4. Defer issues to appropriate contact: Appoint a single point
of contact in human resources to address all issues relating to
recreational cannabis use in the workplace. The person should
track any recurring issues so that the organization can spot the
need for clarification and have individual conversations with
employees about persistent inappropriate behaviours.
5. Consider cannabis in health and wellness policies:
Beyond workplace productivity, employers need to include
cannabis use in personal health and well-being training and
education. There is a commonly held myth that cannabis is
not addictive, which is untrue. If overused, cannabis can have
a damaging impact on personal health. Risks pertaining to this
a. Personal health risk: Some individuals carry a gene, that
when exposed to cannabis, can have a significant negative
impact to their health and wellbeing.
b. Strength of current strains: Those who may have used
cannabis several years ago may not be well prepared for
the strength and impact of current strains.
c. Self-medicating: Oftentimes, individuals turn to substances
to self-medicate for issues they are experiencing. As a
coping mechanism for stress, this can create situations
of overuse without addressing the underlying causes of
stress. Additionally, some might assume that they can use
recreational cannabis for medical reasons, without the
proper guidance and authorization of a physician. This
is unwise. Different strains have different impacts, so the
training & development
result of “self-prescription” might not have the intended
consequence. As well, unsupervised cannabis use could
inadvertently delay seeking and getting appropriate care
and lead to poorer health outcomes.
ONBOARDING EMPLOYEES WITH
THE NEW STRATEGY
In the lead up to cannabis legalization, the majority of discussions
focused on the importance of updating policies and understand-ing
legalization. Training, education and communication – three
of the most important factors to consider – were often left out
of the conversation. While organizations can develop a compre-hensive
strategy implementing the above, it will not be successful
if employees are unclear about how it affects their everyday work
and the physical effect it can have on their body.
Alongside training and education, employers need to keep lines
of communication open and ensure there are multiple ways for
employees to provide feedback or ask questions in order to get the
information they need. Employers who take to the time to develop
and implement a proper strategy, ensure that it is communicated
well and train management in best practices, will face the least
amount of disruption in their business and be the most successful
in safeguarding a healthy and productive workplace. n
Paula Allen is vice president of research and integrative solutions for
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HRPROFESSIONALNOW.CA ❚ DECEMBER 2018 ❚ 23