Canada is one step closer to legalizing cannabis and workplace safety is top of mind

Task force report recommends researching implications for occupational health and safety issues
By Monique Ronning
|employmentlawtoday.com|Last Updated: 02/14/2017

On Nov. 30, 2016, the Task Force on Cannabis Legalization and Regulation presented its Final Report to the federal government. The Report sets out recommendations to the federal government “on the design of a new system to legalize, strictly regulate and restrict access to cannabis.” This brings the federal government one step closer to legalizing cannabis in Canada.

The full report, titled A Framework for the Legalization and Regulation of Cannabis in Canada: The Final Report of the Task Force on Cannabis Legalization and Regulation, is now available for download. Noteworthy to employers are the Task Force’s comments on minimizing the harms of use of cannabis in the workplace and emphasis on the “urgent need for research reliability determine when individuals are impaired.”

As it relates to workplace safety, the Task Force made three recommendations to the federal government:

  • Facilitate and monitor ongoing research on cannabis and impairment, considering implications for occupational health and safety policies.
  • Work with existing federal, provincial and territorial bodies to better understand potential occupational health and safety issues related to cannabis impairment.
  • Work with provinces, territories, employers and labour representatives to facilitate the development of workplace impairment policies.

Monique Ronning is an associate with McCarthy Tétrault's Labour and Employment Group in Vancouver. She can be reached at (604) 643-7987 or mronning@mccarthy.ca.

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