great place to work canada
With the legalization of cannabis taking effect this month, there is an
influx in the number of stakeholders investing in Canadian cannabis
companies, and a new business opportunity for companies in a pleth-ora
of industries. But with this legalization and all the business benefits
it provides, how will workforce management be impacted?
For many Canadians, crossing the border could be more difficult. Even though
cannabis has been legalized for recreational or medical use in 30 U.S. states, the U.S.
government still considers it illegal. Individuals who work in the Canadian-legal can-nabis
industry, or any business peripherally related, could be denied entry into the
U.S. as a result. Additionally, anyone who indicates that they have consumed canna-bis,
even if legal, could be barred from entering the U.S.
Will these new hurdles affect the ability of Canadian business to do work in the
U.S.? Will other countries follow the U.S.’ lead on this issue? Will the fear of not
being able to travel impact qualified individuals’ choices of employers? How will busi-nesses
in the periphery handle worker assignment to their clients who operate in the
cannabis industry – will individuals have a right to refuse such an assignment to pro-tect
their personal right to travel? Will some organizations who do business with the
U.S. suggest that employees lie about their possible use of marijuana when crossing
Another area of the HR function that will be impacted by the legalization will be
health benefit provision. Insurance companies are taking a cautious approach with the
potentially high costs of covering medical marijuana while some insurers are starting
to cover cannabis in response to the demand of client companies. Loblaw last year
became the first major Canadian company to ask its insurers to cover medical mari-juana.
What are the implications on group health plan costs? And on competitiveness
of the benefits offered? Will covering, or not covering, medical marijuana use impact
the types of people recruited?
The legalization of cannabis will certainly impact the way employees are recruited
& managed. Exactly how and what the impact will be remains to be seen. But one
thing is certain: the Canadian HR industry is in for another interesting bout of intro-spection
and discovery. n
Melanie Drouin is a Regional Director at Great Place to Work Canada.
jirkaejc / 123RF Stock Photo
How Will Cannabis
By Melanie Drouin, Great Place to Work Canada
HRPROFESSIONALNOW.CA ❚ OCTOBER 2018 ❚ 51