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February 4 2016

Medicinal Marijuana Ruling Affects Employers

A landmark ruling involving medicinal marijuana makes it even more difficult for employers to enforce drug-related policies and to accommodate employees to ensure compliance with human rights legislation, says employment lawyer Gabriel Granatstein.
The Supreme Court of Canada's ruling allows Health Canada's medical marijuana program to include edible or topical cannabis products, so employees who are medically authorized to use marijuana can ingest such products as cannabis-based teas or baked goods.
While Canadians are still not legally entitled to consume marijuana in the workplace, Granatstein said, the ruling confirms that the prohibition cannot be applied without nuance. An employer can take disciplinary action if marijuana use negatively affects an employee's conduct, but this is harder to gauge if the employee can ingest doses of marijuana similar to traditional prescription pharmaceuticals.