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Cannabis Legalization

With cannabis legalization coming up on October 17, Vancouver Airport Authority (YVR) has made changes to its policies and procedures to ensure that we continue to deliver a safe and exceptional experience for everyone. Following are some important updates regarding possession and consumption of cannabis at YVR.


To ensure the public is made aware of the upcoming changes due to cannabis legalization, YVR has launched an education and awareness campaign. This campaign includes media outreach, a new section to our website and signage throughout the airport, in high-traffic locations and at key touchpoints along the passenger journey. Messaging focuses on the following key points in English and French:

  • Crossing borders with cannabis is illegal.
  • If traveling with cannabis in Canada, be aware that laws may vary by province and territory.
  • It is your responsibility to know the cannabis laws wherever you travel.
  • Smoking and vaping inside YVR is strictly prohibited; those who wish to smoke or vape cannabis must do so outside the terminal building, in designated smoking areas.


Smoking or vaping cannabis will be permitted outdoors on airport property in designated smoking and vaping areas. This includes most curbside smoking/vaping areas that exist today.  It is imperative for tobacco smokers who work at the airport to be aware that they may share smoking or vaping areas with cannabis users. To ensure airport employees and anyone wishing to smoke tobacco can do so free from second-hand cannabis smoke, YVR has identified two locations on Level 2, outside of our main terminal, for tobacco smoking only. Smoking and vaping inside the airport terminal continues to be strictly prohibited—at all times and for all substances.


YVR will maintain its zero-tolerance approach towards drug and alcohol impairment for employees and has updated its internal policies to reflect this commitment. In addition to communicating changes to all Airport Authority employees, we expect business partners to update their internal workplace impairment policies, as required to address cannabis legalization, ahead of October 17th—stressing the importance of safety and security at the airport.


For those with AVOP licenses, we would like to remind you that YVR has a zero-tolerance approach towards drug and alcohol impairment. Any odour of drugs or alcohol emanating from an operator may constitute a violation.  Please exercise caution when in smoking and vaping areas at YVR as some of these areas may contain tobacco and cannabis smoke. YVR provides two tobacco-only smoking and vaping areas outside the main terminal building, on Level 2, marked with signage.

To maintain YVR’s reputation as an award-winning airport, it is crucial to ensure that the 24,000 people who work on Sea Island are well-aware of the rules regarding cannabis use and possession and that the more than 25 million annual passengers that travel through the airport know what to expect. More information is available at  We will also be circulating messaging to all front-line staff in the coming days. 

In addition to the activities mentioned above, YVR welcomes feedback from business partners on their approach to cannabis legalization and looks forward to working together to ensure our airport continues to connect B.C. proudly to the world.  

Please share this important information with all relevant employees and team members that work at the airport or on Sea Island.   

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