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Can Employees Use Cannabis at Work if the Product Is Legal?

On October 17, 2019, it officially became legal to not only smoke cannabis in Canada but also eat it. How does this new form of legalized cannabis consumption affect the workplace? Answer: While it expands the scope of legalization, the addition of cannabis edibles, extracts and topicals to the list of legal products doesn’t change the basic employment rules that apply to smoked or vaped cannabis. Consider the following quiz (which reprises the scenario we used to illustrate the impact of legalized smoked/vaped cannabis).


A supervisor spots 3 safety-sensitive employees eating a cannabis-laced chocolate bar in a company van during lunch break. Recognizing that they’ve been caught red-handed, the employees don’t bother with denials. But each offers up a different explanation:

Bud reveals that he’s addicted to cannabis;
Herb explains that he has a valid authorization from his doctor to use medical cannabis for cancer-related pain; and
Mary Jane admits that she’s a ...

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