Research Involving Cannabis

Who is this for?

This information is relevant to anyone who plans to conduct research with cannabis, including CBD or THC compounds.

What do I need before I can begin?

A licence from Health Canada is required before any research with cannabis can be performed, including with CBD or THC compounds. This page describes the process to apply for a Health Canada cannabis research licence.


While cannabis has recently become legalized in Canada for personal possession and use, research with cannabis remains controlled. Any research projects that involve cannabis, CBD or THC compounds (regardless of quantity) requires a research licence from Health Canada.

The University of Toronto (U of T) is currently preparing institutional licence applications that, once approved, will cover all research projects at the University that have received internal approval. These campus-specific licences are expected to be in place towards the end of 2020 or in early 2021. Given the expected timeline for the institutional licence to be in place, any currently proposed projects involving cannabis should be submitted directly to Health Canada by individual Principal Investigators (PIs) as a personal research licence application. If you need to apply for an individual research licence, before the University obtains an institutional licence, please contact the Manager, Research Oversight & Compliance, listed in the VPRI contact section below, for current information on the application process and additional internal University requirements.

Forms & Downloads


  • Ensure compliance with the legal frameworks pertaining to the use of cannabis in research

VPRI Contact


Rhain Louis

Manager, Research Oversight and Compliance
Research Oversight & Compliance Office (ROCO)
(416) 946-0836

Other Resources