On October 17, 2018, recreational cannabis will be legal in Canada. In preparation, businesses have diligently updated their Alcohol and Drug (A&D) Policies and educate employees about the potential impacts of cannabis use on their health and safety.

There is a lot of literature available about legalization and we are here to help you navigate what’s most important. If you take away just one piece of information, it is this – legalization does not change employer’s legal and moral responsibility to administer their A&D Policy, manage health and safety risks and protect employees from harm.

Fit for Duty (Employee Responsibility)

  • Be fit for duty regardless of what causes impairment.
    – alcohol, drugs, fatigue medications, cannabis.
  • Possession and use continues to be prohibited on work premises.
  • Pertains to all forms of cannabis (dried, oils, derivatives & edible products).
  • If you are worried about a coworker’s fitness for duty:
    – Contact your supervisor.
    – Reference your A&D policy.


Impairment Signs to Look For (Cognitive)

  • Mood shifts (tense to relaxed)
  • Anxiety
  • Panic
  • Hallucinations
  • Increased sociability/or withdrawal
  • Euphoria
  • Perceptual changes (time, spatial, slurred speech)


Impairment Signs to Look For (Physical)

  • Red eyes
  • Dry mouth
  • Poor muscle coordination
  • Delayed reaction time
  • Increased appetite
  • Psychomotor impairment
  • Increased respiratory rate
  • Increased blood pressure & pulse
  • Lack of convergence of eyes

No Changes to Urine Drug Testing – THC

Below are urine drug test parameters before and after legalization of Cannabis on October 17th, 2018

Important Legislation

Criminal Code of Canada (Protecting Employees)

  • Employer has obligation to prevent bodily harm in the workplace.
  • OH&S legislation – employer must take reasonable steps to protect employees.
  • Includes obligation to ensure employee is not impaired at work.

Canadian Human Rights Act (Federal Law)

  • Legalization extends to disables employees who use cannabis.
  • Employers have a Duty to Accommodate to the point of undue hardship.
  • Employers required to accommodate employees with addictions.

Current Training Programs

  • Navigating the Future of Cannabis in the Workplace (1 hour speaking engagement)
  • Fit for Duty Training: Impairment Recognition & Reasonable Cause (3 hours)
  • Fit for Duty Alcohol and Drug Policy Review

We are health professionals with extensive occupational health experience and can provide a complete occupational health program for your company or individual services.

Office Address

NEW! 805 Memorial Drive, Suite 101A
Fort McMurray, Alberta

Direct Contact

Toll Free:1-844-893-6909
Office: 780-790-6909
Fax: 587-537-7701
Email: communications@hineshealth.ca

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