October 12, 2018 7:50 am
Updated: October 12, 2018 10:02 am

Kingston East Business Association provides answers on cannabis legalization impacts

Expert tells east Kingston business owners how to prepare for cannabis legalization

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Members of the Kingston East Business Association (KEBA) on Thursday got some help on how they should be preparing for cannabis legalization.

KEBA president Sherry Lachine says members have a lot of questions about how legalization affects the workplace.

READ MORE: Ontario government says recreational cannabis can be smoked wherever tobacco smoking allowed


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The association brought in Wiebke Wilkins of Wilkins Health and Safety Solutions to answer those questions at a breakfast meeting on Thursday.

“It’ll help workplaces become more safe, (and) handle some of the questions from employees in a very realistic and informed manner,” Lachine said. “It is a topic that we need to understand and address.”

Wilkins told the group of around 20 association members that the most important step is to have a clear drug and alcohol policy, and the first step in that process is having a well thought out written document.

“The second most important part is to communicate it to all affected employees.”

WATCH: Ontario government launches awareness campaign on cannabis regulations

Wilkins says training for employees and supervisors is important to make sure the policy is applied equally to everyone.

“For supervisors, in particular, make sure they understand the policy, how to apply it, how it affects their workplace, how to implement it.”

Wilkens also addressed concerns about designated smoking areas, which concerned some employers after the provincial government announced cannabis can be consumed anywhere tobacco is consumed.

READ MORE: Spike in cannabis poisoning in kids a concern for doctors: ‘It’s candy and it tastes great’

Wilkins says cannabis isn’t exactly the same as tobacco.

“I cannot smoke cannabis in those areas because I’m going to be impaired — no different than drinking alcohol in your lunchroom.”

In her address to the crowd, Wilkins also touched on the use of medical marijuana in the workplace.

© 2018 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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