Government of Canada invests in new cannabis research 

News Release

Improving our understanding of the health, social and economic impacts of cannabis legalization and regulation

January 24, 2018 – Toronto, Ontario – Canadian Institutes of Health Research

The impact of non-medical cannabis use in Canada has been the subject of much speculation and debate. There are still many uncertainties related to the health, social, and economic implications of cannabis legalization and regulation. A solid evidence base is needed for the ongoing development of the most effective policies, practices, and programs relating to the use of cannabis and its derivatives.

To address certain knowledge gaps in this area, Bill Blair, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada and to the Minister of Health, today announced an investment of $1.4 million in funding through the Canadian Institutes of Health Research for 14 research projects from across Canada. The research projects will provide timely evidence on a broad spectrum of issues important to Canadians, including the potential impacts of cannabis on driving, pregnancy and childhood health, youth mental health, Indigenous populations, and workplace health and safety, among others.

The research announced today is expected to lay a foundation to develop further studies on the broader impacts of non-medical cannabis legalization and regulation in Canada, and help inform the ongoing development of policies, practices and programs involving cannabis.


“The importance of a solid evidence base for the development of non-medical cannabis use policies cannot be understated. The Government of Canada is pleased to contribute to research efforts that will help us make safe and effective decisions when it comes to non-medical cannabis use.”

Bill Blair
Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada and to the Minister of Health

“The foundational research projects being announced today are critically important steps, as CIHR continues to address health and policy questions relating to cannabis legalization and regulation. This investment is putting some of Canada’s brightest minds to work, in order to stimulate new scientific knowledge for the benefit of all Canadians."

Dr. Samuel Weiss
Scientific Director
CIHR Institute of Neurosciences, Mental Health and Addiction 

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Thierry Bélair
Office of the Honourable Ginette Petitpas Taylor
Minister of Health

Media Relations
Canadian Institutes of Health Research

At the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR) we know that research has the power to change lives. As Canada's health research investment agency, we collaborate with partners and researchers to support the discoveries and innovations that improve our health and strengthen our health care system.

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