Medical Marijuana

Understanding Medical Marijuana

On April 1, 2014, Health Canada changed its medical marijuana regulations, permitting all of Canada’s 75,000 doctors to authorize the use of medical marijuana. As a result, throughout Canada, marijuana is increasingly being prescribed by doctors as a legitimate form of medical treatment for certain health conditions.

Future projections vary, but according to Health Canada by 2024, Canada will have approximately half a million individuals who are prescribed marijuana by a doctor. If your employees engage in safety-sensitive jobs, you may be concerned about the ramifications of an employee under the influence of marijuana while at work, even when prescribed by a medical doctor.

Our Medical Marijuana @ Work program is Canada’s first and only program to address this growing issue. It is designed to help employers understand and deal with the complexities of workers in safety-sensitive jobs who have medical authorization to use marijuana.

Workplace Medical Marijuana Protocol Development

Performed by our multi-disciplinary team of employment law experts, medical marijuana doctors, and occupational medicine specialists, we work with key employer representatives (i.e. HR, Occupational Health, Legal) to customize workplace protocols that address important considerations related to workers with medical authorization to use marijuana.These protocols are directly linked to key principles that [should be] outlined in the employer’s workplace alcohol and drug policies.

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Considerations can include:

Occupational Health and Safety

  • What do I do when an employee who has medical authorization to use marijuana gets a positive drug test for THC?

Employee Human Rights

  • Can I require all of my employees in safety-sensitive positions to disclose if they are using medical marijuana?
  • Do I have the right to question the physician’s decision to authorize marijuana treatment?

Job Performance

  • Can anyone prove whether or not the employee is fit for safety-sensitive duties?

Return-to-Work and Accommodation

  • Is it my implicit responsibility to accommodate the employee?

There are no clear cut or easy answers. Human rights and workplace safety considerations are highly complex and can have serious implications for employers if not handled carefully. That is why it is essential to seek expert advice.

Independent Medical Marijuana Evaluations

Performed by our multi-disciplinary team of Canada’s top experts in medical marijuana and occupational medicine, Vector’s independent medical assessments put protocol into action.

We work directly with employees who have been flagged for evaluation, as per company protocol. The purpose of the assessment is to provide the employer with an objective, independent medical opinion on the appropriateness of the employee’s use of medical marijuana and their medical fitness for duty.

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Benefits include:

A simple, effective process with a clear goal.

Each assessment is conducted by one of our expert medical marijuana physicians, with the goal of determining whether or not medical marijuana is the best treatment option for the employee’s specific health issue and if the employee is fit to perform the duties of their job.

Expert evaluations accessible anywhere in Canada.

Each assessment is conducted by one of Vector’s expert medical marijuana physicians, who are located in major cities across Canada. When an employee in a remote location is unable to travel to the nearest major city, we use telemedicine (videolink) technology to facilitate our medical marijuana evaluations. On site, the employee is accompanied by an occupational health professional who assists with the evaluation.