By Keith Kilback, Q.C.

The legalization of recreational cannabis in October of 2018 presents a number of challenges for employers in the trucking industry, where safety is paramount and driver concentration is critical.  An important first step is to review and update existing workplace policies to reflect this new reality, taking into account factors such as health and safety, cross border operations, and obligations under human rights legislation.

One size does not fit all, and it is important to tailor policies to fit the specific needs of your workplace. In most cases, polices should clearly indicate the company’s position on whether employees are permitted to use, possess, or be under the influence of substances while at work.  Elements of an effective policy could include establishing definitions of impairment, requiring employees to disclose the use of medical cannabis or an addiction, and establishing processes for accommodating a disability. Training on workplace policies should be a key part of the implementation plan, to ensure employee awareness and understanding.

Cannabis is now a fact of life for employers, and while it may not result in a radical shift in employer-employee relations, it will create some new challenges that are best addressed proactively.

To read part two, go here.

The information in this article is provided for general interest only, and should not be relied upon as legal advice applicable to a particular person or situation. If you require legal advice, we would be pleased to discuss the issues in this article with you, in the context of your particular circumstances.

Keith Kilback, Q.C.
Kanuka Thuringer LLP






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