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.

Community-based grants for research projects in cannabis and mental health: REQUEST FOR PROPOSALS NOW OPEN

The MHCC is seeking applicants from priority populations who are interested in conducting community-based research on the relationship between cannabis and mental health.

Priority populations include:

  • People with lived and living experience of cannabis use and/or mental health problems or illnesses
  • First Nations, Inuit, and Métis
  • Immigrant, refugee, ethnocultural, and racialized
  • Two spirit, lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans, and queer
  • Communities who experience layers of oppression (e.g., homelessness, involvement in the justice system, sex work, and buying or selling street-level substances)

We are funding up to 12 two-year projects (up to $50,000 per year or $100,000 per project). Deadline to apply: May 29, 2020.

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.