Expert panel: Cannabis Act legislative review
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To fulfill the requirements set out in section 151.1 of the Cannabis Act, and in accordance with Health Canada Policy on External Advisory Bodies (2022), the Minister of Health and the Minister of Mental Health and Addictions have announced that an independent Expert Panel will lead a review of the Act. The Expert Panel has a mandate to:
- undertake an assessment of the cannabis legislative framework
- engage with stakeholders to gather perspectives that will inform the review
- provide expert advice to the Ministers on progress made towards achieving the Act's purpose
An independent, five member Expert Panel, chaired by Mr. Morris Rosenberg, will lead a credible and inclusive review. The Ministers have selected individuals to represent and advocate for Canada's diversity, with significant public sector experience, expertise in public health and justice, and experience engaging with Indigenous communities and organizations.
Morris Rosenberg (Chair)
Morris Rosenberg, O.C., is a Canadian lawyer and former senior civil servant with the Government of Canada.
Mr. Rosenberg served as Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs (2010-2013), Deputy Minister of Health (2004-2010), and Deputy Minister of Justice and Deputy Attorney General of Canada (1998-2004). He began his public service career with the Department of Justice in 1979. From 1989-1993, he served as Assistant Deputy Minister in the Department of Consumer and Corporate Affairs. From 1993-1996, he served as Assistant Secretary to the Cabinet, Economic and Regional Development Policy, Privy Council Office. He was appointed Deputy Secretary to the Cabinet (Operations) in 1996. After retiring from the government in 2013, Mr. Rosenberg served as President and CEO of the Pierre Elliott Trudeau Foundation from 2014-2018.
Mr. Rosenberg holds a B.A. from McGill University, an LL.L. from the Université de Montréal and an LL.M. from Harvard University. He was appointed Member of the Order of Canada in 2015.
Dr. Oyedeji Ayonrinde
Dr. Oyedeji Ayonrinde is an Associate Professor in the departments of Psychiatry and Psychology at Queen's University. He is also a Consultant Psychiatrist and Clinical Director at Providence Care, where he has provided community mental health care over the past five years. Prior to these roles, he was a consultant at the Bethlem Royal and Maudsley Hospitals (UK) and lectured at the Institute of Psychiatry for nearly 20 years. He holds a specialist Fellowship in both general Psychiatry and Addictions from the Royal College of Psychiatrists (UK), an MSc (Research in Psychiatry) from University College London, and an Executive MBA from Imperial College, London. Dr. Ayonrinde is a member of the Canadian Psychiatric Association, Fellow of the American Psychiatric Association and Royal College of Psychiatrists. His peer-reviewed publications focus on risks with gestational cannabis use, cannabis and psychosis, and safety issues with cannabinoid-based medicines. Dr. Ayonrinde has received healthcare and university education awards, as well as national and international awards for cannabis-related scholarship.
Dr. Patricia J. Conrod
Dr. Conrod is a registered clinical psychologist, a Full Professor in the Department of Psychiatry and Addiction at the University of Montreal, and researcher at the Sainte-Justine Mother and Child University Hospital Centre (CHUSJ), where she holds a Tier 1 Canada Research Chair in Preventative Mental Health and Addiction and runs a research laboratory focusing on understanding, preventing and treating neurodevelopmental risk factors and consequences of substance use and misuse. She co-leads the Fonds de recherche du Québec (FRQS) Research Network on Suicide, Mood Disorders and Related Conditions, the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR) Canadian Cannabis and Psychosis Research Team, and the CHUSJ IMAGINE Centre for pediatric neuroimaging. She is also Director of the University of Montreal Neuroscience and Mental Health Strategy. She holds a PhD in Psychology (clinical) from McGill University and has published over 247 articles.
Lynda L. Levesque
Lynda Levesque is a proud nehiyaw iskwew and member of the Fisher River Cree Nation in Manitoba, Treaty Five territory.
Ms. Levesque is a criminal lawyer, with experience practicing from both the prosecution and defence perspectives. Since 2018, she has worked as a Crown Prosecutor in Calgary and surrounding rural areas. From 2014-2018, she worked as a duty counsel lawyer with Legal Aid Alberta, serving Calgary and surrounding rural areas. From 2005-2014, she worked as a duty counsel lawyer with Legal Aid Ontario in Toronto. Throughout her legal career, she has maintained a passion for Indigenous justice issues and an interest in better ensuring access to justice for marginalized persons.
Ms. Levesque holds a B.A. from the University of Calgary and an LL.B. from the University of Windsor.
Dr. Peter Selby
Dr. Selby is the Giblon Professor, Vice Chair of Research, and Head of the Mental Health and Addictions Division in the Department of Family and Community Medicine, University of Toronto. He is cross appointed in the departments of Psychiatry and the School of Public Health. His research focuses on innovative methods to understand and treat addictive behaviours and their comorbidities especially within a learning health system model enabled through technology. To support these research initiatives, Dr. Selby has received grants totaling over 100 million dollars from the Canadian Institutes of Health Research, the National Institutes of Health, the Ministry of Health, as well as others. Dr. Selby has held more than 145 grants as Principal or Co-Principal Investigator. He has more than 150 peer-reviewed publications, including 74 as first or senior author. He is also an expert presenter and educator in addiction and mental health especially in primary care and community settings.
Terms of reference
The Terms of Reference mandates the Expert Panel to undertake an evidence-based review of the Act and provide advice to the Minister of Health and the Minister of Mental Health and Addictions on progress towards achieving the Act's objectives.
The Panel will provide independent, expert advice to both Ministers on progress made towards achieving the Act's objectives, and will help identify priority areas for improving the functioning of the legislation. It is stated in the Act that the review should focus particularly on the health and cannabis consumption habits of young persons, the impact of cannabis on Indigenous persons and communities, and the impact of the cultivation of cannabis plants in a housing context. The Panel will broaden that focus to include:
- economic, social and environmental impacts of the Act
- progress towards providing adults with access to strictly regulated, lower risk, legal cannabis products
- progress made in deterring criminal activity and displacing the illicit cannabis market
- impact of legalization and regulation on access to cannabis for medical purposes
- impacts on Indigenous peoples, racialized communities, and women who might be at greater risk of harm or face greater barriers to participation in the legal industry based on identity or socio-economic factors
The Panel has the mandate to consult broadly with the public, stakeholders and other levels of government, with specific principles to guide engagement with First Nations, Inuit and Métis peoples and communities.
Refer to the Summary of affiliations and interest for more information on the Expert Panel.
Throughout the course of the legislative review, the Expert Panel will use a range of tools to engage with the public and stakeholders to inform their independent assessment of the Act, including in-person engagement sessions and ongoing dialogue with key stakeholders and experts in relevant fields.
In addition, if you wish to share your insights into the legislative review, the Panel welcomes you to provide your input using the contact information below.
If you are interested in staying informed about the Expert Panel’s activities, the Panel will provide meeting summaries outlining topics discussed.
The Panel will take a period of time to review stakeholder submissions, including those provided in response to the online engagement paper prepared by Health Canada. Per its Terms of Reference, the Panel will publish a report outlining key outcomes from the public and stakeholder consultations, including engagements with First Nations, Inuit and Métis peoples and communities. Stakeholder perspectives will also be used to inform findings and recommendations for the Panel's final report to be tabled in both Houses of Parliament.
To provide your input, or for questions regarding the Panel and its activities, contact:
Cannabis Act Legislative Review Secretariat
Address locator 0302I
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