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Hines Health Services ready to help employers manage cannabis in the workplace

Last Updated Oct 16, 2018 at 3:19 pm MST

With new cannabis legislation coming into effect on Oct. 17, 2018, all employers should have policies in place to make sure their employees are fit for duty.

Founder and director of Hines Health Services, Kristi Hines says that overall, the Regional Municipality of Wood Buffalo (RMWB) seems to know what it is doing.

“I find that our region is well prepared for the legalization of cannabis because we have so many people working in safety sensitive environments here,” said Hines.

Hines gave a presentation during a Chamber of Commerce meeting on Sept. 19, 2017 where she informed community members on Bill C-45 and what federal legalization would look like and how local workplaces could adhere to the new laws. 

The Municipality set out the bylaws surrounding cannabis at the council meeting on July 9, 2018. Come October 17, adults the age of 18 and older can legally purchase, consume and possess up to 30 grams of cannabis on them and grow up to four cannabis plants per household. Possession and use of cannabis will be prohibited from work premises.

According to Occupational Health and Safety legislation, it is up to employers to make sure employees are not impaired at work, whether it’s pot, alcohol or prescription drugs, including CBD products.

“CBD always have a small amount of THC in it which causes impairment because it has that psychoactive active affects along with the euphoric affects that will cause impairment,” said Hines.

Health Canada and the College of Physicians and Surgeons are advising that residual impairment from cannabis can last up to 24 hours.

Hines says employers need to have a clear fit for duty policy when it comes to impairment on the job, which is a training program that is offered at Hines Health Services.

There will also be a public hearing on cannabis legalization on Oct. 23, 2018.