Fort Saskatchewan's Chamber of Commerce is working with businesses and government to prepare for pot.
The local group worked with the Edmonton Chamber of Commerce to write a policy on the impacts of pot legalization on workplaces. The policy includes current business policies and how they may differ.
"There's definitely some concern," explained Dione Chambers, executive director of the Fort Chamber of Commerce. "It's more on protocols on how to detect marijuana impairment, how that will affect workplace safety and how businesses can adapt their drug and alcohol policies to the new legislation."
Although the legislation is new, the prevalence of marijuana in Alberta isn't. Health Canada reports 44.3 per cent of Albertans have tried marijuana. There's also been a huge spike in medical use, from 7,914 individuals in June of 2014 to 98,460 by September of 2016.
Detecting marijuana is not as easy as alcohol. Testing for alcohol consists of measuring the quantity of alcohol in the bloodstream, whereas with THC, the primary physcoactive ingredient in marijuana, can remain in the bloodstream for days or weeks after the intoxicating effects have worn off. What makes things even more complex is there is no breathalyzer equivalent for marijuana.
"We're going to be working closely with the federal and provincial government to ensure that the workplace safety concerns are being addressed," stated Chambers. "To look towards proper legislation for detection as well as determining what those impairment legal limits will be."
Many workplaces in the Heartland region already have a zero-tolerance policy towards drugs and alcohol.
The policy drafted by the two chambers is now in front of the provincial governmentfront of the provincial government.