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Program at a Glance

Program Status: Active
Business Area: Health Innovation
Priority Area(s): Addresses gaps in knowledge related to the medical use of cannabis.


Program Status: Active
Alberta-based: No
Organization Type: Academic Institutions & Researchers
Government or Public Entity


Pain is the most common reason Canadians engage the health system. This drives an urgent, unmet, need for the development or identification of novel pain management strategies. Cannabis may be a solution in some applications.

The Exploring Cannabis-Based Medicines and Tools Program addresses urgent knowledge gaps related to the efficacy and safety of medical-use cannabis. The current approach supports pre-clinical research towards understanding cannabis-based chemicals for pain with the aim of exploring lesser-known cannabinoids and terpenoids.


Program objectives:

  • Understand cannabis phytochemicals for possible pain or analgesic properties (Stream 1).
  • Improve patient outcomes and grow Canada’s cannabis industry by understanding how Alberta Innovates can support the use of post-market surveillance data (Stream 2).
  • Provide a platform of engagement among medical cannabis stakeholders to coordinate and collaborate to generate evidence and knowledge for more informed cannabis use.
  • Provide advisory support for entities seeking engagement and input with healthcare delivery professionals and patients.
  • Promote Alberta-based research and innovation into local and global markets to support Canada’s cannabis industry.
  • Realize economic and health benefits for Albertans.


Applicant Eligibility Criteria

An applicant must be one of the following:

  • An Alberta-based post-secondary institution
  • A government entity or health delivery agent
  • A not-for-profit organization that is:
    • incorporated in Alberta, or
    • incorporated in another jurisdiction and extra-provincially registered in Alberta, or
    • a General Partnership, Limited Partnership, or Limited Liability Partnership and registered in Alberta; and
    • have a legal and physical presence in Alberta.


Project Eligibility Criteria

To qualify for funding all projects must:

  • identify critical go/no-go milestones;
  • appropriate Health Canada Cannabis licensing or exemptions (if required) to deliver on project milestones (Refer to Health Canada Guidance Documents on the Cannabis Act and Regulations);
  • be completed within the term;
  • be able to provide a non-confidential graphical abstract; and
  • submit to other criteria that Alberta Innovates may develop from time to time

How To Apply

  1. Submit your application form and supporting information.
  2. Wait for your application to be reviewed.
  3. If successful, execute an Investment Agreement with Alberta Innovates.

For the full ‘How to Apply’ criteria, consult the Program Guide.

Evaluation Process

Alberta Innovates leverages internal staff and external expert reviewers to evaluate the applications submitted. We evaluate promising research and technologies for scientific and technical merit based on innovation opportunity, impact potential, project design and implementation plan.

Full details available in the Program Guide.

Sunil Rajput, PhD

Director, Research - Health Innovation

Closed Intakes

mCannabis - Closed Intake

The Exploring Cannabis-Based Medicines and Tools (mCannabis) Program addresses urgent gaps in knowledge related to the medical use of cannabis.


Registration closed: June 1, 2023