The Legalization of Recreational Marijuana

Weed All About It…

It seems like the right time to explore the impacts cannabis may have on workplaces in Canada. Let’s point out that the legalization under Bill C-45 is for recreational use of cannabis. Medical use of cannabis has been legal since 2001 in Canada. This distinction between medical and recreational marijuana use is an important one for managers to appreciate because the rules that govern employees’ use of recreational versus medically prescribed marijuana are significantly different.

 

The Buzz in Canada

Why the federal government passed Bill C-45

  • Reduce organized crime/criminality in the supply chain
  • Increase the safety of the supply and product quality
  • Earn taxes on supply
  • Create new employment opportunities in the field

Arguments in opposition of legalization

  • May be a gateway to harder drugs
  • May attract the wrong tourists
  • May increase driving under the influence of marijuana
  • May increase healthcare costs What you may not know…

What you may not know…

Canada is the first G7 country to legalize the recreational use of cannabis, and only the second country in the world (following Uruguay). The Cannabis Act received Royal Assent on June 21st, 2018. Until October 17th, 2018, it is illegal to buy, possess and use marijuana unless it’s for medical or research purposes. As of October 17th, 2018, recreational cannabis use and possession will be legal in Canada. Each province and territory will regulate the legal minimum age for use, where cannabis can be purchased and used, and how much a person can have in their possession. The legal age of use is the same as alcohol in all provinces (19 years old) except for Alberta and Quebec, where the legal age is 18.

Despite legalization in Canada, it will still be illegal to cross an international border with any amount of cannabis unless for medical purposes. It remains illegal to fly with it outside of Canada, and also remains illegal to bring any product containing cannabis into Canada.

Cannabis News

Second Cup is exploring the idea of converting some of its coffee shops into cannabis dispensaries and, when legal, pot lounges.

Prince Edward Island is accepting of cannabis use in hotels, bed and breakfasts, motels – to attract the marijuana tourism market. Consider that PEI receives 1 million tourists per year, and has only 200,000 residents.

Canopy Growth, located in Smith Falls, produced 22,513 kgs of cannabis in 2017, making it the largest cannabis production company in Canada.

150,000 new jobs will open up in the cannabis field from growers to sellers.

Niagara College Canada has launched a program to teach students how to grow marijuana.

Popping up in Vancouver and Toronto, a few high-end Chefs are hosting cannabis-infused dinner parties.

Want to learn more?

The distinction between medical and recreational marijuana use is an important one for managers to appreciate. The rules that govern employees’ use of recreational versus medically prescribed marijuana are significantly different. Make sure you understand the whole picture.

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