CNA News Room

Canadian Nurses Association approved for Health Canada grant to lead development of national nursing framework on the legalization of cannabis

Ottawa, March 18, 2019 – The Canadian Nurses Association (CNA) welcomes confirmation from Health Canada’s Substance Use and Addictions Program that CNA has been granted $1.3 million to create a national nursing framework on the legalization of Cannabis. The framework will be one component of a federal public education campaign.

“Nurses are extremely well positioned to contribute to the development of an evidence-informed and high-impact public education campaign to reduce the harms of non-medical cannabis use without stigma. We are delighted that Health Canada is supporting CNA in the development of a framework to increase nurses’ knowledge, awareness and understanding of cannabis, cannabis use and its effects across the lifespan” said CNA president Claire Betker.

In addition to a national nursing framework, five online modules will be developed along with supplementary resources, annual interactive think-tank sessions and knowledge translation products. “Our work will help improve the knowledge, skills and attitudes of nurses who work with patients who use cannabis and, in turn, enhance the care provided by nurses to these clients,” said Betker.

This work will also address nurses’ knowledge gaps identified in a CNA national survey in 2017 to assess readiness for the legalization of cannabis. A high number of respondents said they experienced knowledge gaps when they tried to have discussions with patients on the health impacts of cannabis use for non-medical purposes. The respondents provided feedback to CNA on the types of educational resources needed to support their practice.

Nurses are the largest group of health-care providers in Canada and play an integral role in educating the Canadian public on the harms of non-medical cannabis use. CNA will receive the Health Canada funding from April 2019 to March 2022.


The Canadian Nurses Association is the national and global professional voice of Canadian nursing, representing 140,000 registered nurses and nurse practitioners in Canada. CNA advances the practice and profession of nursing to improve health outcomes and strengthen Canada’s publicly funded, not-for-profit health system.

For more information, please contact:

Eve Johnston
Media and Communications Coordinator
Canadian Nurses Association
Tel: 613-237-2159, ext. 114
Cell: 613-237-3520