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 NOTE:  Please check this website for updates to stay informed about any changes to Ryerson's cannabis rules.

Cannabis Laws

About the Law

Individuals who are 19 years of age and older may buy, use, cultivate and possess recreational cannabis. This is the same as the minimum age for the sale of tobacco and alcohol in Ontario.

The Ontario government has enacted the following rules for using cannabis, both medical and recreational.

Where you can smoke and vape cannabis*

  • Private residences – this does not include residences that are also workplaces (e.g. long-term care and/or retirement homes)
  • Many outdoor public places (e.g. sidewalks, parks)
  • Designated guest rooms in hotels, motels and inns
  • Residential vehicles and boats that meet certain criteria (e.g. have permanent sleeping accommodations and cooking facilities, and are parked or anchored)
  • Scientific research and testing facilities (if the cannabis use is for scientific research and testing purposes)
  • Controlled areas in:
    • long-term care homes
    • certain retirement homes
    • residential hospices
    • provincially-funded supportive housing
    • designated psychiatric facilities or veterans’ facilities

*Additional restrictions on smoking and vaping may exist in municipal bylaws, lease agreements, and the policies of employers and property owners.

For more information, you can visit the Ontario government's webpage on cannabis legalization. (external link) 

Where you cannot smoke or vape cannabis


You cannot smoke or vape cannabis in:

  • indoor common areas in condos, apartment buildings and university/college residences
  • enclosed public places and enclosed work places
  • non-designated guest rooms in hotels, motels and inns

Schools and places where children gather

You cannot smoke or vape cannabis:

  • at school, on school grounds, and all public areas within 20m of these grounds
  • on children’s playgrounds and public areas within 20m of playgrounds
  • in child care centres, or where an early years program is provided
  • in places where home child care is provided — even if children aren’t present

Hospitals, hospices, care homes and other facilities

You cannot smoke or vape cannabis:

  • within 9m from the entrance or exit of hospitals (public/private), psychiatric facilities, long-term care homes, independent health facilities
  • on outdoor grounds of hospitals (public/private) and psychiatric facilities
  • in non-controlled areas in long-term care homes, certain retirement homes, provincially-funded supportive housing, designated psychiatric or veterans’ facilities, and residential hospices

Publicly owned spaces

You cannot smoke or vape cannabis in publicly-owned sport fields (not including golf courses), nearby spectator areas and public areas within 20m of these areas.

Vehicles and boats

You cannot consume cannabis (smoking, vaping, eating) in a vehicle or boat that is being driven or is at risk of being put into motion.

Other outdoor areas

You cannot smoke or vape cannabis:

  • in restaurants and on bar patios and public areas within 9m of a patio
  • on outdoor grounds of specified Ontario government office buildings
  • in reserved seating areas at outdoor sports and entertainment locations
  • on grounds of community recreational facilities, and public areas within 20m of those grounds
  • in sheltered outdoor areas with a roof and more than two walls which the public or employees frequent, or are invited to (e.g. a bus shelter)

For more information, you can visit the Ontario government's webpage on cannabis legalization. (external link) 

  • Under the Cannabis Act, the legalization of cannabis in Canada does not change border rules
  • Taking cannabis, any product containing cannabis, or any cannabis paraphernalia in or out of the country remains illegal, and can result in serious criminal penalties both at home and abroad. It is important to remember that this may be the case even if you are travelling to and from places that have legalized or decriminalized cannabis. 
  • Also, transporting cannabis for medical purposes remains illegal.

    For more information, please visit the Government of Canada's website on Cannabis and international travel. (external link) 

    Students, staff and faculty travelling outside of Canada are asked to contact Ryerson International with further inquiries.