Legalization of Cannabis: Implications, Resources, and Research for Federation Members

At the October Conference, we hosted an Open Space session focused on concerns about the legalization of cannabis. Members hosted sessions focused on HR implications, practice implications, the history of how Canada got to this place, and what the future might look like. Following that session, The Federation committed to two follow-up actions: an informational webinar and the haring of resources. 

We are working with our partners at CSSEA to prepare a webinar focused on HR implications. Join us on November 27th from 2:00-3:00 pm PST to ask questions, share resources, and more.

>> Webinar URL:
>> Dial-in Number: 1-855-234-6506
>> Conference Code: 4940689#

For more info about the webinar, contact

Information and Resources for Members

Below you will find a range of resources on the implications of cannabis legalization. They include feedback from public engagement consultations, changes to legislation, government regulations, and useful websites. 

BC’s Approach to Legalization

The provincial government recently passed legislation to guide the legal, controlled access to non-medical cannabis in British Columbia. A number of regulatory decisions have been included in amendments to existing legislation and new policies have also been added. Here is an overview of the new Cannabis Control and Licensing Act (CCLA) and Cannabis Distribution Act (CDA) as well as the important changes to the Motor Vehicle Act

You can also view amendments to the Residential Tenancy Act (Section 21.1) and a government fact sheet on public consumption.

WorkSafeBC has released an information sheet on workplace impairment related specifically to cannabis legalization as well as a helpful guide offering an overview of employer obligations regarding impairment and the workplace. The latter also includes a series of links to additional resources that are available for employers.

Finally, you can also review MCFD’s policy document outlining the expectations for foster caregivers in light of legalization (see Definitions, and sections D 6.5, D 6.14, E 2.18, E 2.27, E 2.28). 

Federal Information and Resources

This Government of Canada website contains information on impairment and cannabis in the workplace, the responsibilities of employers, the duties of employees, and accommodations related to substance dependence. (It also has a number of additional tools and resources.)

For additional background information, this page contains summaries about why cannabis was legalized, the process that led to the decision, quick facts about the Cannabis Act and its implications, and links to other resources (such as public education strategy and informational pamphlets available in multiple languages).

Policy Summaries

Earlier this year, the Canadian Centre on Substance Use and Addiction released their review of workplace substance use policies. After conducting an environmental scan, a national survey, and numerous interviews they put together an expansive report highlighting strengths, gaps, and key considerations related to such policies.

While they found that few organizations have comprehensive substance use policies, they offer some encouraging findings as well as key implications for employers and the most important components for substance use policies.

Background Information and Research

One of the largest open space groups at the conference focused on the current understanding of short- and long-term health effects, therapeutic effects, emerging research and how these things informed the federal government’s framework for legalization. Members interested in learning more and continuing this discussion can check out the following in-depth resources: 

Next Steps: More Info & Policy Sharing

As we receive more resources or policies we will be sure to share them with members. (The Federation has reached out to both CLBC and BC Housing and we are waiting to hear back.)

Additionally, if you have any organizational policies or resources you would like to share with your colleagues please contact so we can pass them on to other Federation members.

Rebecca Ataya-Lang
Federation Director of Programs and Services