Alcohol and Cannabis Use, Policy on

Alcohol and Cannabis Use, Policy on

Topic: University Grounds and Physical Facilities
Approval Date: October 6, 2020
Effective Date: October 6, 2020
Last Revised: April 26, 2004

1. Introduction

York University is committed to fostering and maintaining an environment that is safe and secure for all community members.  The University policy on Alcohol and Cannabis Use promotes self-responsibility and self-accountability with respect to the use of alcohol and cannabis.  The use, sale and service of alcoholic beverages, and the use of cannabis on the University’s campuses are privileges accorded only to the extent that there is compliance with York University’s policies, procedures and regulations, including but not limited to those relating to use of University space, and applicable municipal, provincial and federal laws.  The University reserves the right and responsibility to manage the access to, and the use of its space to ensure that academic and administrative activities and the safety of community members are not compromised.

2.  Purpose

This policy affirms York University’s commitment to fostering a campus environment that supports the well-being and success of students and employees, including, faculty and staff, by:

  1. complying with federal and provincial laws, municipal by-laws, and University policies related to the use of cannabis, and the use, sale and service of alcohol;
  2. providing educational programs to promote responsible attitudes and choices related to alcohol and cannabis use, along with awareness on misuse of the same;
  3. respecting the needs of community members who are prohibited by law or who choose not to consume alcohol or cannabis, by creating and supporting social experiences and spaces that exclude or deemphasize such use; and
  4. creating guidelines for alcohol-related advertising, promotion and sponsorship on campus, and for permitted events on and off campus

3.  Scope and Application

This policy is applicable to all York University students, employees, volunteers, guests, visitors, and businesses operating on campus.

4.  Definitions

  1. Cannabis: products that come from or can be made using the flowers and leaves of the cannabis plant. Depending on how they are made, these products can have a range of potencies of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and cannabidiol (CBD).  For the purposes of this document, cannabis includes, but is not limited to the following:
    1. Fresh or dried herbal material (flowers and leaves from the cannabis plant)
    2. Cannabis oil (cannabis extract dissolved in oil)
    3. Chemically concentrated extracts (e.g. shatter, hash oil)
    4. Physically concentrated extracts (e.g. hash)
    5. Edibles (food and drinks containing extracts of cannabis)
    6. Tinctures/sprays (cannabis extract dissolved in a solvent, often alcohol)
    7. Creams/salves/liniments (cannabis extract prepared with alcohol, oil or wax and applied to the skin)
  2. Event: An activity that is planned, advertised and/or invitational in nature and is intended to attract participants and/or an audience.

5.  Policy

  1. All students, employees, volunteers, guests and visitors of York University have an obligation to make responsible decisions and abide by all applicable laws concerning the use, sale and service of alcohol on University premises.
  2. York University permits the use, sale and service of alcohol on its premises in accordance with the law and the terms of relevant liquor licenses and food service agreements, and the terms of any rules and regulations promulgated pursuant to this policy.
  3. York University prohibits the advertisement, sale and distribution of cannabis on its campuses.
  4. The University will provide educational programs and disseminate information related to the responsible use of alcohol and cannabis.
  5. Events involving the sale of alcohol on University premises are restricted to areas licensed by the Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario (AGCO) under a Liquor Sales Licence held by a University caterer, or a Special Occasion Permit issued by the AGCO and authorized by the Head of Ancillary Services.
  6. Advertisement for events or activities at which alcohol is served must include information that the event is licensed under the Liquor Act. All event advertisements must be approved per the University’s policy and procedures on postering.
  7. Sponsorship or advertisement (e.g. logos, company or product names, mascots, etc.) by alcoholic beverage distributors or cannabis distributors is prohibited at University sanctioned events hosted both on-campus and off-campus.
  8. University residences will develop and maintain procedures consistent with this policy and with legislation on cannabis and alcohol, including restrictions of use in public spaces.
  9. Failure to abide by this policy or any rules, guidelines, or procedures established hereunder may lead to disciplinary action under the appropriate University policy, or other action available at law.

6. Roles and Responsibilities

The Vice-President Finance and Administration, and the Vice-Provost Students will establish procedures pursuant hereto from time to time.


This policy will be reviewed one year after implementation by the Alcohol Working Group (AWG), and then every five years going forward.  During the review, the policy will remain in full force and effect

Legislative History: Approved by UEC: March 24, 2004; Approved by the Board 2004/04/26: Date Effective: 2004/04/26; Revised and approved by the Board 2020/10/06 (Policy was formerly titled: The Sale, Service and Use of Alcoholic Beverages on Campus (Policy))
Date of Next Review: October 2021, then every 5 years
Related Policies, Procedures and Guidelines: