As part of the Government of Canada's 2017 budget released today, nearly $10 million in funding is being set aside over five years to support "marijuana public education programming and surveillance activities."
As part of the Canadian Drugs and Substances Strategy, under the section "Public Education Programming and Surveillance for Legalized Cannabis," the commitment also mentions $1 million in funding, ongoing.
Public education programming is expected to cover issues like safe consumption, impaired driving, and available medical research on benefits and harms, among others. Other jurisdictions that have passed legalization measures have rolled out similar programs, from Uruguay to Washington, Colorado, Oregon, and others, utilizing traditional advertising mediums, as well as social media and peer-to-peer messaging. Figures from 2015 show the Conservative government spent over $7 million on a 12-week anti-drug advertising campaign focussing on cannabis.
The government's task force report on the legalization and regulation of cannabis in Canada, released last December, make several recommendations for investments in baseline data collection and ongoing surveillance and evaluation in collaboration with provinces and territories
The budget also notes plans to ensure that taxation levels of cannabis "remain sustainable over time." The government has repeatedly stated they don't wish to set tax rates on cannabis too high, to give legal cannabis a chance to out compete the black market. Public health officials are also wary of creating a new, highly regulated regime similar to tobacco where provinces and territories are potentially dependent on the tax revenue.