Can a cannabis shop owner sponsor a relative for a green card?


A Boundless immigration attorney answers common questions

Apr 27, 2022


Immigration attorney

The short answer is yes, but marijuana is a Schedule I drug under the federal Controlled Substances Act. The sale of marijuana is still illegal under federal law, even if cannabis has been legalized in your state for medical or recreational use. (In general, a sponsor’s criminal activity or criminal history will not negatively impact the beneficiary’s green card application – only certain crimes against children will prevent a U.S. citizen from sponsoring their spouse or other family member.)

The problem for the sponsor will be the I-864 Affidavit of Support: USCIS requires the sponsor’s income be from a lawful source. Since selling cannabis is still illegal under federal law, income from the sale or manufacture of marijuana, even in states where that has been legalized, won’t qualify.

If you have income from a dispensary or cannabis-related business, talk to an immigration attorney to make sure you’re in the clear, and about other possible options to meet the financial requirements, like using assets or a joint sponsor.

Watch the video here!


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