Newshawk: Herb Couch
Pubdate: Mon, 01 May 2017
Source: Business In Vancouver (CN BC)
Copyright: 2017 BIV Publications Ltd.
HIGH TIMES, LOW PRODUCTIVITY IN B.C.
Street-level 4-20 concerns are about to shift from Vancouver’s Sunset
Beach to B.C. C-suites.
The looming legalization in Canada of marijuana’s recreational use
pretty much extinguishes the marijuana criminalization protest aspect
of the annual smoke-in.
For businesses in B.C. and elsewhere across the country, the real
challenges of that legalization will migrate into the workplace.
There are, of course, numerous enterprise opportunities in Canada’s
pending medical and recreational marijuana boom.
Deloitte has estimated that the annual marketplace value for
recreational marijuana sales alone in Canada could be between $5
billion and $8.7 billion. Total economic impact, Deloitte estimates,
could be closer to $23 billion. But that’s just the equation’s revenue
Marijuana’s production, distribution, tracking, use and sale
complications abound in a legalized landscape.
Clarity on those regulatory issues in B.C. has yet to be provided by
the leaders of the three main political parties running for election
However, for businesses not directly involved in marijuana’s
production or sale, complications and concerns will centre on its use
in the workplace and its effect on safety and productivity.
As labour and employment lawyer Geoffrey Howard pointed out earlier
this year in a Business in Vancouver column ( issue 1428; March 14-20 ):
“there is ample research to support Â… concerns indicating marijuana
impairs a variety of safety-related mental functions such as reaction
times, as well as judgment and other higher-level functions critical
to productive and accurate work.”
One of the key challenges here for employers, as Howard noted, is that
there currently is no simple, reliable test for marijuana impairment.
The legalities of medical marijuana use and abuse in the workplace
consequently remain a work in progress.
Those and other grey areas will further degrade productivity in a
country that is already a laggard compared with its American neighbour
and other competitors in the global marketplace.
MAP posted-by: Matt
Published at Mon, 01 May 2017 07:00:00 +0000