lithuania.

Denver Mayor Michael Hancock wrote to U.S. Attorney William Barr asking for formal guidance from the Department of Justice (DOJ) on how such employment will impact other immigrants seeking citizenship.

The mayor also argued that the agency should “adjust policies that are negatively impacting the legal immigration status for people who work or have previously worked in Colorado’s legal cannabis industry.”

The news follows problems experienced by Canadian marijuana industry members who have been barred from entering the U.S. because they also work in the cannabis space.

That situation spawned a lawsuit against U.S. Customs and Border Protection seeking to upend the policy of denying entry of cannabis industry workers to the United States.