Ontario Human Rights Commission releases updated policy ahead of cannabis legalization: Global News

From today’s Global News: Employers are required to do what they can to accommodate medical marijuana users as well as those addicted to pot but that doesn’t give employees carte blanche to show up at work stoned, Ontario’s Human Rights Commission said on Thursday.

In its updated policy guidance ahead of next week’s legalization of recreational weed, the commission says employers can expect workers to be sober at work, particularly in safety-sensitive jobs.

“Accommodation does not necessarily require employers to permit cannabis impairment on the job,” the document states. “The duty to accommodate ends if the person cannot ultimately perform the essential duties of the job after accommodation has been tried and exhausted, or if undue hardship would result.”

Ultimately, the commission said, the looming change in the law has no impact when it comes to human rights.

FDA approves first ever drug comprised of an active ingredient derived from marijuana

On June 25, 2018, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) made history by granting approval for the first drug comprised of an active ingredient derived from marijuana, to treat rare, severe forms of epilepsy.

This impact of this decision on the advancement of cannabinoid medicine cannot be understated. Currently, marijuana is listed as a Schedule 1 drug in the U.S., which is defined as drugs with no currently accepted medical use and a high potential for abuse. Schedule 1 drugs currently include Heroine, LSD, Ecstasy and Marijuana, among others. The scheduling of marijuana in the U.S. has undoubtedly hindered research and development into cannabis as medicine and so the FDA's approval of Epidiolex - an oral solution made from cannabidiol (CBD) - could have a profound impact on the advancement and acceptance of cannabinoid medicine.

Read the FDA's full statement here.



Medical cannabis shouldn't be subject to tax: Ottawa Citizen

You’ve heard me talk about the cost burden of medical marijuana before; it’s an issue that’s very important to me as a doctor focused on patient and family-centred care.

When the federal government released its 2018 budget, it came as a surprise to many that it was planning to add a new excise tax on medical cannabis. Excise tax is usually reserved for products deemed to have a high social cost, such as tobacco or alcohol. However, a budget branded with the motto, “giving every Canadian a real and fair chance at success,” has seemed to overlook Canadian families already struggling with affordability and access to medical cannabis. 

In this article, Jenna Valleriani, does an excellent job exploring why medical cannabis, if authorized by a health-care provider for medical purposes, should be treated any different than most prescription medicines. 

If this issue is important to you, I encourage you to reach out to your local government representatives and make your voice heard. 

Yours in good health - Blake

Full article here.

Canadian companies should assess their marijuana policies before legalization: Globe and Mail

A recent survey by the Human Resources Professional Association released found that 71 per cent of HR professionals believe their workplaces are not prepared to deal with the coming legalization of recreational marijuana, including issues related to impairment, usage on the premises and safety. This article largely focuses on the impact legalization of recreational marijuana will have on employers, but it's also a timely reminder for HR policymakers to think about their stance on medical cannabis, which could help employees get back to work faster and is a safe alternative to many other more addictive medications.

Condo boards urged to revisit bylaws in anticipation of marijuana legalization in Canada: Global News

Global News Canada reports that with marijuana legalization expected later this year, condo boards are being urged to revisit their bylaws in anticipation.

The president of the Canadian Condominium Institute (CCI) North Alberta Chapter said legalization could make some bylaws outdated. Full Article.