When non-medical cannabis was legalized in 2018, the Government of NL designed policies in an effort to protect public health and safety. It is not known if the goals of the policy are being met or if policy refinement is necessary. In March 2020, our research team obtained 3-years of funding from CIHR/CCSA to conduct an integrated outcome and process policy evaluation of the legalization of cannabis in Newfoundland and Labrador (NL) to assess the impact on public health and safety. We are using both qualitative and quantitative research throughout our project. Our research team includes external partners (Department of Health and Community Services, NL Centre for Health Information, citizen partner) as well as established collaborations with several other key stakeholders.
Public engagement is core to our project. We are using a citizen and stakeholder engaged research approach. As such, we have established citizen and stakeholder advisory panels to support the planning and execution of our research. A series of needs assessment workshops with these panels and invited guests identified priority areas for cannabis-policy evaluation, which will help support recommendations for evidence-informed policy changes.
Our Postdoctoral Fellow will support this project by using a public engagement approach to actively work with our collaborators, advisory panels, and citizens; forge new relationships with relevant segments of the population (e.g., youth, indigenous); conduct research using a citizen and stakeholder-engaged approach around identified priority areas for cannabis policy evaluation; and oversee our knowledge translation activities.