•• Managers and employees should receive education
on responsible cannabis use and the dangers
•• Managers should be trained on reasonable suspicion
methodologies and how to manage medical
•• Employees should be made fully aware of company
policies and expectations regarding cannabis uses.
•• Drug policies should be reviewed and updated to reflect
•• The distinction between medical and recreational
cannabis use should be considered when drafting
•• Employers should require the disclosure of impairmentcausing
prescription drugs, including medical cannabis,
and clearly state the consequences of non-disclosure.
It’s important to note that, while putting drug policies
in place is an important part of preventing impairment,
these policies will only carry weight if they are enforceable.
Companies usually enforce drug policies through employee
testing programs. However, if your company decides to test
for drugs as part of its enforcement strategy, it’s important
to be aware of the special considerations and limitations of
C A N N A B I S
The risks on inaction
Prudent employers began allocating adequate time and attention
toward drafting new company policies way back, before
the change in marijuana use and legislation. By doing so,
employers minimized the likelihood of being subject to human
rights complaints and legal grievances that could result if wellconceived
cannabis policies are not put into place.
As part of the policy review, it’s important that employers
make themselves fully aware of what is allowed, and what
isn’t, in terms of drug testing and enforcement policies.
So, what does all of this mean for you? If your company
hasn’t yet considered the likely statutory and cultural changes
regarding cannabis use, you can still prepare. Update your
drug and alcohol policies. Educate supervisors and employees
about the distinctions and issues surrounding medical and
recreational cannabis use.
Reset employee expectations and make it clear in what situations
cannabis use is acceptable. Follow through on disciplining
employees who don’t comply with company drug policies
and accommodate those who require accommodation through
the Human Rights Act. And lastly, make sure to monitor developments
and watch for emerging precedents from case law, so
that your company’s policies stay relevant and up to date.
The cannabis revolution is here. Make sure your company
is ready. n
Alison McMahon is an entrepreneur, Certified Professional in Human
Resources and university instructor. She is the founder of Cannabis At
Work, Canada’s only firm specializing in providing employers with
education and strategies on managing cannabis in the workplace.
Toll Free: 1-855-416-5125
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