It’s been almost one year since cannabis became legal in Canada. In light of the upcoming anniversary, a new study looked at the ways that cannabis has affected the workplace.

Findings from this study show that by and large legalization has had a much smaller impact on things than many Canadians previously thought.

Key Findings

The new findings come from a survey conducted by market research company Ipsos, in conjunction with workplace resource company ADP Canada.

Between August 30 and September 18, 2019, the survey questioned 1,160 Canadians 18 and older who are currently working. Specifically, the questions were about cannabis-related rules and practices in the workplace.

Here are some of the key findings from the survey:

  • 86 percent of Canadians said their employers do not allow people to consume cannabis during work.
  • 8 percent of Canadians said their employers do allow employees to consume marijuana during work hours.
  • Out of those whose employers allow cannabis, 63 percent consume weed before work, 47 percent consume during work hours, and 72 percent consume weed after work.
  • Extrapolating from these numbers, 5 percent of Canadian workers consume weed before work, 4 percent consume weed during work, and 6 percent of Canadian workers consume weed after work.
  • 75 percent of survey respondents said they thought that legal cannabis has had no impact at work when it comes to health and safety concerns.
  • 74 percent said that cannabis has not had any impact on employees’ productivity.
  • 71 percent of Canadians in the survey said that weed has not affected absenteeism at work.
  • And finally, 70 percent of survey respondents said that legal weed has not impacted quality of work.

Survey Shows Cannabis Hasn’t Changed the Workplace

All in all, these numbers paint a picture in which the huge majority of workers see legalization as having little to no impact on the workplace.

Interestingly, this reality runs counter to many of the beliefs people had prior to legalization.

For example, before legalization, 46 percent of Canadians thought that legal weed would decrease productivity at work.

Similarly, 43 percent of people before weed became legal thought that quality of work would decrease.

And more than half of Canadians—55 percent—thought that legal weed would have a negative impact on health and safety in the workplace.

“There was a lot of uncertainty and hype leading up to cannabis legalization last year,” Hendrik Steenkamp, Director, HR Advisory at ADP Canada said in a press release. “But so far, cannabis has not had a noticeable impact on the workplace or on workplace performance.”

He added: “Although only a fraction of Canadian workplaces allow cannabis during the workday, it’s important for every organization to develop proper workplace guidelines and policies, as well as provide training to identify and manage impairment.”

What Do Canadians Think of Upcoming Changes to Laws?

Interestingly, Canada is in line for another potentially big legislative change. On October 17, edibles, extracts, and topicals will become legal across the country.

The survey also asked people how they feel about these upcoming changes.

At this point, 55 percent of Canadian workers don’t think the new laws will have any impact on whether or not their employers allow cannabis use during the workday.

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