Very recently new regulations to Canada’s Cannabis Act were enacted, establishing new rules for the legal production and sale of new classes of marijuana; namely, edibles, extracts and topical products.

These new products are likely to be available for purchase online and in stores in mid-December.

Employers in Ontario need to update and revise their written workplace policy regarding cannabis to address these new products, specifically, which may not be as obvious to detect in the workplace.

These new products pose new challenges to maintaining a cannabis-free workplace. For example, these new products:

  1. are more difficult to observe or detect possession of – they may be odourless and easily concealed, as opposed to smoking or vaping – they may also be incorporated into everyday products, further challenging the ability to detect and manage them in the workplace; and
  2. may cause unintended or unplanned impairment or intoxication – ingesting or topically applying cannabis often causes different reactions than vaping or smoking, such as delayed or even longer-lasting impact – often users do not know or understand the concentration of cannabis in these new products and, therefore, do not anticipate the impairment impact they may have. 

Every Ontario employer should have a robust substance use policy in their workplaces. Restricting only smoking, vaping or otherwise inhaling is no longer enough. Rather, ingestion and applying topically must also be specifically regulated in the policy. 

Employees must be expected to attend work in a suitable and appropriate mental and physical condition and remain fit for duty at all times.

Need a policy? Call us. We’ve got you covered. 

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