A Brief Discussion on Questions Businesses Should Be Asking About Cannabis
With Canada’s changes to Cannabis Laws, our nation prepares for a significant shift in our cultural norms. While alleviating restrictions to recreational use is fairly clear, businesses across the country may still be asking themselves, “now what?” It’s easy for one to get lost in the endless amounts of articles regarding various crime stats and predictions for what this may mean for Canadians and the economy, but some questions may still reside in the corporate world. As time unfolds, uncertainties will undoubtedly receive clarity. Until then organizations should remain focused on key areas to insure they remain up-to-date with today’s needs in the workplace.
As Paladin Security strives to make this world a safer and friendlier place, we are dedicated to keeping up with consistently evolving needs to best serve our client-base and community. We are proud to have partnerships across the country and personnel deployed amongst industries serving millions of Canadians every day. We understand that your organization has its own unique topical concerns and are here to grow with you through the transition.
Most organizations have planned ahead and updated internal Drug and Alcohol policies, but have they factored in the lack of regulated testing for cannabis use? Canada has yet to issue standardized testing or establish a method of verifying cannabis-associated intoxication. This means that the act of cannabis use in the workplace may be harder to prove in comparison to substances like alcohol. In addition to this, the effects of its chemical compound (duration and potency) may not be as predictable as other controlled substances. While concealment of product is quite easy and open usage is permitted in public, the possibility for encountering this issue may become quite high for most organizations.
Is your organization prepared to approach the matter of impairment? Is your workforce educated to understand that it is an expectation of each worker to refrain from usage while on duty? Are you fully prepared to accommodate formally any medicinal needs? Have provincial Worksafe/OH&S policies been reviewed to understand liability in the event of workplace injuries attached to impairment? Simply requesting that employees participate in abstinence on and prior to each shift may not be the end of the issue. Adversely, accusations of breaching these policies may be fairly complicated to validate.
A strong performance management system is best recommended to establish fair treatment of employees and prevent any exposure to wrongful dismissals.
As changes roll out across the Nation, members of the public may not be fully informed of regulatory measures still in place at a micro level. While Canada begins to establish new standards for acceptable behaviours concerning legal drug use, this could lead to an overconfidence in the usage of cannabis in public or private spaces. For example, the act of smoking cannabis may still directly violate city bylaws or ordinances in place, breach restrictions implemented at an assigned location, or even ignite strong responses from anyone who is opposed to its presence. It may be necessary to enforce policies and request that active cannabis users be assigned designated spaces, separate from cigarette users, &/or relocate off property. To do so, updated signage may be invaluable and employees should be prepared to politely provide an overview of reasoning to anyone involved.