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Six Months After Cannabis Legalization: Workplaces Still Challenged with Accommodation, Drug Testing and Education

The Conference Board of Canada survey on workplace implications of cannabis legalization

 Ottawa, April 17, 2019—Today marks 6 months since Canada became the first G7 nation to legalize recreational cannabis.  And while Canadian organizations have faced legalized cannabis head on, challenges persist. A Conference Board survey, conducted post-legalization, found that three of the most important ongoing issues are: workplace accommodation for medical cannabis use while ensuring safety for all; drug testing and the equilibrium between workplace safety and the invasion of privacy; and what education should employers be responsible for and who should deliver it?


“After recreational cannabis was legalized in October 2018, we wanted to understand how organizations are navigating these uncharted waters,” said Monica Haberl, Senior Research Associate, Conference Board of Canada. “From November 2018 to January 2019, we surveyed 163 employers to see how prepared they were. We found there were still questions and unresolved issues associated with the legal use of cannabis—both medical and recreational.”


See the infographic that reflects our survey findings here. This infographic may be reproduced in parts or as a whole for editorial purposes.


This infographic is the first in a series of releases relating to Conference Board research on the workplace impacts of cannabis as we lead up to the Cannabis @ Work – One Year Later conference on October 15, 2019.



Monica Haberl, is a senior researcher and relationship manager in the Human Capital research area at the Conference Board of Canada. She manages the Conference Board’s cannabis in the workplace research program and is passionate about ensuring organizations are well equipped to face the change brought forth by cannabis legalization.


Dr. Howatt, Chief of Research, Workforce Productivity, The Conference Board of Canada, has over 25 years of experience in strategic human resources, mental health and addictions, and leadership. A published author, he is a member of the International Research Advisory Council (IRAC) at Pacific Coast University of Workplace Health Sciences (PCU-WHS). He is also Chair of CSA Standard 21008: Management of Substance Related Impairment in the Workplace. 


The Conference Board of Canada is a leading voice in cannabis in the workplace research. Previous research on cannabis (2018) can be found here, infographic, Blazing the Trail report, webinar

The Conference Board of Canada is the country’s leading independent research organization. Our mission is to empower and inspire leaders to build a stronger future for all Canadians through our trusted research and unparalleled connections. Follow The Conference Board of Canada on Twitter.

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