The University of Northern British Columbia is committed to supporting the health and wellness of all members of the UNBC Community.
As of October 17, 2018 changes were made by the Federal Government in regards to the legalization of certain cannabis products for recreational possession, sale, and use. For the most part, the expectations around cannabis use on campus will not change significantly with this legalization. All those who wish to consume cannabis on campus are expected to do so responsibly, with care for their own health and safety and the safety of others.
UNBC Smoke and Vape-free Places Policy
According to the UNBC Smoke and Vape-free Places Policy, the smoking and vaping of cannabis products is prohibited on all University property and in UNBC vehicles whether owned, leased, managed by or operated by UNBC.
Cannabis products or devices are permitted on campus to the extent it is otherwise lawful (age, amount, type etc.) but must be stored in sealed, scent-proof containers when not in use.
The sale, promotion or distribution of all cannabis products is strictly prohibited on all UNBC campuses or at any facility owned, managed or leased by UNBC.
The possession or cultivation of cannabis plants is prohibited anywhere on campus property including the Residences, except where prior approval for research purposes has been obtained.
All members of the UNBC community share a collective responsibility to maintain a clean, healthy and safe working and learning environment and to positively comply with these changes in legislation.
Under Worksafe BC legislation employees must show up for work fit for duty and remain so, employees are obligated to advise their employer if their ability to safely perform their work is impaired for any reason and to not knowingly do work where their impairment may create an undue risk to themselves or others.
Accommodation and Support
The University recognizes that like tobacco, cannabis is an addictive substance and provides awareness and education to assist employees and students who use cannabis products and wish to quit.
Students can seek assistance from UNBC Health Services.
Any student with a documented medical need to use cannabis products must register with the UNBC Access Resource Centre. Documented medical needs will be assessed and reasonable accommodation made if UNBC can do so without undue hardship.
Employees can seek assistance from Shelley McKenzie, Senior Human Resources Consultant in Human Resources.
Any employee with a documented medical need to use cannabis products must register with Human Resources. Documented medical needs will be assessed and reasonable accommodation made if UNBC can do so without undue hardship.
Regulatory and Compliance Resources
- Cannabis Act, S.C. 2018, c.16
- Cannabis Control and Licensing Act, SBC 2018, C29
- City of Prince George Smoke and Vape-free Places Bylaw No. 8591
- Section 4.20 Occupational Health and Safety Regulations - Impairment
- UNBC Smoke and Vape-free Places Policy
- Government of Canada - Cannabis Health Effects
Cannabis Use FAQ
What changes will come into effect at UNBC with the legalization of cannabis?
For the most part, nothing will change. The smoking or vaping of cannabis products on University property or within University vehicles will remain prohibited as will the cultivation or growing of cannabis.
Can I grow cannabis on campus or in our dorms?
No, the cultivation of cannabis is not permitted on any University property. Although growing up to four cannabis plants for personal use is legal, our accommodations are shared spaces and because of safety concerns (risk of fire from heaters and grow lights), the smell, and additional use of resources such as electricity and water, we have a responsibility to govern our property.
Can I have cannabis with me on campus?
Yes, an individual may possess cannabis products on campus, but those amounts should not exceed the limits set by federal law (30 grams of dried cannabis or 450 grams of cannabis edibles) and they must be stored in sealed, scent-proof containers.
Can I consume edibles on campus?
While there is no prohibition of the consumption of cannabis edibles on campus, those who wish to consume cannabis on campus are expected to do so responsibly, with care for their own health and safety, as well as consideration to other members of the community.
Will legalization mean employees can use recreational cannabis in the workplace?
No, employers and employees have a shared responsibility under Section 4.20 Occupational Health and Safety Regulations - Impairment to take reasonable care to protect the health and safety of themselves and others, so that safety should not be put at risk because of impairment. Employees should not arrive at work or remain at work while their ability to work is affected by alcohol, cannabis or any other impairment, regardless of its legal status.
If the recreational use of cannabis is now legal, why can’t it be smoked or vaped on campus?The introduction of the Smoke and Vape-free Places Policy was in part a response to the recognition of the health hazards posed by exposure to second-hand smoke. The same applies to the smoking of vape or cannabis products. This policy also aligns with the City of Prince George bylaws and the fact that the University grounds are used as a place of assembly.