Health Research Needs and Priorities Related to Cannabis Legalization and Regulation Workshop

September 18, 2017
Montréal, QC

Canada will legalize and regulate the use of cannabis for non-medical purposes, with legislation expected to be enacted by July 2018. There are still research gaps related to health and safety of using cannabis as well as questions related to the behavioural, social and economic implications of legalization – which could play out differently across Canadian jurisdictions. The Canadian Institutes for Health Research (CIHR) Institute of Population and Public Health (IPPH), Institute of Neuroscience, Mental Health, and Addictions (INMHA), Institute of Health Services and Policy Research (IHSPR), Institute of Circulatory and Respiratory Health (ICRH), Institute of Gender and Health (IGH) and Institute of Human Development, Child, and Youth Health (IHDCYH), have been exploring health research gaps and needed supports to ensure a comprehensive and coordinated approach to future research. We have heard that action must take place on multiple fronts. Researchers require support to use and build on existing research, to define appropriate measures, to identify and conduct studies in communities across Canada and to be better connected through networking activities. CIHR will be developing potential mechanisms to address these objectives and convened a workshop of key researchers and knowledge users to help inform this work.

Workshop objectives

  • Prioritize identified areas and goals for cannabis research that are relevant across jurisdictions in Canada, in the core domains of health and public safety.
  • Establish core research questions and topics in most pressing need of study.
  • Suggest mechanisms to enable coordinated, comprehensive, and actionable health research that is relevant for future decisions related to cannabis legalization in Canada, including evidence that will inform the prevention of problematic use and harm reduction strategies.
  • Identify key health research assets, their interest/capacity, and requirements for leveraging and enhancing their research activities, as well as linking them to key areas of greatest research need.
  • Suggest potential funding mechanisms/tools for CIHR to consider to best achieve the identified goals.
  • Identify opportunities to leverage and maximize current and future funding investments with relevant partners and stakeholders.

Workshop Executive Summary

Date modified: