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Cannabis Legalization for Employers: A Self-Help Guide

Cannabis is coming.

You already know. You might even already be freaking out.

The legalization of recreational cannabis in Canada is official effective October 17, 2018. Many organizations are anxious about the implications this will have in their workplace. Don’t worry, we have you covered.

Employers have been dealing with drug and alcohol issues in the workplace for many years. Including the legal use of medical cannabis in Canada since 2001. Approximately 22 percent of Canadian adults currently consume recreational cannabis, with numbers set to increase according to a recent study by Deloitte. Judging from our own “study” (i.e. walking down any Vancouver street), that 22 percent seems to be on the modest side!

Are you worried about what cannabis legalization means for your business? You’re not alone.

In a report by the Conference Board of Canada, it was found that over 50 percent of Canadian employers are concerned about the effects of cannabis legalization on the workplace. According to this report, the top three concerns for employers are:

  1. Workplace Safety
  2. Impairment or intoxication
  3. Increased use of cannabis both inside and outside the workplace

Other common concerns include the employer’s role in testing impairment, the cost of covering medical cannabis, and employee productivity and performance issues. With less than three weeks until Legalization-Day, many organizations feel unprepared for handling cannabis legalization at work.

How can your organization prepare for cannabis legalization?

Regardless of your personal views on the legalization, change is coming. Employers must respond accordingly. We recommend that employers take a balanced approach to updating policies. Not all cannabis use should be treated equally, with medical cannabis use remaining a protected ground from discrimination.  

It’s not all scary: For organizational leaders, the impending cannabis legalization presents an opportunity to reassess your culture and operations, and re-connect with your teams. 

While these legislative changes may seem daunting, you can take steps to ensure your workplace remains compliant and safe. Stay ahead of the curve by acting today!

We have put together the top 3 things your organization can do to prepare for cannabis legalization. Download our Cannabis Legalization: A Self-Help Guide for Employers today!

(Because the last thing cannabis should do is cause you stress.)

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