There are big changes coming to Canada around the legalization of cannabis. This will have an effect on every part of Canadian life, including workplaces.

As you are all aware, on October 17th, 2018, subject to provincial restrictions, adults who are 18 years of age or older will be able legally to:

  1. possess up to 30 grams of legal cannabis, dried or equivalent in non-dried form in public
  2. share up to 30 grams of legal cannabis with other adults
  3. buy dried or fresh cannabis and cannabis oil from a provincially-licensed retailer
    1. in provinces without a regulated retail framework, individuals would be able to purchase cannabis online from federally-licensed producers
  4. grow, from licensed seed or seedlings, up to 4 cannabis plants per residence for personal use
  5. make cannabis products, such as food and drinks, at home as long as organic solvents are not used to create concentrated products

Cannabis edible products and concentrates will be legal for sale approximately one year after the Cannabis Act has come into force on October 17th, 2018.

Each province and territory will have the ability to set its own rules for cannabis, including:

  1. legal minimum age
  2. where you can buy it
  3. where you can use it
  4. how much you can possess

To help our members adapt to this new policy landscape, two draft employment policies have been prepared by our legal counselone for a small contractor and one for a large contractor. We hope these will help your company as you navigate this new environment. If you have any questions or require additional information, please contact Todd Cumiskey, ICBA’s VP–Workforce Development, at

On Nov. 14 in Burnaby, ICBA Training is offering a course on this issue, titled Cannabis in the Workplace, that will cover the following areas related to the legalization of marijuana: 

  • Learn more about the federal “Access to Cannabis for Medical Purposes Regulations”.
  • Understand that a “prescription” for cannabis does not give an employee the absolute right to use it in the workplace.
  • Understand your rights when it comes to those in Safety-Sensitive positions.
  • Discuss employee and employer obligations with regard to the use of cannabis.
  • Recognize the rights, responsibilities and risks for both employers and employees to avoid unnecessary litigation.
  • Identify the various ways the use of cannabis impacts the employer-employee relationship, and what you can do about it.
  • Identify what employers should be doing now to prepare for the pending legalization by reviewing their workplace drug and alcohol policies.

For more on that Training course, click HERE.

For the draft policy for small contractors, click HERE. For large contractors, click HERE.