Regulations pertaining to the consumption of cannabis for recreational purposes in Alberta have been designed in accordance with Federal regulations. However, they also feature restrictions / allowances that are specific to the Province. Here they are in point form to allow you to have a strong understanding of Alberta cannabis regulations and how you can enjoy cannabis in accordance with Alberta weed laws.
- The minimum age for recreational use of cannabis is 18 in Alberta.
- Areas of allowed use – private residences, designated guest rooms like hotels and motels, residential vehicles and boats.
- Areas of controlled use – long term care homes, certain retirement homes, residential hospices, provincially-funded supportive housing, designated psychiatric facilities or veterans’ facilities.
- Areas where use is prohibited – in or around hospitals, schools, or child-care facilities, as well as anywhere where cigarette smoking is prohibited.
- Driving restrictions are a fundamental part of Alberta cannabis regulations – driving while under the influence of cannabis is strictly prohibited by law in Alberta. Failure to abide by this legislation can result in any or all of the following repercussions:
- Immediate license suspension
- Financial penalties
- Possible vehicle impounding
- Possibility of criminal record
- Possibility of jail time
- Place of purchase restrictions – marijuana in Alberta is sold in private standalone stores and through a government-run website, both regulated by the Alberta gaming and liquor commission. Stores may sell marijuana accessories, but co-location with alcohol is forbidden. No one under 18 may enter a cannabis store, and Alberta cannabis regulations also stipulate there is to be a 100-metre buffer between stores and schools, school reserves and provincial health care facilities.
- Legal possession restrictions – individuals aged 18 and up are legally allowed to have a maximum of 30 grams of dried cannabis in their possession in public at any time.
- Legal transportation restrictions – product transported in a motor vehicle must be sealed in original packaging or located so that it is inaccessible to vehicle occupants.
- Legal growing restrictions – individuals aged 18 and up are able to grow up to four plants per residence, not per person.
- Workplace regulations – consuming recreational cannabis in the workplace is illegal in Alberta, cannabis use being allowed only when explicitly approved by the ownership or management.
Alberta Cannabis Regulations for Medical Marijuana
In compliance with the Cannabis Act of October, 2018 individuals who have received authorization from the regulatory body of the Canadian Province where they reside may purchase, possess, and consume medical cannabis without personal storage limits in the home, and public possession limits as follows; the lesser of 150 grams or a 30-day supply of dried cannabis (or the equivalent in cannabis product) in addition to the 30 grams allowed for non-medical purposes. Individuals must be able to provide documentation of their medical marijuana authorization if in public possession of cannabis.
Municipal Variances: Recreational & Medicinal
There are variances between the Province and its Alberta cannabis regulations and regulations for individual municipalities in the Province. Provincial regulations may not apply to all cities, towns, and elsewhere in Alberta. Municipal variances for Alberta cannabis laws exist, and are detailed here:
Airdrie – prohibited to consume cannabis in public, with the exception of the one designated consumption site at 269 Sierra Springs Drive SE (subject to change. 1-year pilot project).
Banff Townsite – prohibited in public, and note that regulations for Banff National Park are the same as those for the Province as a whole.
Calgary – prohibited in public, public consumption sites may be approved in the future but there are none at this time. Festivals can apply for permits to have consumption-friendly areas.
Camrose – allowed in public, but prohibited within 10 metres of public parks and playgrounds. Also prohibited in or within 5 metres of buildings. ‘Discreet designated smoking areas’ may be approved for city property in the future.
Chestermere – prohibited in public.
Cochrane – prohibited in public.
Devon – prohibited in public.
Edmonton – allowed in public, with the exception of within 10 metres of entries, exits, air intakes, or bus shelters. Use in parks with playgrounds, sports fields, skate or bicycle parks, outdoor theatres, outdoor pools or spray parks, seasonal skating rinks, or an off-leash dog area.
Specific area prohibitions for Sir Winston Churchill Square, Fort Edmonton Park, the John Janzen Nature Centre, the Edmonton Valley Zoo, Muttart Conservatory, and William Hawrelak Park.
Prohibited on or in hospital property, school property, child care facility property, city-owned golf courses, cemeteries, ski hills, bus terminals, or light rail transit platforms.
Fort McMurray / Wood Buffalo Municipality – prohibited in public.
Fort Saskatchewan – prohibited in public.
Grand Prairie – Prohibited in most public locations, with a few outdoor exceptions. Prohibited in public buildings, workplaces, or public venues. Prohibited within a 30-metre radius of a recreational facility, public park, parade, outdoor special events, or where children are playing or congregating. Prohibited in all locations where a public sign prohibits smoking.
Jasper Townsite – prohibited in public, but public consumption sites may be approved in the future. Permits can be issue for designated consumption sites for events.
Leduc – prohibited in public.
Lethbridge – allowed in public.
Lloydminster – Prohibited in public, including on sidewalks.
Medicine Hat – allowed in public.
Okotoks – prohibited in public.
Red Deer – prohibited in public.
St. Albert – prohibited in public.
Spruce Grove – prohibited in public.
Stony Plain – prohibited in public, and cannabis plants must be contained in a secure structure or behind a secure fence.