Seventy-eight per cent of Canadian employers believe their
organization’s HR leadership should be very concerned about cannabis
legalization, according to a survey of 366 organizations.
And only 28 per cent of employees describe their workplace as well prepared, according to a survey of 1,008 workers.
The two surveys, conducted by global consulting company Mercer,
revealed that while 90 per cent of employers plan to update their drug
and alcohol/substance use policy, less than 40 per cent plan to revise
their code of conduct and disability accommodation.
“Our data shows that although employers are aware that cannabis
legalization will have an impact on their workplace, these impacts
haven’t been fully examined across the whole of the organization,” says
Alex Boucher, principal and total health management Leader for Canada at
“The implications of legal cannabis consumption should be thought
through carefully, across the entirety of an organization’s operations,
including situations as diverse as forklift operations, holiday parties
and decision critical roles — like key leaders. Organizations should
also consider the implications for their employee health benefits
Further, the research finds a disconnect between how prepared employers and employees feel for legal cannabis.
While one-third of employers surveyed feels prepared for legal
cannabis and another third feels somewhat prepared, only one in four
Canadians (26 per cent) feel that their employers are ready – and many
more simply don’t know.
Additionally, 22 per cent of employee respondents say their workplace
has clearly communicated medical cannabis policies, while 42 per cent
expect to see their health and drug plan provide at least some coverage
of medical cannabis.