Cannabis Research

decorative image of cannabis plants


The Cannabis Act and its Regulations provide, among other things, the framework for legal access to cannabis and control and regulate its production, distribution and sale. Under this framework, a person is required to obtain a license issued by Health Canada in order to conduct various activities with cannabis, including research. Applicants and License Holders are responsible for compliance with the Cannabis Act and its Regulations as well as compliance with other applicable federal, provincial and territorial legislation and municipal by-laws.

Cannabis Institutional License

The Vice-President (Research), through Western Research, is leading an effort to obtain an institutional cannabis research license from Health Canada. If you are, or will be, obtaining cannabis for research purposes or have any questions please contact Karen Gopaul, Manager Quality and Research Compliance.

Institutional License Next Steps

Once Western is granted the institutional license, the university will issue permits to Principal Investigators using cannabis for research purposes. More information about this will be communicated by email, and this page will be updated with new information as it becomes available, including requirements and procedures.

Note: if you are currently conducting research with cannabis and have already received a license from Health Canada, continue using your license for the time being. As a reminder you will need to provide your license to  Karen Gopaul so we have a better understanding of use/planned use across campus.

Institutional License Timeline

  • Health Canada has advised us we can expect to receive our institutional cannabis license approximately 180 days after we submit our application.
  • If your research currently requires a license, please obtain an individual project licence.

Cannabis Research Resources


For more information, please contact Karen Gopaul , Manager Quality and Research Compliance.