Policy Consultation – Proposed Amendment of Policy #15 (Smoking and Smoking Product Promotion on Campus)


The UBC community is invited to comment on proposed amendments to Policy #15 (Smoking and Smoking Product Promotion on Campus).

Policy #15 aims to diminish the exposure to second-hand smoke and to promote health and safety by setting rules with respect to smoking and smoke-free zones on both the Okanagan and Vancouver campuses and by prohibiting the sale of tobacco and the sale of smoking-related accessories on campus.

On October 17, 2018, the federal Cannabis Act will come into force, legalizing the possession and sale of certain amounts and certain classes of cannabis.

The Policy Review Committee conducted due diligence and engaged with stakeholders from both the Okanagan and Vancouver campuses to identify existing gaps or matters requiring clarification that needed to be resolved prior to the Cannabis Act coming into effect. In addition, the Chair and the Secretary of the Committee gathered input from the leadership of key UBC units such as Student Housing & Hospitality Services (SHHS), which was considered by the Committee in the development of its recommendations.

As part of the overall suite of initiatives that are being conducted around UBC, the Committee has proposed key amendments to Policy #15 that are summarized below:

Definition of “Smoking”

“Vaping” will be added to the definition of “Smoking”, and smoking or vaping of tobacco and cannabis products will be treated the same under Policy #15.

Smoking Areas

The current smoking-permitted and smoke-free zones on both campuses will remain unchanged under the amendments to Policy #15.

Campus and Community Planning (C&CP) has been working with the Vice-President, Health in order to explore the potential of creating a new No Smoking Area around the health precinct on the Vancouver campus. C&CP will consider other appropriate areas for designation as No Smoking Areas, such as outdoor athletics facilities.

The UBC Okanagan members of the Policy Review Committee will formulate recommendations for which smoking gazebos should be designated for tobacco versus cannabis use.

Sale of Tobacco, Cannabis and Tobacco Products

The prohibition against the sale of tobacco and tobacco-related products, such as accessories which may also be used in the smoking of cannabis, will continue.

There will be no general prohibition on the sale of cannabis in Policy #15. Any person wishing to establish a cannabis retail outlet on campus will be required to obtain a provincial and federal licence, as well as a business licence from the applicable authority (the City of Kelowna for UBC Okanagan or Campus & Community Planning for UBC Vancouver).

The City of Kelowna is currently reviewing its own bylaws with respect to cannabis sales, and is considering restricting retail stores to properties that are zoned to allow cannabis retail stores as a permitted use.

C&CP have been developing a principled approach to licensing requirements for business that may apply to sell cannabis, and their current recommendation is to align with the requirements of the City of Vancouver. Vancouver has recently created new use definitions to prohibit the sale of cannabis within 300 metres of schools, community centres, youth facilities serving vulnerable young people, and other licensed cannabis retail outlets.

The revisions to Policy #15 are part of an overall campus strategy to prepare for the legalization of cannabis. The Office of the Vice-President, Students has been working on an education initiative to raise awareness and educate students about cannabis consumption. Human Resources have reviewed the suitability of their existing procedures and guidelines and have provided additional information on their website []. And SHHS have updated their residence contracts to prohibit the smoking of cannabis on residence property [].

The proposed amendments are now being published and all members of the University community are encouraged to provide their comments. Please submit feedback to the Office of the University Counsel at by November 16, 2018.

For further information about this policy proposal, please see the information package that was provided to the Board of Governors at

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