The upcoming legislation of cannabis will no doubt change the color of the future for many businesses and services in Estevan. With the substance to be treated in a similar manner to alcohol, it will have to be approached from a completely different direction.
While some groups have what they need and are prepared, others are still as yet unclear of their path forward. Enter Tara Smart and Options Consulting located in Estevan, who often conduct workplace and industry related drug and alcohol testing.
"Last we were told, is that it's not going to make any difference. Alcohol is still legal, but you can't be impaired and be at work. Things like codeine, it still is a legal drug, people have a prescription for it. But if you need to get a site access card to go on site somewhere, you won't be able to access that, even if you have a prescription," said Smart.
"It's not really going to change a lot of things for us. Whether they will change the drug testing kit, we're not sure yet."
She noted that marijuana, unlike alcohol and other common drugs out there, reacts differently in the human body.
"Alcohol and most other drugs are all water soluble, that means that they come out quickly. Alcohol comes out of your system roughly one drink per hour. Cocaine comes out within a few days. Heroin comes out within a few days. THC, mind you metabolizes in the fat cells in the brain and also in the body, and it can stay weeks to months in someone's system."
Smart stated that it's possible cut off levels may end up being lowered, but nothing is definite yet.
"So far, nothing really has changed. We deal with so many companies that supply us drug testing kits, third parties, and none of them have given us any information on anything changing."
Some standards may also end up being the employers' prerogative, though industries centered on safety related operations already forbid many substances.