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Canadian Public Health Association

Cannabis and Public Health Forum Program

Program subject to change

Tuesday 30 April - 9:00-10:30

Plenary I

Details to follow.

Tuesday 30 April - 11:00-12:30

Oral Presentations 1

  • Peel Public Health's Approach to Cannabis Legalization - Sharn Khinda 
  • Non-medical Cannabis Legalization: A Public Health Approach for First Nations Communities in BC - Nel Wieman
  • Examining the location of cannabis dispensaries in Ontario prior to legalization: Association between neighbourhood socioeconomic status and illicit retail locations - Catherine brown
  • Challenges in Cannabis Legalization, Regulation and Control - Michelle Kilborn
  • Cannabis Law Reform in Canada: The Public Health Approach We Didn't Get - Mike DeVillaer


  • Prenatal exposure to cannabis and child neurodevelopmental outcomes: A population-based cohort study - Jessy Donnelle 
  • A snapshot of cannabis use and associated and perceived harms among Canadian students, pre-legalization – Matthew Young
  • Cannabis Informatics Monitoring System (CIMS): Putting Results at your Fingertips - Shawn O’Connor
  • No Ifs, Ands, or Butts (Except in Designated Areas): A Public Health Experience Influencing Public Policy Around Cannabis Consumption - Emily Berrigan
  • Règlements municipaux sur l'usage du cannabis dans les lieux publics extérieurs : réponse de la santé publique en Montérégie - Judith Archambault

Tuesday 30 April - 13:15-13:45

Poster Presentations

  • Cannabis packaging, labeling and health warnings: Using the tobacco control literature to address current gaps - Mohammed Al-Hamdani
  • Policy Analysis of Cannabis Sale and Distribution Practices Across Canada - Sawila Bayat
  • Evaluative Conditioning and Approach Bias Modification Training Tasks: A Review of the Literature on Substance Use - Shannon Golsof
  • Cannabis Use Trends Among Underage Youth Post Legalization - Tyler Janzen
  • Substance Use Locally Driven Collaborative Project (LDCP) - Investigating public health approaches used with young adults related to non-medical cannabis in Canada - Beatrice Kowalska
  • Are school cannabis policies associated with student engagement in cannabis? - Megan Magier  
  • Home Cultivation of Cannabis: What to Expect and How to Reduce Risks - Aaron Naor
  • Carrying High over the Decades: Reanalysis of In Utero Cannabis Exposure on Low Birth Weight - Stephanie Susman

Tuesday 30 April - 13:45-15:15

Influencing Cannabis Policy Making: A Public Health Approach

This session will provide public health professionals an opportunity to gain greater knowledge and skills to improve their potential to influence cannabis policy decision making. Participants will learn about the stages of healthy public policy making as they relate to specific cannabis policy examples, analyze some of the challenges and opportunities that arise when considering municipal cannabis policy options, and explore lessons learned in developing recommendations for decision makers encouraging a public health approach to provincial and municipal legislation and regulations.

Cannabis Education Toolkit: Connecting Research to Practice in Diverse Settings

The Sensible Cannabis Education Toolkit, created by Canadian Students for Sensible Drug Policy (CSSDP), has been promoted across Canada as a pivotal and central resource for those looking to engage in evidence-based cannabis discussions. As our drug-related social contexts continue to shift and evolve, and as the reach of the Toolkit increases, there is a growing appetite to operationalize its key messages in a diversity of settings. The aims of this workshop are two-fold: 1) disseminating strategies for the integration of the Toolkit in a diversity of practical and applied settings and 2) soliciting conference participants’ expertise to gather feedback on how the reach and messaging of the Toolkit can further be improved in order to be applied across diverse contexts. Participants can expect to be both educators and learners in this highly interactive session, as we aim to utilize our collaborative efforts to inform the differing needs of youth across Canada.

Tuesday 30 April - 15:30-17:00

Cannabis legalization in Canada and comparisons with US states: Findings from the International Cannabis Policy Study

The symposium will present findings from the first wave of the International Cannabis Policy Study (ICPS). Presentations will focus on 1) cannabis prices and purchasing behaviours; 2) patterns of cannabis use and modes of use; 3) indicators of problematic use; and 4) illicit retail sources and cannabis prices before and after legalization. Presentations will examine differences between provinces at baseline, as well as comparisons to US states that have legalized non-medical cannabis. The symposium will discuss implications for specific cannabis policies and evaluating the impact of cannabis legalization in Canada. Participants will be able to use the information presented in the session to learn about the evolving cannabis market and key cannabis use indicators.

