Now that medical marijuana (especially extracted CBD oil from the cannabis plant) is a proven treatment for a number of conditions and ailments, old stigmas are changing. Aside from medical reasons, numerous studies show cannabis can make you more creative and better at problem solving. As more and more people turn to marijuana for health reasons, zero tolerance drug policies are no longer effective.
This creates new challenges and opportunities for business owners. In order to establish workplace policies that are fair and regulated, companies of all sizes will have to understand the uses, benefits and concerns of legal cannabis use. Below are 10 tips from Cannabis At Work, a blog dedicated to helping educate employers and employees about medical marijuana.
10 Tips For Establishing A Friendly Medical Marijuana Workplace Policy
- An employer must accommodate the use of medical marijuana by its employees to the point of undue hardship.
- Employers should have a drug and alcohol policy regardless of the nature of the workplace. These policies do not only apply to employers with safety sensitive workplaces. Any employee can legally use medical marijuana and having a procedure for dealing with it will be a big advantage if you find yourself employing a cannabis patient.
- Drug policies should require employees in safety sensitive positions to report the use of prescription medication that could cause impairment (i.e. marijuana).
- An employee who holds a safety sensitive position is required by OH&S legislation to report hazards in the workplace, including their own impairment as a result of medical marijuana use.
- An employee who does not hold a safety sensitive position is not required to disclose their use of medical cannabis.
- If an employee who holds a safety sensitive position discloses they are using medical cannabis, the employer should request medical documentation that speaks to the ability to safely do their job. This will help inform the accommodation process.
- Employers should be explicit that failing to report the use of medical marijuana by an employee who holds a safety sensitive position will result in disciplinary action.
- Employers should have an open dialogue with the employee about their consumption method if they are concerned about the employee smoking the cannabis. Smoking bylaws remain in effect.
- If the accommodation requires certain equipment (i.e. a vaporizer) the employer may be required to cover the cost of the device.
- Employer should consider creating guidelines on how medical marijuana can and cannot be used in the workplace. Keep in mind that accommodation is situational so these policies cannot be too rigid and must allow for individual circumstances to be accommodated.