Report: Employers concerned about the impact of legalized marijuana

Jul 6 2017, 1:50 pm

Canadian employers are worried about the impacts of the legalization of marijuana on the workplace.

According to a report by the Human Resources Professionals Association (HRPA), most employers feel unprepared for the legalization, which takes place next year.

In a survey answered by over 650 HRPA members between June 1 and 9, over 45% of respondents don’t believe their current workplace policies adequately addresses the potential new issues that may arise with the legalization and expected increased use of marijuana.

“Employers are concerned, and both governments and employers have a role to play to ensure workplaces are properly prepared for the legalization of marijuana on July 1, 2018,” said Bill Greenhalgh, CEO, HRPA, in a statement. “Governments must ensure that issues such as the legal definition of impairment, and how to accurately test those levels, are resolved before the legalization date. On the other hand, employers must continually update and communicate their current drug policies to employees so expectations are clear.”


In its report, Clearing the Haze: The Impacts of Marijuana on the Workplace, HRPA makes 10 recommendations to governments and employers to ensure that they are prepared for the legalization of weed.

The recommendations include that the government maintain two regulatory streams for medical and recreational cannabis, and ensure that employers are prepared to answer questions about coverage of medical marijuana in their extended health care plans.

“While a year may sound like a lot to prepare for the legalization of marijuana, we are urging employers to act now. In terms of legalization on a broad scale, Canada is in uncharted territory,” Greenhalgh said. “The sooner employers can communicate clear policies to employees, the better.”

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