Amendments to the Cannabis Act that came into effect Oct. 17 introduced three new classes of cannabis available for public sale. Per the regulations, license holders need to give Health Canada a 60-day notice before selling.

While the effects of cannabis use are consistent across different classes, the introduction of new forms of cannabis poses potential challenges to employers who do not allow recreational cannabis use.

Three New Classes
These forms of cannabis are now legal for sale:

  1. Edible cannabis—A food or drink product that contains cannabis
  2. Cannabis extracts—A highly concentrated mass of cannabidiol (CBD) or tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) for either ingesting or inhaling
  3. Cannabis Topicals—Balm, cream, lotion, salve, oil or spray infused with cannabis

The Cannabis Act imposes requirements related to additives, packaging, labelling, marketing and the quantity of THC allowed in each product.

Impact on Employers
Although cannabis is legal, employers retain the right to regulate the consumption, possession, and trafficking of cannabis at work. Employers may also prohibit employees from working under the influence of cannabis. In fact, a recent study by ADP Canada, a global provider of cloud-based human capital management solutions, revealed that most employers do not permit recreational cannabis use.

Employers should consider if their existing drug policies are impacted by the availability of new classes of cannabis, updating them accordingly. For example, organizations that prohibit the use of cannabis on the job may find it more difficult to determine if an employee is using one of these new classes of cannabis, as they are not easily detected by sight or smell.

For more information on the Cannabis Act, contact the experts at the Axis Insurance Group today.

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