Cannabis on Campus

Updated policy

University Policy 58 on smoking and vaping on campus, updated on April 3, 2019, reflects new provincial legislation governing smoking and vaping cannabis.

In response to the legalization of cannabis in Canada, the University has updated its policy on smoking and vaping on campus. The policy mirrors provincial regulations and includes additional University-specific restrictions, to ensure the health and safety of all on campus. We believe this new policy is reasonable and consistent with public health imperatives, provincial legislation and the public interest.

The restrictions for cannabis on campus are as follows:

  • Smoking or vaping cannabis is prohibited in all areas where tobacco smoking or vaping is currently prohibited. This includes:
    • University buildings
    • covered locations
    • tunnels, parking garages, lobbies, stairways and food service patios
    • within nine metres of any building entrance or exit, air intake or patio
    • sports fields, facilities and surfaces, including public areas within 20 metres of the sports fields, facilities and surfaces
    • open communal areas, including the Tabaret lawn and patio, and University Square
    • child care facilities and public areas within 20 metres of a child care facility
    • the entire Alta Vista Campus, including Roger Guindon Hall, and 600 and 850 Peter Morand
  • Smoking, vaping and cultivation of cannabis plants are prohibited in University-operated student residences.
  • The use of cannabis by University employees (faculty, staff and contractors) during working hours is prohibited.
  • The sale of cannabis, tobacco, tobacco products and electronic cigarettes is prohibited at the University.
  • The University is committed to providing reasonable accommodation for medical cannabis use on a case-by-case basis.

Q&A - Smoking and vaping cannabis on campus

1. Can I smoke or vape cannabis on campus?

Smoking or vaping cannabis is prohibited in all areas where currently tobacco smoking and vaping are currently prohibited. This includes:

  • University buildings
  • covered locations
  • tunnels, parking garages, lobbies, stairways and food service patios
  • within nine metres of any building entrance or exit, air intake or patio
  • sports fields, facilities and surfaces, including public areas within 20 metres of the sports fields, facilities and surfaces
  • open communal areas, including the Tabaret lawn and patio, and University Square
  • child care facilities and public areas within 20 metres of a child care facility
  • the entire Alta Vista Campus, including Roger Guindon Hall, and 600 and 850 Peter Morand

Smoking or vaping cannabis is permitted in other open areas on campus.

2. What steps did the University take to develop this policy?

The University’s primary goal has been to ensure that our approach to smoking and vaping cannabis on campus is reasonable, consistent with public health priorities and in the public interest. The views of the University community are also important.

The committee, chaired by David Graham, provost and vice-president, academic affairs, reviewed the results of a campus-wide consultation last fall about whether uOttawa should become a smoke-free environment, following the legalization of recreational cannabis last October. Committee members also reviewed studies on cannabis use and policies of other Canadian universities.

3. Can I consume cannabis edibles on campus?

Edible cannabis products are not available for legal purchase, and consumption is not permitted on campus.

4. What if I have a certificate to use marijuana for medical purposes? How will the University’s approach affect me?

The University is committed to providing reasonable accommodation for medical cannabis use on a case-by-case basis.

5. If I am an employee, does this mean I can consume marijuana at work?

The use of cannabis by University employees (faculty, staff and contractors) during working hours is prohibited.

6. Can I smoke or vape cannabis in my residence?

Smoking is not allowed in University residences under the terms of your residence agreement.

7. Can I order cannabis online and have it delivered to my residence or any other building on campus?

Although the purchase of recreational cannabis by students and employees is permitted through the Ontario Cannabis Store website, cannabis cannot be delivered to campus. You must pick up your packages at the nearest Canada Post office.

8. Can I grow cannabis in my residence room or any other building on campus?

Growing cannabis is not permitted anywhere on campus nor in any off-campus University buildings, including all University-operated residences.

9. Where can I get support for cannabis-related health concerns?

If you have cannabis-related health concerns, we invite you to learn more about the health effects of cannabis. The University offers health services for students, staff and professors who have questions or need support regarding cannabis use (for students: Health Services Resource Centre, UCU 203; for staff and professors: Employee and Family Assistance Program).

10. How can I express my views on whether our main campus should be smoke-free?

We invite all members of the uOttawa community to express their views on this important issue. Email safety@uOttawa.ca.

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