Cannabis & Maritime Labour


On October 17, 2018 cannabis was legalized in Canada with the coming into force of the Cannabis Act and An Act to amend the Criminal Code. This naturally has implications for persons working in the marine industry. To that end, Transport Canada has issued a Ship Safety Bulletin titled “Legalization of cannabis in Canada and vessel operation - SSB No.: 12/2018”. Highlights include:
  • Impaired driving laws apply to the operation of vessels as well as vehicles;
  • The Marine Personnel Regulations require most seafarers who work on board a Canadian vessel to get a marine medical certificate issued by Transport Canada. These certificates attest that a seafarer is fit to work at sea. Consumption of cannabis is a factor that marine medical examiners and Transport Canada will consider when issuing these certificates;
  • Section 14 of the Safe Working Practices Regulations states that “no person shall be permitted in any working area whose ability to work is, in the opinion of the person in charge of the area, impaired by alcohol or a drug.”
  • Pursuant to the Non-Smokers’ Health Act, smoking or vaping cannabis at the workplace is prohibited.

Smoking at Sea 

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