Canadian parks & pot regulations

Canadian Recreational Parks & Pot

Canadian Recreational Parks & Pot (What do the rules say in 2019?)

Parks Canada gives the green light to smoke Cannabis at your campsites. Where, when and who can smoke vary by province. Marie-Helen Brisson, a national spokeswoman for Parks Canada, says “All relevant provincial, territorial or municipal legislation and regulations will apply in all national parks, national historic sites, national marine conservation areas and historic waterways within a given province, territory or municipality”. Parks Canada treats individual campsites as a home away from home, she said.

Breakdown of Cannabis regulations by province

Here are some country-wide rules:

  • In Parks Canada campgrounds, cannabis consumption will be limited to the visitor’s campsite.
  • Consumption will not be permitted in campground common areas (such as playgrounds, kitchen shelters, washrooms, trails or roads)
  • Adults of the legal age can carry 30 grams of cannabis with them.

Think you’ll be travelling outside of your province? Here’s a quick summary of the regulations below.

In Alberta, campers can consume in public day use areas, while on trails and wandering through the backcountry, but must not smoke within five metres of a playground.

British Columbia and Ontario are similar but in BC you must be six metres away while in ON you must be twenty metres away from a playground.

Saskatchewan, Manitoba, New Brunswick, Prince Edward Island, Yukon, Newfoundland and Labrador are a bit stricter with their rules and only allow cannabis consumption within campsites. In Nova Scotia campers can consume in day use areas but must be four metres away from all buildings and must keep back 20 metres from all playgrounds. Smoking is permitted in the backcountry but not within nine metres of a trail.

Quebec is set to tighten cannabis regulations this spring but as of now campers are directed to keep nine metres away from playgrounds but can consume in day use spaces, trails, and the backcountry. Last but not least – campers in Northwest Territories can consume on trails, in the backcountry, and in day use areas - just not within 30 metres of a playground.

The border with the United States remains a risk to the casual cannabis smoker. Consumption of the plant is still a federal American crime and Canadians who admit to smoking it or working in the marijuana industry can be turned away or even banned for life.

Understanding laws on cannabis use is important so always check the official regulations for the province, territory, or municipality you will be visiting because they do tend to vary.



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