A growing operation: Are you ready for medical marijuana?

Ottawa has embraced marijuana for medical use – which means employers will be faced with questions about workers legally allowed to use it
By Tim Mitchell
|Canadian HR Reporter|Last Updated: 11/25/2013

The federal government has embraced the idea of marijuana for medical use and after beginning the practice of granting licences to Canadians who need it for pain management and other medically related purposes a few years ago, it has significantly increased the number of people allowed to use it.

Ultimately, this means employers are more likely to encounter employees who use medical marijuana. So how should employers handle employees legally allowed to use it, particularly in workplaces with anti-drug policies and safety-sensitive positions?

In 2012, the number of medical marijuana licences issued in Canada more than doubled. In January 2012, 13,781 Canadians legally possessed medical marijuana licences. By December, the number had increased to 28,115, according to Health Canada. Upcoming changes to the way medical marijuana is approved and administered suggest this upward trend will continue.