Canadian HR Reporter

February 2020 CAN

Canadian HR Reporter is the national journal of human resource management. It features the latest workplace news, HR best practices, employment law commentary and tools and tips for employers to get the most out of their workforce.

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N E W S 8 www.hrreporter.com Travellers hazy on cannabis rules A recent survey found that many Canadian travellers are still unclear about the rules around cannabis — recreational or medicinal — and that has employment lawyers cautioning employers about employee habits, says John Dujay WITH cannabis legalization a year-long reality and edibles now available, many Canadians are still hazy on travel rules around the drug, according to a new survey. Many travellers are unclear on what and how much can be taken onboard a flight, and where — and that has employment lawyers cautioning employers. "It would be prudent for employers to caution any of their employees who might be traveling to other countries, where the laws might be a little bit different, to ensure that they understand the laws of the workplace so they can avoid any kind of Use (RCU), which surveyed 11,371 Canadians in November. That scenario actually happened recently when an Air Canada flight from Toronto to Vancouver diverted for an emergency landing in Seattle and some passengers had cannabis on them, says Karina Karassev, COO of RCU. "You will be fined if you land in the States. All the airlines, before legalization, issued their warning that they will not be personally liable: 'You will be stranded there and it's not our fault that we had to divert.'" Almost one-third (30 per cent) of Canadians also believe they can cross the border with cannabis if they have medical cannabis authorization. But it is illegal to do so, says RCU, as the Canadian government forbids travellers from importing or exporting cannabis or using it for medical purposes abroad. "[People think] 'Hey, I can travel with my prescriptions across the border, liquid or non-liquid, as long as I'm under that 100-ml [rule for liquids]. I can take them with me because I need them,'" says Karassev. "The rules are no different for medical cannabis. Even if you have a full-on medical cannabis authorization and you're doing everything by the book, you still cannot cross the border with medical cannabis." Encouragingly, nine in 10 of the embarrassment or potential legal charges even, which could impact a lot of aspects of their life, the least of which is their employment here in Canada," says Stephen Torscher, a partner at Miller Thomson in Calgary. Survey results The survey found that half of Canadians think they will not face penalties if they are travelling with cannabis and their domestic flight is diverted to land in the U.S. This is not the case, says Responsible Cannabis survey respondents know it is illegal to cross the border with cannabis even when travelling between legalized regions such as British Columbia and California — although 12 per cent think they can bring cannabis into Canada because it's legal in Canada, which is not allowed. As for edible cannabis, 14 per cent of Canadians think they can consume edibles on an airplane, but just like alcohol, passengers cannot indulge with their own products. Employment concerns For employers, this could present potential headaches from employees who travel for business or pleasure and wish to bring along cannabis, says Veronica Choy, a partner and business immigration lawyer at Miller Thomson in Calgary. "Let's just use the example of a company that puts out the policy and says, 'Look, if you get caught with cannabis as you try to go to the United States for your vacation, for example, "It would be prudent for employers to caution employees who might be travelling to other countries where the laws might be a bit different." Stephen Torscher, partner at Miller Thomson TRAVELLING WITH CANNABIS 48% of Canadians believe they won't face penalties if they have cannabis and their domestic flight is diverted to the U.S. 30% believe they can cross the border with cannabis if they have medical cannabis authorization. 14 per cent think they can consume cannabis edibles on an airplane. 9 in 10 know it is illegal to cross the border with cannabis even when travelling between legalized regions.

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