Cannabis Awareness Guidebook

Make sure you and your workplace are prepared with the necessary knowledge to maneuver through this new reality. Get your free copy here.


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Cannabis Awareness Guidebook

Workplace Impacts


Knowing how cannabis affects a person physically, cognitively, and psychologically, a host of problems can arise if an employee comes to work under the influence of it. This can affect productivity and safety.

How often have you heard the expression, ‘time is money’? It may be an overused cliché and yet in the business world it’s true that having an efficient, effective, productive workforce can help a company make money. On the other hand, a workforce that is inefficient, unproductive, and wastes time can cost a company a lot.


Workplace Cannabis Guide

Cannabis can contribute to a decrease in productivity in many ways:


  • Altered sense of time
  • Illness from overdose
  • Respiratory problems related to smoking cannabis
  • Triggering or worsening of mental illness symptoms

Employee turnover

  • Being caught using cannabis at work in violation of

Law or company policy

  • Criminal charges leading to dismissal
  • Change in mood, behavioral issues

Making mistakes on the job

  • Poor concentration
  • Difficulty with problem solving
  • Memory problems
  • Drowsiness

Decrease in amount of work accomplished per shift

  • Poor concentration
  • Difficulty with problem solving
  • Memory problems
  • Drowsiness

Drop in employee morale

  • Changes in mood, not getting along with co-workers
  • Not showing up for work, adding burden on coworkers
  • Not doing work properly, more burden on co-workers



Cannabis use has been linked to increases in workplace accidents and injuries. When it comes to safety, being impaired by cannabis while on the job poses a three-fold risk: it jeopardizes the safety of the impaired employee, the safety of other staff in the workplace, and, depending on the business or industry, the safety of the public.

People who are under the influence of cannabis are a safety hazard because of the impairment to their coordination, concentration, and judgment, and the potential for drowsiness. The risks of an accident are greater in work environments that already contain potential hazards, such as:

  • Operating machinery
  • Operating a vehicle
  • Using power tools
  • Working at high elevations
  • Working in ditches or confined spaces
  • Working with electricity
  • Working with chemicals or other hazardous materials
  • Working near water
  • Working in proximity to heat sources

Being high on cannabis can also pose a danger to the public, for example if the employee is:

  • Involved in personal care, such as in a health care, long-term care, or child care setting
  • Operating a vehicle
  • Involved in operations that include the safe handling of food
  • Handling chemicals or other hazardous materials in a public place

Workplace Cannabis Guide

Cannabis is legal in Canada and some States to use recreationally, which can potentially cause issues within workplaces. And this isn’t just a concern in the US and Canada, but around the globe, as many countries have legalized its use medically or have decriminalized the drug. No matter where you are in the world, being aware of the effects of consuming cannabis and its impacts on the workplace is imperative.

This Conversations That Matter guide — Cannabis Awareness — gives an overview of the history of cannabis, how the drug affects the body, the differences between medical and recreational uses of cannabis, workplace impacts, and why workplaces need to establish drug and alcohol policies.

Make sure you and your workplace are prepared with the necessary knowledge to maneuver through this new reality. Get your free copy here.

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Cannabis Awareness Guidebook

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