Businesses Need To
THE CANNABIS ACT
ike it or not, the use of cannabis has become legal in Canada
for recreational purposes. This change in the law is going to
have significant impacts on the general public, but it will also
change the way employers deal with their businesses as well.
It’s essential that employers are able to put clear policies in
place regarding the use of drugs (including marijuana) and alcohol to
prevent incidents in the workplace, reduce sick claims, and maintain
normal levels of employee productivity. The time to act is now, if you
have not already.
HOW, EXACTLY, COULD THE CANNABIS ACT AFFECT
EMPLOYERS? IN A NUMBER OF FUNDAMENTAL WAYS:
The Cannabis Act will not change the responsibilities of
employers or employees in terms of drugs and alcohol in the
Though the federal law has legalized marijuana, it allows
for provinces to create regulations specifically regarding
cannabis use when related to workplace safety and driving.
Even with marijuana becoming legal recreationally,
employers still have the right to regulate trafficking,
consumption, and possession at work. Additionally,
employers can still prohibit employees from working under
Though random drug tests and searches are generally
prohibited in the workplace, employers are still able to
check for possession of drugs or intoxication of employees
after accidents occur if they have a reasonable suspicion of
restricted use or when employees are returning to work after
previous issues regarding marijuana use.
There are still two circumstances during which employers
can require drug tests for interviews or new hires: when the
workplace has safety concerns which could be made worse
by marijuana use, and when the employer has reasonable
grounds to believe the prospect might use marijuana in an
unhealthy way which may affect work.