Entertaining clients and staff holiday parties are commonplace at this time of year.
For some, though, one thing changed on October 17, when recreational marijuana became legal in Canada. Now, when holding a party, business owners should know the rules around cannabis consumption.
“Most of us understand the rules and regulations around alcohol consumption and encourage our guests to have a designated driver or plan to take a taxi or public transit home,” says Sharlane Bailey, Owner of Canwest Accounting, which has offices in Victoria and Langford. “But the legal consumption of cannabis is new, and party hosts need to learn those regulations to ensure their guests don’t consume it where they shouldn’t or try driving home while under the influence. We all want our guests to get home safely.”
Here are some key rules to keep in mind for recreational marijuana use:
- Legal age is 19 years
- Adults age 19 and over can carry up to 30 grams of recreational marijuana
- Users can smoke or vape cannabis in public places where smoking tobacco is allowed
- Cannabis consumption is not allowed near recreational facilities and playgrounds, public patios, public transit shelters, public buildings and workplaces, parks, except for designated spots, and there are regulations around smoking in apartment and condo buildings
- Smoking marijuana is illegal in vehicles
- Officers can test drivers for both alcohol and cannabis consumption
- See Laws addressing alcohol, drugs and driving
“To ensure all your guests get home safely, businesses may want to arrange taxi vouchers with a cab company, which would be a tax deduction, or make party-goers aware of designated driver programs, like Drive Smart Victoria,” Bailey says. “I once worked for a company that held its Christmas party downtown and it helped pay for employees’ hotel rooms so everyone could enjoy themselves and not have to worry about how they’d get home that evening.”
Another concern is employees being high on marijuana at work. WorkSafeBC is clear that if an employee is impaired by any drug or alcohol at work, the employer must ask that employee to stop work and leave. Employers can review WorkSafeBC’s Substance use and impairment in the workplace policy.
Get Cannabis Clarity offers answers and resources for anyone wanting to learn more about the rules and regulations related to cannabis in British Columbia.
The suggestions and advice provided by Canwest Accounting should not be relied upon in place of professional advice. You are responsible for checking the accuracy of relevant facts and opinions provided.