Cannabis Legalization​​
Decrease FontIncrease FontPrintPrint

​As of Oct. 17, 2018, the use of non-medical cannabis (marijuana) in Canada is legal for adults. In B.C., the legal age for use and possession is 19 and older, as per the new provincial Cannabis Control and Licensing Act – Bill 30.

For Interior Health, this new law highlights a dual responsibility – to protect public health and ensure the safety of our patients and clients; as well as take care of our staff, physicians, and volunteers by updating policies and procedures to address the impacts of legalization. 

A Public Health Approach

Interior Health, in partnership with provincial and federal governments, is focused on:

  • helping people, including health-care providers and community leaders, understand the risks of using non-medical cannabis; and
  • striving to minimize the harms associated with its use.

With the legalization of non-medical cannabis, it is important that we respect the philosophy of choice and that we support people to make informed choices.

Like other health authorities, Interior Health supports a public health approach to non-medical cannabis, which includes helping local governments with their community-based actions. This includes making best efforts to reduce public smoking and vaping of cannabis (e.g., strengthening smoke-free bylaws); focusing on land use management that enhances food security; and supporting education and awareness efforts.

Keeping IH Sites Safe & Healthy – Important Policy Updates

With the legalization of non-medical cannabis in Canada, a number of IH policies and procedures required changes to reflect the new legislation and what it means for our facilities and workplaces.

Smoke Free Environment Policy 

Interior Health is a leader in promoting health and well-being in our communities. This includes preventing smoke-related illness caused by tobacco, vaping, and cannabis.

Under the Smoke Free Environment policy, all IH owned and/or operated premises, facilities, grounds, and vehicles are smoke-free areas (with the exception of cultural ceremonial use of tobacco in specified IH programs).

Read the updated AV2000 Smoke Free Environment policy for more information.

Other Updated Policies

Learn More – Information & Resources


As a step towards reconciliation, Interior Health acknowledges the land that we live, work, and play on as the traditional territories of the Dakelh Dene, Ktunaxa, Nlaka’pamux, Secwepemc, St’at’imc, Syilx and Tsilhqot’in peoples. It is with humility that we continue to strengthen our relationships with the First Nation, Métis, and Inuit peoples of the interior.
MoH     PCQO