Alberta Launches Study on Cannabis Impact on Youth

by Staff

The Alberta government is initiating what it says is a comprehensive study to understand the effects of cannabis use on youth aged 25 and under. This initiative comes more than five years after cannabis legalization in Canada, which made it accessible for non-medical use starting at age 18 and included the legalization of cannabis edibles in Alberta, British Columbia, and Ontario.

Minister of Alberta Mental Health and Addiction, Dan Williams, emphasized the importance of this research for young Albertans. “We owe it to young Albertans and their families to make sure we fully understand the effects of legal cannabis. We’re proud to bring together this group of respected health experts to provide insight and advice as we continue to navigate this evolving area of health care,” Williams stated in a media release on Monday.

Blair Gibbs, a former advisor to the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom and a policy consultant, highlighted the necessity of evaluating cannabis’s health impacts on youth. “As cannabis products have become more widely available, we must continue to evaluate their health impacts – particularly on young people whose brains are still developing. I look forward to working with leading experts from around the world to closely examine the evidence and help inform decisions in the best interest of Albertans,” Gibbs said.

The Alberta government has allocated a one-time grant of approximately $280,000 for this review. The UCP say the funding will support a coalition of experts from renowned institutions including the University of Alberta, University of Calgary, Dalhousie University, Harvard Medical School, and the University of Birmingham. The team includes Dr. Sebastian Straube from the University of Alberta, Dr. Philip Tibbo from Dalhousie University, Dr. Charl Els from the University of Alberta, Dr. Emily Hennessy from Harvard Medical School, Dr. Victoria Burns from the University of Calgary, and Dr. Ed Day from the University of Birmingham.

The findings from this study are expected to be completed by summer 2024 and will be reported to the Minister of Mental Health and Addiction. These findings may guide future policy changes aimed at protecting youth from potential harm associated with cannabis use. Notably, Albertans under 18 are prohibited from legally purchasing or consuming cannabis, aligning with the province’s minimum age for alcohol and tobacco consumption.


Print Friendly, PDF & Email