Conference Overview

Is the legalization of cannabis Y2K all over again? Or are the impacts just beginning to bubble to the surface?

In October 2018, recreational cannabis was legalized across Canada. While employers faced the change with varying levels of concern and readiness, the full impact of legalization will continue to evolve over time.

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The Conference Board’s Dr. Bill Howatt, Chief of Research, Workforce Productivity, will present brand new findings from Conference Board research on the impacts of cannabis use on employee productivity, engagement, and physical and mental health factors. Dr. Howatt will explore whether medical and recreational cannabis use have a positive or negative impact on these factors – or whether the relationship is more complex. He will also discuss the extent to which organizational readiness for cannabis legalization factors into these outcomes and set out some guidelines for organizations looking to reap any positive benefits and ensure minimal negative impacts of legalized cannabis.

Bill Howatt

Dr. Bill Howatt

Chief of Research, Workforce Productivity, The Conference Board of Canada

In this moderated panel, HR and health and safety leaders from three Canadian organizations will participate in a facilitated discussion on some of the tangible workplace outcomes they have encountered in the year following recreational cannabis legalization. This panel will cover topics such as alcohol and drug (A&D) policy rollout and A&D testing, accommodation of medical cannabis use and substance use disorders, workplace practices around managing cannabis use at work-sanctioned social events, and other hot-button human resources and safety issues.

This presentation will provide a legal update on some of the need-to-know legal cases that have arisen since recreational cannabis was legalized one year ago. Whether related to medical or recreational cannabis, fitness-for-duty, privacy or human rights, you will receive an overview of the important cases and relevant outcomes that may set the stage for managing legal issues related to cannabis in the workplace in the coming years.

Join us as we bring together experts to discuss the medical cannabis space in Canada and the potential impacts of recreational cannabis legalization on the industry. We will bring together the medical, academic, and workplace perspectives on this important issue, and will discuss questions such as:

- How has the medical cannabis industry changed since recreational cannabis was legalized?
- Has there been a greater push for research in this space since legalization?
- What is the role of the physician? What is the role of the employer?
- Should more organizations consider covering medical cannabis as part of their health benefits plans?

In this session, one of Canada’s leading benefits providers partners up with a client organization to provide an overview of their company’s journey to offering benefits coverage for medical cannabis. Our speakers will discuss the motivation, speed bumps, and outline some of the outcomes of providing coverage.

We will share a final discussion on where research and progress is still needed as it relates to workplace outcomes, some perspectives on the future of cannabis in Canada and some of the long-term impacts – both positive and negative – that are likely to result from Canada’s leadership in this space.

Who's Speaking?

Speaker's list coming soon



Individual Ticket

By registering for this event, you agree to have your name and job title shared with our event partners, The Globe & Mail, for convening purposes (e.g. creating name tags and tracking event-day attendance).

Early Bird Rate
(Expires July 18)





The Globe and Mail Centre
351 King St E #1600
Toronto, ON M5A 0N1

Toronto Marriott Downtown Eaton Centre Toronto Hotel
525 Bay St, Toronto ON M5G 2L2

Conference fees don't include accommodations. Please contact the hotel directly for reservations, and mention the Cannabis at Work Conference to receive the preferred rate of $189.00.

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Participate in our Research!

The Conference Board of Canada and The Globe and Mail are partnering to explore the relationship between career success and cannabis use. Employers and employees (both recreational and medical cannabis users, as well as non-cannabis users) are invited to participate in this confidential study.