Canada is now a mere week away from recreational marijuana usage officially becoming legal after the passage of the Cannabis Act. Not everyone will be able to light up across the nation that morning, however.
The Cannabis Act stipulates that adults aged 19 and above can carry up to 30 grams of marijuana, but exactly where and when it can be consumed varies between city and province.
In some provinces, the minimum legal age is also expected to increase shortly after the Oct. 17 legalization date. In Quebec, Geneviève Guilbault from the CAQ recently announced plans to introduce legislation increasing the minimum age for cannabis to 21.
Aside from the minimum age stipulation, public usage is either outright prohibited in most provinces, or is currently being debated on a city-by-city basis to determine public smoking boundaries.
That leaves fewer locations for adults to smoke cannabis or consume edibles, and some Canadians are discovering they won’t be allowed to smoke at home either.
Boardwalk rental properties in Alberta recently sent notifications to all renters that growing or smoking marijuana will be prohibited in apartment buildings, although that policy is expected to be challenged in court.
Certain WestJet Airlines (TSE: WJA) employees today also find themselves among the growing ranks of citizens banned from using legal marijuana.
In anticipation of the rapidly approaching legalization date, WestJet updated its drug and alcohol policy to exclude employees in “safety-sensitive positions” from consuming recreational marijuana – even when they are off the clock.
WestJet spokesperson Morgan Bell announced the change, explaining that the list of safety-sensitive positions includes station attendants, flight dispatchers, crew members, and aircraft maintenance engineers.
Bell commented: “We believe these changes reflect our reputation as an industry leader in safety and our expectations that all employees report fit for duty and remain fit for duty at work.”
This announcement from WestJet follows a similar policy from Air Canada (TSE: AC), which also recently banned a section of employees from using recreational marijuana after legalization arrives next week.
Airlines aren’t the only employers bracing for changes after legalization, with HR organization Chartered Professionals in Human Resources Manitoba recently holding a training session to help employers deal with updating their policies.