Canada continues making moves on the cannabis front. Now, the Canadian government is funding marijuana research to better understand the full effects of legalization. The research is the latest development in the ongoing process of legalizing weed by summer 2018.
$1.4 Million Earmarked For Research
Member of Parliament Bill Blair announced the news at a press conference. He explained that Canada’s federal government has set aside $1.4 million to fund 14 separate marijuana research projects.
Experts at universities, hospitals, and other research facilities will carry out individual projects, and the government will provide $100,000 for each one.
The objective of all this is to examine and learn about a wide variety of factors and variables related to legalization.
This includes trying to better understand the full health and behavioral effects of weed. But that’s not all. The goal is to cover as a wide a scope as possible. To that end, there will also be research projects aimed at investigating a broad range of social, economic, cultural, and political outcomes that may arise from making cannabis legal.
“We acknowledge the need to expand our knowledge when it comes to the health effects of cannabis, as well as the behavioral, social, and economic implications of its legalization and regulation,” Blair said. “We are committed to strengthening the evidence base with regard to the health benefits and the risks of cannabis use.”
Legal Weed and Research
Blair said that the decision to fund marijuana research comes directly out of the country’s plans to legalize cannabis later this year. In fact, he said that the country’s increasingly weed-friendly atmosphere is the reason such research is possible.
“The opportunity for the scientific community to do the important research that’s been outlined today has been significantly restricted by a prohibition environment,” he said. “It’s only by lifting that criminal prohibition that we have enabled the type of research that can now take place.”
Ultimately, the data generated through all this research will help the government shape and refine its new cannabis laws.
Final Hit: The Canadian Government Is Funding Marijuana Research
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has for years talked about plans to legalize weed at the federal level. Currently, the federal government is shooting to complete the legalization process by July 2018. The announcement that the Canadian government is funding marijuana research could very well be another important and concrete step toward accomplishing that goal.
The process of legalization has been stop-and-go since Trudeau first started talking about it back in 2013. But recently, the country has started taking concrete steps in that direction.
Last April, lawmakers officially introduced into Parliament Bill C-45, also known as The Cannabis Act. Then, in November 2017, the bill received overwhelming support. It won a landslide 200-82 vote in the Canadian House of Commons.
Ahead of this summer’s scheduled legalization, the Canadian cannabis market already appears to be doing well. A recent report found that the country’s three largest weed companies grew by more than 200 percent last year. The combined valuation of these companies has soared to more than $14.5 billion. One of these companies, Aurora Cannabis, also announced last week that it will begin providing medical marijuana to the government of Italy.