Research Involving Cannabis

Who is this for?

This information is relevant to anyone who plans to conduct research with cannabis or cannabis related compounds, including CBD or THC, or any part of a cannabis plant.

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 any quantity of cannabis, CBD or THC compounds, including synthetic compounds, requires a research licence from Health Canada.

The University of Toronto (U of T) has applied for institutional cannabis research licences 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 in 2022. Given the expected timeline for the institutional licences 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 the institutional research licences, please contact the Research Compliance Manager, listed in the VPRI contact 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


Other Resources