Cannabis in the workplace

What is workplace impairment?

Impairment refers to an altered state of physical or mental functioning. In a workplace, someone who is impaired could have difficulty safely completing tasks and might put themselves, their coworkers, and the public in danger.

Learn more about impairment in the workplace (Canadian Centre for Occupational Health and Safety) [15].

Is medical cannabis use permitted in the workplace?

The use of cannabis for medical purposes must be treated like any prescription medication. An employee who has all of the necessary legal and medical authorizations to possess and use medical cannabis must be accommodated to the point where use does not create undue hardship. [15]

As an employer, what do I need to know about cannabis policies in the workplace?

If your workplace does not have a policy, consider creating one. A workplace cannabis policy should clearly indicate the organization’s position regarding whether employees are not to use, possess, or be under the influence of substances while at work. Prevention initiatives and supports should also be included in the policy. It is important to tailor the policy to meet the specific needs of your workplace.

Policies related to substance use should be reviewed by the workplace’s legal counsel. [16]

15 Health Canada, “Cannabis in the workplace: Questions and answers,” 2018.

16 Canada’s National Centre for Occupational Health and Safety Information, “Workplace strategies: Risk of Impairment from Cannabis,” 2018. [Online]. Available:

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This item was last modified on October 17, 2018