Legalization of Cannabis


On October 17, 2018, cannabis will be legal across Canada for those who are 19 years of age and older. While the law is changing, Laurentian values remain the same. We continue to commit to a healthy environment for all members of the community, including students, faculty and staff, and other people on campus.

For now, Laurentian will follow the Board of Governors approved Policy on Smoking and, if passed, the provincial rules around cannabis. Consumption of recreational cannabis in the workplace is illegal and will continue to be after legalization.

Smoking of cannabis is not permitted in university buildings, vehicles, public places and enclosed workplaces, all outdoor areas, with the exception of new outdoor Designated Smoking Areas (DSA).

Laurentian is committed to a holistic approach to wellness and excellence in well-being as stated in our strategic plan. Laurentian University, in line with a public health approach, will be working to reduce harm while also offering supportive measures for those who are at higher risk of harm due to their cannabis use.  

Laurentian remains committed to working with our stakeholders throughout this process, and has taken the following measures to ensure that our community is up to date and ready for legalization:

  • Created this webpage that provides information on Laurentian's policies, supports and resources, and links to additional information. 

  • Updated the Residence Procedures.

  • Developed a Fit for Duty Guideline, and we are reminding staff and faculty about standard practices and procedures, as outlined in our policies and collective agreements, to maintain a safe and healthy work environment for all employees.

  • Launched new Designated Smoking Areas, as per Laurentian's policy on smoking.

As we go through the first year of this approach, we will amend the strategy as required, and incorporate feedback from various Laurentian community members and stakeholders. Please send us an email to share your comments.

  • From 2012 to 2014, consultations on the Policy on Smoking were led by Dr. Alain Gauthier.  

  • As a result of this review, the Board of Governors passed a policy encouraging a smoke-free lifestyle and promoting the protection of non-smokers from the harmful effects of second-hand smoke by establishing designated smoking areas (effective September 1, 2018).  The School of Architecture does not have a designated smoking area due to the proximity to public space. The policy further encourages incrementally moving towards becoming a 100% smoke-free campus. 

  • The Canadian Cancer Society is urging the post-secondary sector to consider adopting a 100% smoke-free policy.

  • Laurentian will begin consultations on this topic, including cannabis use, shortly.   


  • Smoking or vaping cannabis is prohibited in residence.

  • The Cannabis Procedure is in place to ensure the safety of the residents and their guests.

  • It is illegal for any person under 19 years of age to consume or possess cannabis in the province of Ontario. 

  • It is illegal to be in possession of more than 30 grams of cannabis.  

  • Legal cannabis must be stored in a sealed container.

  • Promotion or participation in events that promote excessive cannabis consumption is prohibited.

  • Use of cannabis-related paraphernalia, including but not limited to vaporizers, hookahs, and pipes is prohibited in residence. 

  • Residents, however, may store cannabis-related paraphernalia in their residence room.

  • The cultivation of cannabis plants or cannabis related products is prohibited in residence.

  • No person shall consume cannabis in residence public areas.  

  • Residents wishing to transport cannabis must do so in a sealed container.  

  • Cooking cannabis in all residence spaces, including but not limited to residence lounges, kitchens, study rooms, or apartments, is prohibited.

  • Deliveries from the Ontario Cannabis Store and/or any legal cannabis vendor sanctioned by the Ontario government will not be accepted at the residence.

  • Laurentian University will not receive deliveries of cannabis. Any such deliveries will be conducted at a Canada Post office.

  • Cannabis is prohibited in sport, no matter its legal status in Canada.

  • The World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA)’s Prohibited List is an international document and is not affected by changes in Canadian law. Cannabis is just one of many substances which are legal in Canada, yet prohibited in sport.

  • Cannabis may have therapeutic uses, but any medical use needs to be justified with a medical file and a medical exemption.

  • Athletes must apply for medical exemptions if they intend to use a prohibited medication, and their use of the medication must be medically justified.

  • The only way to be 100% sure to avoid a doping violation for cannabis is through abstinence

  • Consuming recreational cannabis in the workplace is illegal and will continue to be after legalization on October 17, 2018.

  • Employees must report to work in a physical and mental state which allows them to perform their duties in a safe and effective manner. While at work, employees must not be under the influence of intoxicating substances, lawful or not, which could impair their physical or mental state. A Fit for Duty Guideline, which will be supplementary to Laurentian’s Policy on Occupational Health and Safety is in the final stages of review by the Health and Safety Committee and will be shared in the near future.     

  • Employers (and supervisors):

    • need to know the rules for medical cannabis and consult with HROD if they receive a request

    • will be required to address workplace hazards, under the Occupational Health and Safety Act (OHSA)

  • Employees and workers:

    • who are unable or unfit to work safely could be a hazard to themselves or to others in the workplace

    • have a duty to perform work safely and to report any hazards to their supervisor or employer under the OHSA

  • Employees have access to health and wellness supports and smoking cessation resources, and access to addictions counselling through the EFAP program.  You can access these services by calling 1-844-880-9142 or visiting

  • Cannabis and other drugs such as alcohol and tobacco are psychoactive substances which, when taken into the body, alter mental processes such as cognition.

  • Laurentian University, in line with a public health approach to cannabis use, will be working to reduce harm while also offering supportive measures for those who are at higher risk of harm due to their cannabis use.  

  • The legalization and regulation of cannabis provides the opportunity for cannabis use to be treated as a health issue.