Alberta's Recreational Cannabis Landscape: An overview of restrictions in housing and public spaces.

AuthorFeng, Judy

November 2, 2018


On October 17, 2018, recreational use of cannabis became legal in Canada. Canadians are now able to purchase recreational cannabis, publicly possess up to 30 grams of dried cannabis and grow up to 4 plants for personal use. Does this mean that Canadians can obtain and use cannabis anywhere they want then? Nope, think again.

With the new recreational cannabis regime, provinces can implement additional rules for possession, use and cultivation of recreational cannabis. For example, in Alberta, individuals must be 18 years old or older to purchase or consume cannabis. Municipalities can also impose additional bylaws and land use and zoning laws to restrict where cannabis is sold and where it can be used.

Restrictions in housing

While there is no legislation in Alberta that prohibits cannabis use or cultivation in homes, landlords, property owners and rental companies may restrict cannabis use, cultivation and/or smoke in tenancy agreements. Likewise, condominium boards are also free to enact bylaws and rules restricting cannabis use, cultivation and/or smoke on their properties and common areas.

In other words, home owners can use recreational cannabis within their own homes or backyard and grow up to four plants on their properties as long as their municipality allows it. Tenant or condominium residents, you may likely encounter some form of restrictions through your landlord, rental company or condominium board on cannabis use and cultivation. For example, some landlords in Alberta have already banned cannabis smoking and cultivation in rental units, whereas some landlords allow cultivation and consumption of edibles in units despite a smoking and vaping ban. Tenants should review their leases and condominium residents should review their condominium's bylaws and rules for further information on any restrictions.

Restrictions in public spaces

When it comes to restrictions in public spaces, the province's Bill 26 (An Act to Control and Regulate Cannabis) prohibits smoking and vaping cannabis in certain places frequented by children such as:

* any area or place where that person is prohibited from smoking under the Tobacco and Smoking Reduction Act or any other Act or municipal bylaws

* on an hospital property, school property or child care facility property

* in or within a prescribed distance from:

** a playground;

** a sports or playing field;

** a skateboard or bicycle park;

** a zoo;

** an outdoor theatre;


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