Avoiding the lows of employees getting high

Employers must balance the rights of employees and their own concerns about health and safety and productivity in the era of legal marijuana
By Nathaniel Marshall
|Canadian Employment Law Today|Last Updated: 05/15/2019

It’s now been more than half a year since marijuana was legalized in Canada. Things are still in flux as consumers and jurisdictions adapt to the new reality. Employment lawyer Nathaniel Marshall reviews the key issues for employers to keep in mind in this era of employees having legal access to another impairing substance.

As all employers should now be aware, the green rush is here. As a result of the federal government bringing the Cannabis Act, 2018 into force, the cultivation, possession, acquisition and consumption of marijuana for recreational purposes has been legal in Canada since October 2018. The models for purchasing legal marijuana vary by province and, as of April 1, 2019, licensed retail stores can now operate in Ontario. Given the ease with which employees can now purchase and consume recreational marijuana, employers should ensure that they have effective policies in place which address the potential risks and limitations on marijuana in the workplace. This article will provide employers with a brief overview of the law regarding marijuana in the workplace, as it is a topic that will surely become increasingly prominent in the coming months.

It’s really about impairment