By Jenson Quon
Cannabis is not yet legalized, but it is around the corner. Legalization of cannabis will be in place on October 17, 2018. There are many changes that affect every Canadian from a federal level down to the municipal level.
Every Canadian should be aware of what new laws and rules apply to them both personally and in the workplace. As an employer, you should be aware of the rights that employees’ have with legalized cannabis. Employees’ in the same sense should be aware of their rights and ability to perform their duties.
The three levels of government are responsible for different aspects of recreational cannabis. Federally, the Canadian government will do most of the heavy lifting to bring it into law. Until that day, Canadians should be aware it is unlawful to possess, purchase or consume cannabis products (other than medical or research uses). The Cannabis Act hopes to displace the illegal cannabis market, prevent youth from accessing cannabis and safely protect public health with a regulated cannabis industry.
The Federal Government will allow the legal purchase of:
- dried flower
- milled flower
- plant seeds
As well as being able to grow a maximum of four cannabis plants per household.
The Provincial government, on the other hand, is responsible for distribution and regulating sales of cannabis. For the Government of Alberta, this will be through the Alberta Gaming and Liquor Commission (AGLC). Adults of legal age will be able to possess 30 grams of legally produced dried-cannabis or their equivalent forms. Persons that are underage are unable to obtain or sell cannabis.
Ratios for one gram of dried cannabis is equivalent to:
- 5 g of fresh cannabis,
- 15 g of edible product,
- 70 g of liquid product, 0.25 g of concentrates (solid or liquid), or
- 1 cannabis plant seed
Finally, the municipal governments will educate and enforce municipal, provincial and federal regulation of recreational cannabis for citizens. This includes regulating businesses and regulating public consumption. The City of Calgary will allow for consumption of cannabis in private residences. Consumption of cannabis on rental property or condo is up to the landlord or condo boards to decide. Public space consumption remains illegal and a public debate remains on creating spaces.
The City of Edmonton allows for consumption of cannabis in private residences and in allowed public spaces. There will also be designated cannabis consumption areas at festivals and events.
Cannabis Training for the Workplace
Cannabis Training Academy offers two courses for employees and employers to prepare them for Cannabis in the Workplace.
Employee course is for employees and contractors who wish to gain an understanding on cannabis use and its effects, including an employers duty to accommodate and an employees duty to be fit to work.
Employer course is for employers, managers, and supervisors who wish to develop or amend policies about drugs and alcohol in the workplace and employees/contractors who work for them.
For additional information on Cannabis:
Cannabis Training Academy – Cannabis Training Academy helps employees and employers receive cannabis training to mitigate risk in a professional workplace with legalized cannabis.