The Cannabis Act will come into effect on October 17, 2018 and cannabis will be legalized and regulated in Canada. Parks Canada has developed guidelines within national parks, national historic sites, and national marine conservation areas that are consistent with relevant provincial/territorial cannabis legislation. In Banff National Park, the relevant Province of Alberta legislation and regulations will apply.

Visitors should inform themselves on the applicable provincial laws and municipal bylaws on cannabis when planning their trip to Parks Canada places.

Where can cannabis be used in Banff National Park?

Campgrounds

In Parks Canada’s campgrounds, cannabis consumption will be limited to a visitor’s campsite (with a valid camping permit). It’s important to note that public consumption is not permitted in common areas within campgrounds (e.g. playgrounds, kitchen shelters, washrooms, trails, roads). This is similar to the approach Parks Canada follows for other regulated substances, like alcohol.

In accordance with existing smoking restrictions, smoking or vaping is not be permitted inside oTENTiks and Equipped Camping tents. 

Current restrictions in campgrounds regarding no campfires and no alcohol consumption from 11 p.m. – 7 a.m. will be amended to include no cannabis smoking and vaping. 

Summer long weekend alcohol bans (Victoria Day through to Labour Day) will be amended to include a ban on cannabis smoking and vaping.  

Province of Alberta regulations pertaining to smoking and vaping, no closer than five metres from buildings unless otherwise posted, continues to apply in campgrounds and will include cannabis.

Cave and Basin National Historic Site

Smoking and vaping of cannabis at the Cave and Basin National Historic Site including during special events will not be permitted. 

Province of Alberta regulations pertaining to smoking and vaping, no closer than five metres from buildings unless otherwise posted, continues to apply and will include cannabis.

Park Gates

Provincial regulations pertaining to smoking and vaping, no closer than five metres from buildings unless otherwise posted, continues to apply and will include cannabis.   

Day-use Areas

Public consumption is permitted. Province of Alberta regulations pertaining to smoking and vaping, no closer than five metres from buildings (including shelters) unless otherwise posted, continues to apply at these settings and will include cannabis.

Trails

Cannabis consumption will be permitted on front country and backcountry trails.  

Is cannabis permitted in Parks Canada facilities located within the Town of Banff?

Municipal bylaws apply to all Parks Canada facilities located within the Town of Banff (www.banff.ca/cannabis). Smoking and vaping of cannabis in all public places within Town of Banff boundaries will not be permitted. Bylaws will be enforced at the following Parks Canada facilities; 

  • The Banff Park Museum National Historic Site, 
  • Banff Avenue Square, 
  • The Cascades of Time Garden, 
  • The Banff Visitor Centre,
  • The information desk inside the Banff train station.
Is smoking and vaping of cannabis permitted within the Town of Banff?

The Town of Banff, as a municipality, has passed bylaws that prohibit the smoking and vaping of cannabis in all public areas within townsite boundaries. For more information on municipal bylaws in the Town of Banff. 

Is cannabis consumption permitted within the Hamlet of Lake Louise?

Yes - Public consumption within townsites administered by Parks Canada, including the Hamlet of Lake Louise, is legal.  

Will consumption be permitted at popular sightseeing locations such as Lake Louise, Moraine Lake or Johnston Canyon?

Yes, Parks Canada will follow provincial laws in the approach to cannabis legalization. In Alberta, public consumption of cannabis is legal, in accordance with applicable legislation regarding public smoking and intoxication.  

Parks Canada wants to ensure the best possible experience for all visitors. We expect all visitors to the national parks to respect their fellow visitors and the natural environment around them and we expect them to obey the law and Parks Canada rules and regulations.

Will consumption be permitted at The Banff Upper Hot Springs? 

No, consumption is prohibited at the Banff Upper Hot Springs facility and within five metres of all buildings. 

Why are the rules different in the Town of Banff and the Village of Lake Louise?

The Town of Banff, as a municipality, has passed bylaws that prohibit the smoking and vaping of cannabis in all public areas within townsite boundaries. For more information on the bylaws in the Town of Banff, please visit the Town of Banff website. 

The Hamlet of Lake Louise is administered by Parks Canada and will follow provincial laws in the approach to cannabis legalization.

Is Parks Canada’s direction on cannabis written in stone?

Parks Canada will actively monitor and evaluate the impacts of the legalisation. Our current approach will be revisited and may be adjusted as issues arise and/or as new information becomes available.

Learn more about cannabis regulations: