Pubdate: Mon, 13 Mar 2017
Source: Edmonton Journal (CN AB)
Copyright: 2017 The Edmonton Journal
Author: Michelle LePage
Page: A5


Recreational marijuana users are lazy.

That's the stereotype entrepreneur John Carlson wanted to break while
manning a booth for his business at the HempFest Cannabis Expo at the
Shaw Conference Centre this past weekend.

The 26-year-old is the owner of Boxcar Studios in Olds, Alta., a
glassblowing studio and shop that specializes in "420/710

Carlson, a self-taught glassblower, said he wanted to show people
marijuana users can be professional and organized.

"If you look here, there's a room full of young, hardworking

Carlson started his self-funded business six years ago. He was one of
many vendors selling accessories like bongs and vaporizers at the
expo. Others sold air purifiers, grow lights, soap and personal care
products while several stands contained information about medical
marijuana and cannabidiol (CBD).

Expo guest speaker, Alison McMahon, spoke about the challenges of
prescription marijuana use and the workplace.

"You cannot be fired for holding a cannabis prescription," McMahon
told the crowd.

McMahon founded Cannabis at Work more than a year ago after seeing a
need for educating employers who manage employees with medical
marijuana prescriptions and, once legalized, employees who choose to
consume marijuana.

The most frequent concern from employers, McMahon said, is around
"safety sensitive positions because cannabis is an impairment-causing

"Closely linked to that is one of the biggest challenges - that we
don't have a test for active impairment," she said.

Current drug tests detect when a person has recently consumed
marijuana. They cannot determine if a person is impaired at the time
of the test.

"Employers might have a good employee who wants to be able to consume
cannabis on their own time but they're going to fail a drug test,"
McMahon said. "If drug testing is part of the culture of that company,
the employer either has to fire an otherwise good employee or risk
sending them to a site where there is zero tolerance, which isn't a
good option either."

McMahon said workers who use medical marijuana should be upfront and
know they are responsible to disclose that they rely on a marijuana
prescription to their employer.

"You're going to have employers who just aren't educated on this yet
and you might face some challenges but employers do have duties to
accommodate medical prescriptions."
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MAP posted-by: Matt