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HomeNews100 Mile HouseCFIB Says Small Businesses in The North Left Scrambling on Pot Legalization

CFIB Says Small Businesses in The North Left Scrambling on Pot Legalization

Small business owners across Northern BC have more questions than answers on how to deal with marijuana in the workplace once it becomes legal.

Wednesday is the nation-wide legalization date for Cannabis.

Richard Truscott with the Canadian Federation of Independent Business believes the lack of certainty during last year’s provincial election put BC behind the 8-ball.

“There was a bit of a waiting period between the time of the election and the time we actually saw a government be formed so that I think delayed some things and were slow out of the starting gate not their blame or fault but it is what it is and now we are left scrambling.”

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Truscott is also calling on the government to let business owners know what they’re rights and regulations are to deal with cannabis.

“Questions like can cannabis be consumed in the workplace and what are the responsibilities if somebody shows up and they are clearly high, what does the employer do in those cases? What about asking employees to submit to drug testing?”

“We’re calling on governments to step in and do their best at the eleventh hour to help fill the gap.”

He adds employers in the north have been dealing with substances like alcohol and cannabis in the workplace for some time but the way society and government are treating the issue has changed and employers should know what their rights and responsibilities are as there has not been a wholesale change.

WorkSafeBC says it will be launching an awareness campaign to educate employers and workers about impairment in the workplace.

“Impairment in the workplace isn’t a new issue in B.C., but it’s become top of mind as cannabis becomes legal for recreational use,” said Tom Brocklehurst, Director of Prevention Practices and Quality for WorkSafeBC.

“We’re reaching out to employers and workers to remind them that they share responsibility for managing impairment in the workplace.”

Under current occupational health and safety regulations, employers must not allow a worker who impaired for any reason to perform work activities that could endanger themselves or anyone else.

The campaign including online educational materials is expected to roll out across the province starting Monday.

(With Files from Brendan Pawliw with My Prince George)

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