As recreational cannabis is set to become legal Oct. 17, the Chamber of Commerce for Greater Moncton wanted to try to get some answers for the business community.
“I’m not sure if anybody is truly ready,” says CEO John Wishart. “There’s so many unknowns in this brave new world.”
A discussion was held Thursday to talk about how employers can prepare for legalization, and how they can adapt once it’s implemented.
Businesses were urged to create a drug and alcohol policy if they don’t already have one. If one is already in place, it’s recommended employers update the policy to be ready for Wednesday.
“If you have a zero-tolerance policy in the workplace for the use of, for instance, alcohol and illicit drugs, well the use of the word ‘illicit’ in this scenario wouldn’t capture cannabis,” says Moncton-based lawyer Lucie LaBoissonnière.
The Chamber of Commerce says it might seem to be scarier in the lead up to the “new world,” compared to after.
“One of the areas that’s a bit of a concern is, there’s no really good testing method yet,” says Wishart. “There’s not a breathalyzer for cannabis, so I think there might be some more comfort when that comes online.”
Recreational use versus medicinal use was also discussed. A spokesperson from Organigram, a Moncton-based distributor, says her company has two separate cannabis policies to answer some of those questions.
“The product line is essentially the same. What you need to be concerned with is the THC versus the CBD,” says Tina Shannon. “The THC is something that is going to make you feel euphoric. It’s going to give you that sense of high, but the CBD regulates any pain.”
Employees who require pot for medicinal purposes are to identify themselves to their employer, and are removed from safety-sensitive jobs.
Shannon says they don’t ask why you’re prescribed to it; they just ask for frequency, dosage and time period.
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