With the recent passing of the Cannabis Act, marijuana will be legalized in Canada as of October 17th 2018. This gives employers a few months to get their policies updated to reflect the new laws. This may seem daunting, but it does not have to be.
First lets dispel some myths around the legalization of marijuana and the work place.
The legalization and or prescription for medical marijuana does not permit the employee to:
- Be impaired at work
- Compromise his/her safety, or the safety of others
- Have unexcused absences
- Break Smoke free laws
However, the employer will need to add medical marijuana under their accommodation policy and treat it as you would for any other disabled employee with a medical drug prescription.
To break this down further, treat non-prescription marijuana use just like you would Alcohol in the work place. And prescription marijuana as you would a medical drug prescription under your accommodation policy.
Steps to take between now and Oct 17th.
Update your Drug and Alcohol in the work place policy to call out marijuana specifically.
Update your Accommodation policy to include medical marijuana and make sure you spell out that a prescription from a Doctor needs to be on file with HR and is mandatory to qualify for accommodation.
Future things you may want to start looking at:
Talk to your benefits providers to see if medical marijuana is covered or if it can be covered under your plan.
Further edits and additions may need to be made to your policies going forward, as we see how this law change plays out.
No time to do this yourself before Oct 17th, 2018? Reach out, End Grain Industries can help get your policies in order.