Cannabis in Canadian Campgrounds

November 22, 2018

A lot has changed in Canada in the cannabis arena recently, but many of us are left a little confused. Now that cannabis* is legal in our country, what are the rules?

We did a bit of research to answer all your burning questions.

*This goes without saying, but just in case – don’t smoke and drive; don’t drive high. Safety first.

Parks Canada permits cannabis on campsites
For starters, Parks Canada announced that visitors (of age) will be able to consume cannabis on their campsites, subject to local laws. The general rule of thumb is to keep your consumption to your own campsite. Cannabis is not permitted on the campground’s common areas such as playgrounds, kitchen shelters, washrooms, trails, roads, etc. However, cannabis is permitted on trails outside of Parks Canada campgrounds.

Local regulations always apply
Parks Canada includes national parks, historic sites and marine conservation areas. Despite the regulations Parks Canada has outlined, all national parks are subject to their local laws. Visitors should be aware of provincial and territorial cannabis laws as well.

Even municipal jurisdictions may enforce their own laws. For example, a handful of towns within the borders of Canadian national parks will not allow smoking in public areas, overriding Parks Canada’s regulations.

Private campgrounds set their own rules
Private property, including resorts and private campgrounds, are each entitled to enforce their own cannabis policies. Some parks might treat cannabis like cigarettes, asking guests to refrain altogether or limit their consumption to specific areas. This means that users need to check provincial and local laws, along with private campground regulations before including cannabis to their packing list.

These rules are very similar to those for alcohol in Parks Canada, and as such, can be adapted and prohibited by individual parks and private campgrounds as necessary.

Be a good neighbour!

The legalization of cannabis ultimately shouldn’t affect our ability to be a good neighbour while camping in Canada. Above all, safety first and pay attention to your surroundings when consuming cannabis. Be aware and respectful towards others, regardless of their views on the topic.

Check these online resources from the Government of Canada for more information.

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