Canada vows to funnel $24.5 million into cannabis research

"This research will make an important contribution as we continue to roll out the regulatory framework [for cannabis]," said the Minister of Border Security and Organized Crime Reduction, Bill Blair

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Canada vows to funnel $24.5 million into cannabis research

Bethan Rose Jenkins, Cannabis News Writer/Editorial

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Cannabis research in Canada will be amplified this year, thanks to a $24.5 million contribution from the Canadian Institutes of Health Research.

The organization plans to use the investment for 26 separate projects, all of which will focus on the broad spectrum that encompasses medical cannabis. A press release published by the CIHR explained that the projects will “cover topics such as the use of cannabis and cannabidiol (CBD) oil for the treatment of pain and anxiety.”

The organization also stated that the investment will be used to financially sustain all resources required by the research teams responsible for investigating cannabis’ therapeutic uses.

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(Pictured) Canada’s Minister of Health, Ginette Petitpas Taylor

“We are investing in research to provide the evidence needed to maintain policies for cannabis use that protect the health and safety of Canadians,” said Canada’s Minister of Health, Ginette Petitpas Taylor, in an official statement. “The projects announced today will result in new information on the health effects of cannabis, which will be valuable to governments, public health professionals, health care providers, and all Canadians.”

Canada’s government has been working hard to establish the country’s nascent cannabis industry, which launched following recreational legalization in October of last year. Since this time, it has been legal to buy, consume and cultivate cannabis for recreational purposes, so long as the individual doing so is aged 19 or older.

Included in the cannabis research investment from the CIHR was a $390,000 investment to support two Alberta-based medical cannabis research initiatives. The initiatives will teach students about the plant’s therapeutic benefits.

Students who are not yet well-versed on the subject of medical cannabis in Canada will be enlightened by the University of Calgary. The university will develop an educational program that informs students about the effects of cannabis, which can range from pain relief and relaxation to psychoactivity and sedation.

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(Pictured) Minister of Border Security and Organized Crime Reduction, Bill Blair

“We have put in place a strict regulatory framework for cannabis that aims to keep cannabis out of the hands of youth and the profits out of the hands of criminals,” said the Minister of Border Security and Organized Crime Reduction, Bill Blair. “This research will make an important contribution as we continue to roll out the regulatory framework. We must continue to ensure that prevention, harm reduction, and education remain at the forefront of these efforts.”

The Mental Health Commission of Canada is contributing $2.85 million, which the agency claims will be used to conduct “research aimed at addressing key research gaps regarding cannabis use and mental health.”

In addition to this, Canada’s medical cannabis research initiatives will receive a $4.5 million contribution from the Canadian Centre on Substance Use and Addiction. The money will be used to assess the ways in which recreational cannabis legalization has impacted public health across Canada.