The Canadian government has announced its intention to legalize non-medical (or recreational) marijuana in the summer of 2018, and many employers have concerns about how legalization will affect the workplace. The regulation of medical marijuana has already forced employers to adapt and create policies concerning marijuana, including marijuana being brought into the workplace, impairment, and accommodations. But marijuana consumption has a decades-old stigma, and since stigmas go hand in hand with misinformation and confusion, it is important for employers to understand the legislation and clearly communicate workplace expectations, responsibilities, and policies to their staff.
The transition period when new legislation comes into effect can be stressful, and the resulting administrative changes you make might lead to employees asking you questions like:
• What are my rights concerning the influence of marijuana on work?• What effect will the changes have on me or my staff?• Does anything in my organization need to change?• What can I do now to make the transition easier?
Being proactive and implementing the right policies and programs can help ensure your business operations are not adversely affected. As the new legislation will not come into effect for more than a year, you have ample time to let employees know your expectations and to communicate your policies before any issues arise.
Download our free Legalized Marijuana Plan for Employers, which discusses how you can adapt your workplace to the impending changes that the legalization of recreational marijuana will bring.
Editor's Note: This article was originally published on May 29, 2017 and was updated June 7, 2018.
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