The Road Explorer - Summer 2018 - 12

FEATURE

Marijuana and
the Canadian
Workplace:

Rolling Toward a Reckoning
by Annette Redican

I

n its 2015 Speech from the Throne,
the Canadian federal government
committed to legalizing, regulating
and restricting access to cannabis
in Canada. Following that initial
declaration, in April 2017, the
Cannabis Act (Bill C-45), meant to
legalize and regulate the production,
distribution, sale and possession of
cannabis in Canada, was introduced
in Parliament. Once the Cannabis
Act is passed and becomes federal law,
adults will be able to legally possess
and use cannabis, subject to the
legislated restrictions.
When discussing the underlying
rationale for legalization, the
federal government made the
claim that Canada's then-current
framework as related to cannabis
prohibition was notoriously
ineffective. Among the factors cited
to substantiate this assertion:
* Canadian youth use cannabis at rates
among the highest in the world.
* Thousands of Canadians are
convicted of non-violent drug
offences annually.
* The sale of marijuana generates
billions of dollars in profits for
organized crime.
* The majority of Canadians do
not believe that simple cannabis
possession should be criminalized.
* Most Canadians support the
government's commitment to legalize,
tax and regulate cannabis.

Illustrating the country's increased
acceptance of its use, according
to Statistics Canada, Canadians
spent $5.6 billion on the drug last
year. Broken down, the province/
territory that uses the most marijuana,
according to Statistics Canada, is Nova
Scotia - followed in decreasing order
by British Columbia, Alberta, Ontario,
New Brunswick, PEI, Newfoundland
& Labrador, Quebec, Manitoba, the
Yukon, Saskatchewan, Northwest
Territories and Nunavut.
So, in the very near future,
purchasing cannabis will segue from
an illegal acquisition, once the purview
of sketchy transactions and criminal
dealers, to a contemporary shopping
immersion which will see the drug
being marketed, packaged and available
in a large variety of formats in retail
outlets. A once-covert act will very soon
be a government-sanctioned compact
which, through the incorporation of
excise and consumption taxes, should
generate a pretty healthy revenue stream
for public coffers. Current plans call
for the federal government to largely
control the distribution of wholesale
cannabis and online sales, while the
individual provinces and territories have
selected from various retail models for
their respective over-the-counter sales,
including private, public or a hybrid of
the two.
Although originally slated to be
legalized by July 2018, as of press
The Road Explorer

12

Summer 2018

time the bill is not expected to be
implemented until at least early
August - and possibly as late as early
September - so Canadians still face
a moderate wait to legally purchase
recreational marijuana.
With approximately 75,000
Canadians currently authorized to
use it, dealing with the use of medical
marijuana is already a recognized issue
for Canadian employers. However,
in that Health Canada is projecting
that this number will increase to
about 450,000 by 2024, it's certain to
require more attention and effort to
successfully manage. Employers can
safely assume that the behaviours
and corresponding challenges that
can manifest in a workplace as
a result of marijuana - be it the
physician-endorsed use of cannabis
for medical purposes or the use of
marijuana recreationally - will increase.
While clearly an important HR
matter overall, for employers in the
motor coach industry - where it's
fair to say the majority of jobs can be
deemed safety-sensitive positions - use
by employees can potentially impact
the safety of multiple cohorts to
include workers, their colleagues
and, critically, the general public.
Therefore, it's essential for Canadian
employers to better understand the
effects of marijuana use, be it medical
or recreational, and the implications for
safety-sensitive worksites.



Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of The Road Explorer - Summer 2018

Industry Voice
Issues Update
Regulatory Update
Marijuana and the Canadian Workplace
The Road Less Taken
Southern Exposure
2018 OMCA Marketplace
UC Coach Lines
Port Stanley Festival Theatre
Travel Highlights Marketplace
Classifieds
Index of Advertisers
The Road Explorer - Summer 2018 - Intro
The Road Explorer - Summer 2018 - ebelly1
The Road Explorer - Summer 2018 - ebelly2
The Road Explorer - Summer 2018 - Cover1
The Road Explorer - Summer 2018 - Cover2
The Road Explorer - Summer 2018 - 3
The Road Explorer - Summer 2018 - 4
The Road Explorer - Summer 2018 - 5
The Road Explorer - Summer 2018 - 6
The Road Explorer - Summer 2018 - Industry Voice
The Road Explorer - Summer 2018 - 8
The Road Explorer - Summer 2018 - Issues Update
The Road Explorer - Summer 2018 - Regulatory Update
The Road Explorer - Summer 2018 - 11
The Road Explorer - Summer 2018 - Marijuana and the Canadian Workplace
The Road Explorer - Summer 2018 - 13
The Road Explorer - Summer 2018 - The Road Less Taken
The Road Explorer - Summer 2018 - 15
The Road Explorer - Summer 2018 - 16
The Road Explorer - Summer 2018 - insert1
The Road Explorer - Summer 2018 - insert2
The Road Explorer - Summer 2018 - Southern Exposure
The Road Explorer - Summer 2018 - 18
The Road Explorer - Summer 2018 - 2018 OMCA Marketplace
The Road Explorer - Summer 2018 - UC Coach Lines
The Road Explorer - Summer 2018 - 21
The Road Explorer - Summer 2018 - Port Stanley Festival Theatre
The Road Explorer - Summer 2018 - 23
The Road Explorer - Summer 2018 - Travel Highlights Marketplace
The Road Explorer - Summer 2018 - Classifieds
The Road Explorer - Summer 2018 - Index of Advertisers
The Road Explorer - Summer 2018 - Cover3
The Road Explorer - Summer 2018 - Cover4
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