As legal cannabis celebrates its first anniversary, the Canadian Federation of Independent Businesses says that it has faced many stumbling blocks in its effort to educate employers about the effects of cannabis.
The organization recently released the results of their study that looked at the issue of legal marijuana. The study was conducted over a span of one year. According to the results, legal cannabis affected Manitoba members marginally, as 10% of them reported they had a cannabis-related incident in the last one year.
According to Jonathan Alward, CFIB’s director of provincial affairs in Manitoba, most members were looking at cannabis awareness and the tools available to them in order to prevent cannabis-related incidences. He said that in the event an employee is intoxicated with weed, this ceases from being the employee’s problem but a workplace safety issue. According to the business federation, there were 24 cannabis intoxication cases that were reported by the member businesses that were surveyed. Across Canada, CFIB members reported 445 cases in total, representing 10%. Other industries that reported cannabis-related cases are the natural resources industry at 11% and the construction industry at 10%.
The federation says that these numbers will act as baseline numbers to help it when conducting future studies. This study was CFID’s first on cannabis, although the federation did not have any figures for alcohol and abuse of other substances.
Alward said that the federation is highlighting this study to notify governments that people are in need of help, as well as more information and tools to prevent and manage any cannabis-related incidences.
The federation, in partnership with a legal firm, is working on a template on drug and alcohol abuse that CFIB members can use. “The template will guide them on what they can do as well as what they cannot do.”
He further added that there is a grey area when it comes to what’s permissible or not, at the workplace. He advised employers who are unable to get clear answers from the government to contact CFIB directly.
In the coming days, Canada will be legalizing edible cannabis products. Alward says that this development will add a new aspect to the education process.
Manitoba is home to 4,800 small and midsized businesses. In all, Canada has 110,000 small and midsized businesses.