The legalisation of recreational cannabis last October forced Canadian businesses to proactively change their workplace policies.

A new report, Acting on the Cannabis Act, now shows that 76 per cent of organisations updated their policies before legalisation.

The Conference Board of Canada’s report does highlight some underlying problems, however, including a lack of information for employees on the implications of the cannabis use.

Lead author Monica Haberl cautioned: “The majority of responding organisations 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.”

Not enough educational materials are being provided to employees by organisations according to this report, with only around a third of organisations actively provide materials around cannabis use.

Additional findings:

  • Fifty-two per cent of highly safety sensitive organisations have introduced zero-tolerance cannabis policies.
  • One in five organisations says they are concerned about problematic substance use in the workplace (6 per cent being extremely concerned); 60 per cent of organisations say they are not concerned.
  • 60% do not have a definition of impairment.
  • Some of the top concerns that employers continue to grapple with include workplace.

Despite these teething problems, the reports’ authors are confident that Canada’s businesses are handling the new legislation positively.

The report was published ahead of the first anniversary of legalisation in Canada on October 15th.

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