– College of the North Atlantic (CNA) will be blunt about what the legalization of marijuana means for its campuses, employees and students. Even though cannabis will become legal in Canada on Wednesday, Oct. 17, its use (whether it’s growing or consuming) will remain prohibited on college owned or operated properties.
“At CNA, we provide a teaching and learning environment which supports the success of our students and ensures a safe and healthy work environment for our faculty and staff members,” said Elizabeth Chaulk, Vice President Academics and Student Services. “All our campuses will continue to be smoke-free, and rules similar to restricting alcohol consumption, will apply. We will have signage on our campuses informing students, employees and general public of where CNA stands on cannabis use and what they need to know about its consumption.”
Canadians will be able to grow, purchase and possess cannabis in limited quantities from a government-approved (or owned and operated) shop. For the past several months, many businesses and organizations throughout the province and country, including post-secondary education facilities, have been developing action plans that will address cannabis use.
To prepare for the legalization of cannabis, CNA representatives (administration, legal and union), formed a Cannabis Task Group to determine impacts and issues surrounding cannabis legalization. As a result, the college has developed a variety of materials (posters, brochures and rack cards) for students and staff tackling issues, such as the health risks associated with cannabis use; Frequently Asked Questions about the impact of cannabis legalization; the Dos and Don’ts of encountering impaired individuals; and, where to go for additional information about cannabis.
CNA’s Board of Governors has also updated its governance policy to state that: “No person shall be under the influence of nor consume cannabis or illicit drugs on or in property of the college or its work sites.”
Campuses and residences
The college not only had to consider cannabis use at its 17 locations throughout the province, but also how the new law would impact residence life at the Bay St George, Burin and Happy Valley-Goose Bay campuses.
Similar to the Smoke-Free Policy currently in effect at CNA, cannabis regulations include any person on campus, whether they are students, staff, faculty, subcontractors and/or their employees, and visitors. All events hosted at CNA campuses are smoke-free.
Although the new Cannabis Act
states those 19 years of age or older will be allowed to be in possession of up to 30 grams of dried cannabis, or other legally available cannabis products, CNA residences have their own set of rules regarding legalized cannabis. The cultivation of cannabis plants is not allowed anywhere on campus, including in student residences or private offices. Cannabis edibles may not be produced, baked or cooked anywhere on campus, including in residences. In addition, drug paraphernalia of any kind is prohibited in student residences.
“We will continue to monitor the impacts of cannabis legalization and will review our policies on an ongoing basis to ensure it reflects best practices and standards for everyone involved,” said Chaulk.
Under Newfoundland and Labrador’s cannabis law, products will be sold through licensed retailers that have been approved by Newfoundland Labrador Liquor Corporation (NLC) and will also be available through the NLC website.
For more information on cannabis legislation, workplace and industry rules, visit: www.gov.nl.ca/cannabis
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Public Relations Specialist
College of the North Atlantic