How industrial companies are grappling with legalized cannabis

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Seven months after the legalization of recreational cannabis, Garnet Amundson’s worries have not abated.

Amundson is chief executive of Calgary-based Essential Energy Services, with nearly 400 workers, including 350 in safety-sensitive roles in the oilpatch.

Topping his list of concerns is having employees who can pass any type of drug test on any given day and arrive at work without any impairment.

Not only does his company drug test employees in certain instances, but the staff may also be tested when they perform work at a facility owned by a different firm. In that case, Amundson said his workers have to meet the standards of the other company.

“Employees have to be completely clean at all times, so they can access these top customers and get on to their job sites,” he said.

It’s a situation underscoring the human resource and legal issues created by the legalization of cannabis for industries where any sign of impairment is closely monitored and safety is a

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