The government of Canada is preparing for the planned recreational legalization of cannabis next year with new rounds of funding.
On Tuesday (October 31) Health Canada announced it would dedicate new funds for public education, awareness, and surveillance, raising the budget to $46 million.
The current plan is to use this money for a public campaign over the next five years. The campaign will most likely target prohibition for people under the required legal age in Canada and impaired driving related to cannabis. Canada’s chief public health officer, Dr. Theresa Tam said the proposed campaign will be evidence-based and will help minors understand the “health impacts around cannabis use.”
Parliamentary secretary to the minister of health, Bill Blair said the government wants Canadians to have a clear and factual understanding of the impact of cannabis. According to the government, the campaign will implement social media efforts in addition to advertising and “interactive events.”
“Subject to Parliamentary approval, the Government will expand its public education campaign to include information on the new laws, so Canadians will know what to expect in July 2018,” Health Canada wrote in their statement.
Report shows Health Canada getting “bulk” of federal funds for cannabis plans
A new report from the Financial Post indicates Health Canada will get $432 million over a five year period set to help manage all needs related to the legalization of recreational cannabis.
Health Canada told the Financial Post it would use the funding for “a new regulatory approach, including licensing and inspection, compliance and enforcement, monitoring and research, as well as a national public education and awareness campaign, tracking systems and program support.”
This year the Canadian regulatory agency has faced an influx of cannabis companies seeking licenses to grow and sell product respectively.
Impaired driving still a concern with cannabis users
In July INN spoke with Jonathan Zaid, founder and executive director of the Canadians for Fair Access to Medical Marijuana (CFAM) group about the way the current law could not be efficient enough for medical cannabis users.
“We don’t want to see anybody driving impaired or any kind of unsafe driving, but at the same time, we want to see a way that would consider the evidence that does or does not exist,” Zaid said.
CFAM authored a research report into the current laws in Canada and how they could impact cannabis patients.
“Within the context of medical use, there are certain considerations such as both administration and the education patients receive from physicians that differ in how impairment may actually exist in the real world,” Zaid told INN.
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Securities Disclosure: I, Bryan Mc Govern, hold no direct investment interest in any company mentioned in this article.