ADR, Mediation

Recreational cannabis opens whole new legal can of worms

By Mia Clarke, Associate Editor

Legalizing recreational cannabis has created a growing list of legal headaches, Toronto arbitrator Marvin Huberman tells Caregiver Solutions magazine.

“There is no such thing as a one-size-fits-all method for resolving cannabis-related issues,” Huberman, a fellow of the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators, tells the online publication.

To help address the new frontier of legal issues, Huberman recently launched the Canadian Cannabis Dispute Resolution Centre, which handles disputes involving cannabis in the workplace, between retailers, or in the home.

He says the new issues include:

Impaired driving — There needs to be agreement on how impaired levels will be measured and the consistency of measuring tools.

Privacy protection — Online orders can be tracked through credit card statements, which require a name, and an email and street address. This information may jeopardize travel to the United States, where prior use of marijuana must be declared. Delivered orders must also be signed for by an adult, which might create an uncomfortable situation for concierges or helpful neighbours.

Management and disposal — How will the police audit and manage homegrown plants? How will they dispose of confiscated plants?

Workplace rules — What are employer and employee rights? Are there standard substance-abuse guidelines and fit-to-work policies? Will there be human rights violations and accommodation challenges for people with disabilities?

Disputes between landlords and tenants — A considerable number of issues have to be resolved concerning condominium rules, tension between residents, plant growth, odour problems and smoke-free designations.

Intellectual property — There will be new patents, trademarks and accessories, as well as design marketing and packaging concerns. In addition, there will be a need to interpret competition laws, mergers, corporate buyouts and misleading advertising.

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