Alcohol, Smoking, and Substances Policy

The goal of the policy is to create an environment that promotes and supports health and well-being, to provide education on substance use, to minimize risk to others and to comply with the Saskatchewan's Cannabis Framework and other regulations.

Key Points

Consuming and smoking cannabis is prohibited at USask

Consuming cannabis is prohibited in all university buildings, including residence, and, according to provincial legislation, Cannabis consumption is not permitted in any public place.

Growing cannabis is prohibited at USask

Cannabis plants are not permitted to be grown on university grounds or buildings, with the exception of approved research projects.

Avoid coming to campus impaired

Employees may use lawful substances (said use or consumption being in accordance with the policy and procedures) that do not interfere with an employee’s ability to be fit for work and are being used as directed or prescribed by an attending/treating medical professional.

Fit for work means the employee must be able to safely and acceptably perform assigned duties, without impairment due to the use or after-effects of Illicit drugs or Lawful Substances.

It is the employee’s responsibility when taking lawful substances that is prescribed by an attending/treating medical professional to review their job duties with the medical professional to confirm that the use of the lawful substance will not impair the safe and efficient performance of the job duties and assignments or otherwise cause the employee not to be fit for work.

In certain circumstances, including but not limited to the health professions, employee’s may be subject to licensing and/or regulatory standards of their profession that place additional restrictions on the consumption of lawful substances causing impairment or endangering individual and/or patient safety.

Cannabis for medical purposes

The university has a duty to accommodate.  

The duty to accommodate means the duty to make adjustments to conditions of employment where employees have a disability that requires accommodation up to a point of undue hardship.  The duty to accommodate applies to those requiring cannabis for medical purposes, or for those employees with a substance use disorder.

Please follow the medical accommodations process for these situations, or contact Wellness Resources directly.

Addressing Cannabis Abuse

Employee Use

University People Leaders are responsible for being alert to signs of impairment within the workplace, and addressing such situations as appropriate. If you have concerns regarding an employee, please contact your Human Resources Strategic Business Advisor for advice.

Student Use

University Faculty members are expected to be alert to signs of impairment of students within the course of their studies, and addressing such situations as appropriate.


Canada's border rules will not change because of the legalization of cannabis. If you are travelling for work or pleasure, you are ultimately responsible for adhering to the laws of the countries that you visit, including travel-related risks such as being denied entry.

Cannabis Research Related Travel

At this time, travel to the United States for cannabis-related research or work matters poses a serious risk to the traveler. The best interpretation of the current United States policy is that personal travel to the United States is allowed for those in the cannabis industry, but not for reason related to the cannabis industry. To date, there is no clarification as to how cannabis researchers will be treated against this policy.

Information from the United States and Canadian governments has been used in identifying the known risks of travel. These known risks are presented below. The university encourages you to read and consider these risks carefully against your planned travel and activities in the United States. This is an ever-evolving situation that should be monitored carefully at the time of travel.

Should you have any questions or concerns, please contact Katharine Fahlman-Smith, Manager, Recruitment and Global Mobility, at katharine.fahlman-smith@usask.ca.

US Position on Cannabis-Related Travel outside Canada

Excerpts from current United States Customs and Border Protection policy:

  • A Canadian citizen working in or facilitating the proliferation of the legal marijuana industry in Canada, coming to the U.S. for reasons unrelated to the marijuana industry will generally be admissible to the U.S. however, if a traveller is found to be coming to the U.S. for reason related to the marijuana industry, they may be deemed inadmissible. 
  • U.S. laws will not change following Canada’s legalization of marijuana. Requirements for international travelers wishing to enter the United States are governed by and conducted in accordance with U.S. Federal Law, which supersedes state laws. Although medical and recreational marijuana may be legal in some U.S. States and Canada, the sale, possession, production and distribution of marijuana or the facilitation of the aforementioned remain illegal under U.S. Federal Law. Consequently, crossing the border or arriving at a U.S. port of entry in violation of this law may result in denied admission, seizure, fines, and apprehension. 

University comment: There is currently no guidance as to how “working in or facilitating the proliferation of the legal marijuana industry in Canada” or “coming to the U.S. for reason related to the marijuana industry” is defined or will be interpreted by processing U.S. border protection officers.  Further, being denied entry to the United States at this time may have lasting consequences on an individual’s ability to travel there in the future. 

Canada's Position on Cannabis-Related Travel outside Canada

a. The Cannabis Act: The Facts [Government of Canada]:

"Involvement in the legal cannabis industry in Canada could also result in a decision of inadmissibility."

b. Cannabis and International Travel [Government of Canada] excerpts:

Leaving Canada

  • The legalization of cannabis in Canada did not change Canada’s border rules. Taking cannabis or any product containing cannabis across Canada’s international borders is illegal and can result in serious criminal penalties both at home and abroad. This is the case even if you are travelling to places that have legalized or decriminalized cannabis. Transporting cannabis used for medical purposes is also illegal. Cannabis is illegal in most countries. Previous use of cannabis, or any other substance prohibited by local law, could result in a traveler being denied entry to his or her destination country.
  • Each country or territory decides who can enter or exit through its borders. The Government of Canada cannot intervene on your behalf if you do not meet your destination’s entry or exit requirements.  
  • Travelers are responsible for learning about the laws of the countries they intend to visit. See our Travel Advice and Advisories for information on your destination.  

c. Additional Information:

Get the facts

The Governament of Canada and others have developed a number of tools and resources to provide information about cannabis.