Canada is the second country in the world to legalize cannabis for non-medical use. This decision offers researchers an unprecedented opportunity to study the impacts of cannabis use in a legalized environment— including its effects on mental health. To seize that opportunity, the federal government has allocated $10 million to the Mental Health Commission of Canada (MHCC) over the next five years to investigate the risks and benefits of cannabis as well as the varying needs of diverse subpopulations of people living in Canada.

MHCC-funded opportunities

In partnership with the Canadian Institutes of Health Research and the Canadian Centre on Substance Use and Addiction

  • Catalyst Grants (one year maximum of $125,000) A total of $750,000 has been set aside to fund applications relevant to cannabis and mental health. These catalyst grants are meant to build research capacity and inform the development of future, larger scale research projects

  • Team Grants (five years)
    • Recipients
      • 2020

Community-based research

In July 2019, the MHCC gathered a diverse group of experts, including people with lived experience of substance use and/or mental health problems and illnesses, service providers, family members, community-based researchers, and policy makers, to discuss funding priorities for community-based research on cannabis and mental health. Our Shaping Future Investments in Community-Based Research on Cannabis and Mental Health report gives a concise account of the day’s discussions as well as key takeaways.

Building upon the recommendations from the Environmental Scan and Scoping Review and community-based forums, the MHCC launched a request for community-based research proposals in cannabis and mental health in February 2020.

These research projects will be community led, culturally safe, focused on equity, and centred on the lived and living experience of priority populations.

Successful recipients of the community-based research grants will be announced in summer 2020. If you have any questions regarding the status of your application, please email us at

Roundtable and conference summary reports

Inuit Forum on Cannabis and Mental Health Report - on the October 2019 meeting in Happy Valley-Goose Bay, Newfoundland and Labrador — an event that marked the first opportunity for Inuit across Inuit Nunangat to come together to discuss cannabis. The forum was organized by representatives from the Nunatsiavut Department of Health and Social Development, Inuit Tapiriit Kanatami, the Mental Health Commission of Canada, and the Canadian Centre on Substance Use and Addiction. A Summary Report of the Forum is also available.