Whether you’re planning a road trip, relaxing at the beach, or taking in the scenery at a Canadian National Park, a vacation can be a great way to unplug, de-stress and maybe even cross a few things off your bucket list. With summer in full swing, we thought we would save you some time by helping you prepare for a visit to one of our beautiful provincial parks by outlining the rules around camping in Canada with cannabis.
Parks Canada is a government agency that mandates the protection and promotion of Canada’s natural heritage; this includes National Parks, Marine Conservation Areas, and National Historic Sites. As such, Parks Canada has laid out regulations for cannabis consumption to ensure fun and safe camping for everyone.
The general rule allows visitors (of legal age) to consume cannabis on their private campsites within any National Park; however, this is subject to provincial and municipal laws. The guidelines state that cannabis consumption is not permitted in the common areas of any Park, such as washrooms, kitchen shelters, and playgrounds. Be sure to review the regulations outlined for Cannabis use at Parks Canada Places on their website.
Since cannabis consumption rules vary between provinces and municipalities, things can get a little confusing. For example, in Provincial Parks in Ontario, cannabis consumption is allowed on your private campsite as well as on provincially owned trails, backcountry, and public day-use areas. In Alberta, certain areas such as the Town of Banff, do not allow any cannabis consumption in public areas within their boundaries, which is why it is important to plan ahead and know the laws wherever you’re travelling. Parks Canada has also created a useful online guide outlining the laws for popular tourist areas by province for your reference.
At private campgrounds, rules may vary. Since it is private property, any rules about cannabis consumption are at the discretion of individual property owners. In some instances, parks may treat cannabis like cigarettes, asking that guests limit their consumption to specific areas, while others may ban cannabis consumption all together.
Be sure to check the rules of the specific private campground you’re visiting prior to hitting the road with cannabis in tow.
If you have vacation plans that don’t include camping, we have an article that can help you brush up on the rules around travelling with cannabis in Canada.