May 8, 2018
Cannabis Update - Need to Know Items
Cannabis Update - Medical-Recreational - Employment Requirements
There have been some recent rulings and decisions relative to the use of medical cannabis on and off the job; where cannabis fits into a benefits package and the challenges of legalization in July 2018. Here is a summary as to how this may affect your business:
Medical Cannabis has been legal since 2003. The Canadian Government is legalizing cannabis for recreational use in July 2018. We have posted a 24 page PDF on our website titled "Workplace Strategies-Risk of Impairment from Cannabis", by "Canadian Centre for Occupational Health and Safety". Every employer must be up to date on this topic, it affects your business, whether you agree with it or not. We recommend you download it and review it.
The Human Rights Commission ruled in the Fall of 2017 that medical cannabis needed to be covered by a benefits plan and it was discriminatory not to provide coverage in a medical benefit plan. This caused a lot of discussion.
The ruling was appealed and the appeal courts ruled within the past couple of weeks that the HRC decision was wrong and it is not the responsibility of a benefit plan to cover the costs of medical cannabis. Basically, the ruling stated it is not an employer's responsibility "to cover the moon and the sky" with employee benefits.
Some insurers are offering to cover medical cannabis with limitations, but it must be discussed and written into the benefit plan. Existing plans must be modified and new plans are quoted with this provision.
Health Spending Accounts, ASO and similar benefit arrangements, can cover medical cannabis at the discretion of the administrator.
The Benefit Guys can help you with this or any other challenges you may have with your benefits program. If you are concerned at all, give us a call at 519-622-3347 and let our years of experience work for you.
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