A job conference in Calgary has opened the eyes of many business owners, as the upcoming legalization of recreational cannabis shines a light on many job opportunities they might be mission out on.
One of the biggest stepping stones for many employers will definitely be the fact that many of their employees are licensed medical cannabis users. The conference was hosted by Cannabis At Work — an HR company established two years ago for the purpose of better handling such instances once legalization hits the streets.
“We do a lot of education about cannabis legalization and cannabis as a medicine, but all in the context of developing workplace strategies to manage cannabis use by an employee who might have a prescription, or looking ahead to recreational legalization and how that’s going to impact workplaces,” said CEO Alison McMahon.
The conference explained the difference between THC and CBD cannabis products, which are two completely different things. CBD cannabis products are what is branded as medical cannabis, and it has no psychoactive effects on the user, a fact which many of the business owners attending this conference did not know at first.
The program covered the different employer and employee obligations when it comes to medical use in the workplace, as well as ways of measuring their impairment to perform tasks at hand.
“For employers managing somebody with a medical prescription, they have to balance their duty to accommodate somebody’s medical disability with their duty to maintain a safe workplace,” said McMahon.
He also mentioned that many business owners in Calgary are proactively trying to learn more about the laws and obligations so that they could successfully update their company policies.
“I completely understand that public safety is on everyone’s mind. If you’re in a position that you’re operating heavy machinery, it’s very important for your senses to be intact,” said Dr. Sana-Ara Ahmed, a medical cannabis expert who was presenting at the conference.
“At the same time, if your employer is allowing you to have Percocet or morphine, which is going to alter you — if not even more — there needs to be a conversation about what the goal is,” she said.