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For Employers and Disability Insurers

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RIDM leads the way in Medical Marijuana expertise.

As a truly National Service Provider, Rapid Interactive Disability Management, provides expert guidance, by way of specialized Medical Marijuana IME’s, to assist employers in navigating the growing and sometimes complicated issue of Medical Marijuana and safety in the workplace.

Employer’s Duty to Accommodate.

The use of medical marijuana in Canada is on the rise. Health Canada projects that the country’s number of medical marijuana users could grow by as many as 450,000 in the next decade, even with Federal legalization expected in the next year or two. The duty to accommodate, as required by Provincial and Federal human rights legislation, does extend to disabled employees who use medical marijuana. Many employers are in fact beginning to see a growing number of disability cases requiring specialized analysis and guidance prior to the implementation of return to work plans for their employees. Indeed, employees who use Medical Marijuana are to be accommodated in the same way as an employer accommodates any other disabled employee; however this duty is not limitless.

How far does the duty to accommodate extend?

  • A prescription for medical marijuana does not entitle an employee to be impaired at work;
  • A prescription for medical marijuana does not entitle an employee to compromise his or her safety, or the safety of others;
  • A prescription for medical marijuana does not entitle an employee to smoke in the workplace. Anti-smoking laws apply to smoking marijuana in the same way they do to regular cigarettes;
  • A prescription for medical marijuana does not entitle an employee to unexcused absences or late arrivals;
  • The employer is, however, required to attempt to find suitable, accommodated work for the employee, as would be required for any other disabled employee with a medical drug prescription.

Accommodating a disabled employee who has been prescribed medical marijuana will depend on a number of considerations, including the nature of the workplace, the specific occupation in question, the needs of the employer, and the needs of the disabled employee. Although employers do have a duty to accommodate disabled employees returning on medical marijuana; employers must also take every reasonable precaution to ensure the safety of their workplaces.