Six Months After Cannabis Legalization: Workplaces Still Challenged with Accommodation, Drug Testing and Education

Published: April 18, 2019

Today marks six months since Canada became the first G7 nation to legalize recreational cannabis. And while Canadian organizations have faced legalized cannabis head on, challenges persist. A Conference Board survey, conducted post-legalization, found that three of the most important ongoing issues are: workplace accommodation for medical cannabis use while ensuring safety for all; drug testing and the equilibrium between workplace safety and the invasion of privacy; and what education should employers be responsible for and who should deliver it?

“After recreational cannabis was legalized in October 2018, we wanted to understand how organizations are navigating these uncharted waters,” said Monica Haberl, Senior Research Associate, Conference Board of Canada. “From November 2018 to January 2019, we surveyed 163 employers to see how prepared they were. We found there were still questions and unresolved issues associated with the legal use of cannabis—both medical and recreational.”

Monica Haberl, is a senior researcher and relationship manager in the Human Capital research area at the Conference Board of Canada. She manages the Conference Board’s cannabis in the workplace research program and is passionate about ensuring organizations are well equipped to face the change brought forth by cannabis legalization.

Dr. Howatt, Chief of Research, Workforce Productivity, The Conference Board of Canada, has over 25 years of experience in strategic human resources, mental health and addictions, and leadership. A published author, he is a member of the International Research Advisory Council (IRAC) at Pacific Coast University of Workplace Health Sciences (PCU-WHS). He is also Chair of CSA Standard 21008: Management of Substance Related Impairment in the Workplace.

See the infographic that reflects our survey findings here.