It has been more than two years since Canada became the first G20 country to legalize recreational cannabis and cannabis products. The Canadian Centre on Substance Use and Addiction (CCSA) is investing $1.8 million dollars in research on non-therapeutic cannabis and the impacts of its legalization on public health and safety throughout the country. Through financial support from Health Canada, CCSA is funding 19 projects on subjects ranging from cannabis legalization and mental health to a comparison of legal versus illicit cannabis sales.
All levels of government need evidence and information to inform cannabis policy and regulation. The projects chosen for this CCSA initiative also include research on specific populations such as Indigenous peoples, veterans, and pregnant and breastfeeding mothers. Each project will receive funding of up to $100,000 over two years. The Mental Health Commission of Canada is contributing $100,000 to support awarded projects with a mental health focus for a combined research investment of $1.8 million.
“These projects are an opportunity to significantly increase our understanding of cannabis in Canada today. They explore so many different topics: from product labelling regulations to the risks and potential benefits of CBD and THC to cannabis’ effect on mental health. The evidence generated from this research will inform and help evaluate the impacts cannabis regulation has had since the Cannabis Act was passed in 2018,” explained Rita Notarandrea, CEO of CCSA.
Following a call for proposals last year to explore areas in cannabis policy and research, CCSA awarded funding to the successful applicants through an independent review panel and rigorous peer-reviewed scoring process. As part of this initiative, CCSA created the Canadian Cannabis Research Database, an online tool capturing current and ongoing cannabis research activities in Canada. CCSA has also created an interactive policy map to support researchers and the public with up-to-date information on the different provincial and territorial regulations and bylaws.