More cannabis education required to address workplace concerns

Canadian businesses are taking an active approach to managing the implications of cannabis in the workplace since legalization in the fall of 2018, but more remains to be done, says a new report by the Conference Board of Canada.

It notes that two-thirds of businesses surveyed felt they were prepared for legalization of cannabis and many had updated their policies related to cannabis use ahead of legalization, says Monica Haberl, a senior researcher for the Acting on Cannabis report.

Lack definition of impairment
But while considerable work has been done by employers, “not all of the kinks have been ironed out,” she says. “The majority of responding organizations don’t have a definition for impairment within their workplace, which means that even though employees know they have to come to work unimpaired, they might not fully understand what that requires.”

The survey indicates that one in five organizations says they are concerned about problematic substance use in the workplace but 60 per cent of organizations say they are not concerned. Another 60 per cent do not have a definition of impairment.

The Conference Board notes that lack of clarity for employees points to areas for continuous improvement such as education programs.

Some of the steps the board suggests include:

Reiterate that impairment due to alcohol, cannabis, or drugs is unacceptable in the workplace and outline steps that will be taken to ensure policy compliance.


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