Workplace cannabis use and perceptions among Canadian workers
Reasons for the study
On October 17, 2018, cannabis use for non-medical purposes was legalized in Canada. There is the potential for cannabis use to spill over to the workplace, which could have occupational health and safety consequences. This study began with an IWH-led team conducting a survey in June 2018 of 2,014 workers across Canada from a wide range of industries and occupations to better understand pre-legalization workplace use patterns and perceptions. The study's research team will continue to resurvey this same group of workers (and more) for three years post-legalization to determine whether legalization is associated with changes in workplace use and related perceptions and norms.
Objectives of the study
- Estimate the magnitude of workplace cannabis consumption and impairment in Canada
- Evaluate the impact of cannabis legalization in Canada on cross-sectional and longitudinal patterns of workplace cannabis consumption, perceptions of risk and impact, workplace cannabis norms, and perceived availability in the workplace
- Examine whether trends in these patterns, perceptions and norms differ according to age, sex, labour market gender roles, occupational groups and geographic location
- Examine the reciprocal relationship between potentially modifiable factors (perceptions of risk, workplace cannabis norms, perceived cannabis availability in the workplace) and workplace cannabis use over time
This project will help policy-makers, employers, and health and safety associations and professionals understand the short-term effects of legalization on the workplace, and provide them with information to aid in the development of policies, practices and prevention initiatives to ensure lower-risk cannabis use among Canadian workers.
Related interviews and articles
- Cannabis use linked to higher injury risk, but only among those who use at or before work. At Work: Institute for Work & Health; No. 108, Spring .
- Supervisors and people in safety-sensitive jobs using cannabis at work, researchers find. Safety + Health. April 14, 2021. Available from: https://www.safetyandhealthmagazine.com/articles/21072-supervisors-and-people-in-safety-sensitive-jobs-using-cannabis-at-work-researchers-find
- At-work cannabis use linked to work factors, including some not expected: IWH study. At Work: Institute for Work & Health; No. 103, Winter 2021.
- Is cannabis use on the rise?. Canadian HR Reporter. June 2, 2020. Available from: https://www.hrreporter.com/focus-areas/safety/is-cannabis-use-on-the-rise/330199
- At-work use of cannabis reported by 1 in 12 workers—no change since legalization. At Work: Institute for Work & Health; No. 100, Spring 2020.
- Where does the use of cannabis now stand in the eyes of the workplace?. Daily Commercial News. March 18, 2020. Available from: https://canada.constructconnect.com/dcn/news/ohs/2020/03/where-does-the-use-of-cannabis-now-stand-in-the-eyes-of-the-workplace
- Addressing mental health, substance abuse at work requires new approaches: Experts. Daily Commercial News. March 16, 2020. Available from: https://canada.constructconnect.com/dcn/news/associations/2020/03/addressing-mental-health-substance-abuse-at-work-requires-new-approaches-experts
- IWH takes deep dive into the marijuana Pandora’s box. Daily Commercial News. January 31, 2020. Available from: https://canada.constructconnect.com/dcn/news/ohs/2020/01/iwh-takes-deep-dive-into-the-marijuana-pandoras-box
- Canadians need to be educated on cannabis in the workplace, new study says . CPA Canada. November 29, 2018. Available from: https://www.cpacanada.ca/en/news/canada/2018-11-29-workplace-cannabis-policies
- High at the helm: Workplaces preparing for cannabis legalization. The Globe and Mail. April 6, 2018. Available from: https://www.theglobeandmail.com/canada/british-columbia/article-high-at-the-helm-workplaces-preparing-for-cannabis-legalization/
IWH Speaker Series presentations
- Cannabis use and the risk of workplace injury: Findings from a longitudinal study of Canadian workers. IWH Speaker Series. March 8, 2022.
- Have cannabis use and perceptions about workplace use changed since legalization?. IWH Speaker Series. March 3, 2020.
- Clearing the haze: Understanding how Canadian workers use and perceive cannabis at work. IWH Speaker Series. November 20, 2018.
Canadian Centre for Occupational Health and Safety
Canadian Centre on Substance Use and Addiction
Employment and Social Development Canada
Federally Regulated Employers – Transportation and Communications
Nova Scotia Trucking Safety Association
Ontario Building Trades
Ontario Ministry of Labour
Public Services Health & Safety Association
Workplace Safety & Prevention Services
Workplace Safety North
Canadian Institutes of Health Research