Canadian employers seek guidance on how to prepare for legalization of marijuana

Marijuana will be legal in Canada this summer yet most employers have no plan in place for how to deal with it

Credit: madsci/iStock

Almost three-quarters have no plans or policies in place

Marijuana will become legal in Canada this summer, yet 71 percent of employers still aren’t prepared for managing pot in the workplace, according to a new survey of 680 Human Resources Professionals Association (HRPA) members.

The January poll, conducted by HRPA, Business of Cannabis (BofC) and the Public Services Health & Safety Association (PSHSA), found that the top concern for 47.8 percent of respondents is ensuring safe workplaces. Employers say they’re seeking guidance, guidelines and sample policies to best address the marijuana legalization, according to a news release. The survey builds on HRPA’s 2017 research report Clearing the Haze: The Impacts of Marijuana in the Workplace.

Headquartered in Toronto, HRPA governs and regulates the professional practice of its more than 23,000 members across Canada. BofC publishes news and analysis concerning Canada’s cannabis sector. PSHSA provides occupational health and safety training, resources and consulting for Ontario’s public sector workers and employers.   

Last fall, employment lawyers J. Geoffrey Howard, a partner at Roper Greyell LLP in Vancouver, and Cindy Zheng, an associate at McQuarrie Hunter LLP in Surrey, gave BCBusiness some tips on how to deal with marijuana at work.