Wednesday 1 May - 9:00-10:30

Oral Presentations 3:

  • Lower-risk cannabis use guidelines: navigating between evidence-based research and target audience acceptance - Natalia Gutierrez
  • Toking 9 to 5? Clearing the haze on cannabis consumption and perceptions in the Canadian workplace - Nancy Carnide
  • Daily cannabis use is associated with lower likelihood of daily illicit opioid use among people who use illicit drugs with chronic pain in Vancouver, Canada - Stephanie Lake
  • Evaluating the impact of cannabis to reduce or manage illicit drug use in Vancouver, Canada - Jenna Valleriani
  • Substituting cannabis for alcohol: the impact of legalization - Michelle Thiessen

Oral Presentations 4:

  • Cognitions Act as Mediators of the Effect of Personality Traits on Adolescent Cannabis Use - Maya Pilin
  • Do School Context and School Connectedness Influence Sex-Related Differences in Cannabis Use of Adolescents? - Laurence Matteau-Peletier
  • Changing Substance Use Norms to Deter Teen Marijuana Use - Tyler Janzen
  • What Lies Ahead in a Legalized Policy Environment? Cannabis Trend Data and Change in Perceptions of Risk between Prince Edward Island (PEI) and Canadian Students - Jo-Ann McDonald
  • Talking Pot with Youth - A Cannabis Communication Guide for Youth Allies - Kiran Somjee

Wednesday 1 May - 11:00-12:30

Evaluating the potential of cannabis to address the opioid overdose crisis

Designing, implementing, evaluating and scaling-up novel public health-based interventions to address the unprecedented numbers of deaths resulting from opioid overdoses is an urgent priority in the United States and Canada. Preliminary findings from the United States have raised the possibility that cannabis might have a beneficial role to play in addressing the overdose crisis. In Vancouver, BC, researchers investigating the role of cannabis in the lives of people who use illicit drugs have found beneficial associations between cannabis use and the likelihood of some drug-related harms. Meanwhile, some community-led interventions are distributing cannabis in the hopes of preventing fatal overdoses in the Downtown Eastside area. This symposium will feature presentations from researchers and community activists on the possible role of cannabis to reduce the harms arising from the use of other drugs. Information learned in the session could be used to better understand overdose risk and the possible role of cannabis.

Wednesday 1 May - 13:30-15:00

Cannabis use and aging Canadians: a public health dialogue

The Canadian Coalition for Seniors' Mental Health (CCSMH) has been tasked by Health Canada to develop guidelines regarding four substance use disorders (SUDs) in older adults (opioids, cannabis, alcohol, and benzodiazepines). Interdisciplinary working groups collaboratively created guidelines using evidenced-based methods, including AGREE and GRADE.

In this workshop, a brief overview of the issues facing older adults with, or at risk for CUD (Cannabis Use Disorder) will be presented through literature review. Next, the guideline recommendations for cannabis will be presented including prevention, screening, assessment and treatment.

The presentation will conclude with remarks by panelists addressing the relevance of the guidelines for public health practice, policy and research.

Participants will be encouraged to give feedback, and share their experience and ideas for knowledge translation. Physicians, nurse practitioners, counselors, psychologists, researchers, administrators, community senior mental health team members and others caring for older adults are among those encouraged to attend.

Cannabis and Pregnancy

This symposium will review the current state of evidence and on cannabis use pregnancy and breastfeeding women. Data on brain development suggest that prenatal exposure to cannabis may lead to subtle, persistent changes in brain function cognition, well-being and quality of life. These adverse outcomes are significant and it is imperative that healthcare providers have the training and resources to feel confident and competent providing care. Participants will emerge from this session recognizing their unique position to address the enormous gap in research on the safety of cannabis and should consider pursuing and supporting this research. As well, participants will receive guidance, tools and practical wisdom that can be used to effectively manage pregnant women who are consuming cannabis, to promote a healthy pregnancy for pregnant women and their babies. 

Wednesday 1 May - 15:30-17:00

Plenary IV

Details to follow.