On October 17, 2018, non-medical cannabis became legal across Canada (Bill C-45 Cannabis Act and Bill C-46 amended Criminal Code); including in Alberta (Bill 26 – An Act to Control and Regulate Cannabis and Bill 29 – An Act to Reduce Cannabis and Alcohol Impaired Driving). The minimum age to use, buy, possess and cultivate cannabis in Alberta is 18; the same minimum age as for tobacco and alcohol use and sales. Individuals can only purchase cannabis from licensed stores or www.AlbertaCannabis.org. As of the date this article is published (November 26, 2018), edibles are not yet legal to sell.

Cannabis is a broad term used to describe the various products derived from the leaves, flowers, and resins of the Cannabis plant. These products exist in various forms and can be used for medical, recreational, or industrial purposes. Cannabis is commonly known as marijuana, pot, or weed. Cannabis consists of two main compounds:

  • Delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC): this component causes psychoactive, high, or mood-altering effects
  • Cannabidiol (CBD): this component causes no ‘high’ and is not thought to be addictive. It is responsible for many of the medicinal effects claimed

Cannabis contains both THC and CBD; typically, in differing ratios.

Recreational cannabis is the use of cannabis for psychoactive benefits or to get high or stoned. Medical cannabis is cannabis that has been authorized by a health care practitioner for medical purposes. It refers to treating symptoms of illness and other conditions with the whole, unprocessed marijuana plant or its basic extracts.

Cannabis may be in edible form, oils, or dried. Cannabis can be consumed in a topical form, through vaporization, smoking (pipes and joints), or other methods. The effects of use depend on the method of ingestion. Smoking a joint causes THC levels to rise and fall quickly while oral consumption typically causes THC levels to peak about four hours following use.

Currently, there are issues over methods of testing for cannabis impairment and determining whether an individual is impaired can be difficult.

You can’t smoke in some public places so it is important to know your local laws. Laws differ vastly in different countries, provinces, cities and towns. Policies, typically developed and administered by an organization’s human resources department also vary greatly from organization to organization. BizResults can help you develop a Cannabis in the Workplace policy and deliver training on that policy; or on any policy for that matter!