Health Canada has launched a $600,000 micro-grant fund to support anyone who wants to educate the public about cannabis use.

Any community organization or not-for-profit enterprise can apply for a grant of up to $1,000 and use it to explain the health benefits associated with marijuana. They will also need to educate their communities about the potential harms of cannabis and vaping and how to use it safely.

“Armed with factual information from a source they trust, Canadians can make informed decisions and lead healthier lives,” said health minister Ginette Petitpas Taylor.

Health Canada hopes to see these groups host community events and develop tailored educational materials for the people in their regions. Anyone who feels a micro-grant of up to $1,000 would help them educate Canadians about cannabis use can visit the Health Canada website to apply.

Applicants must be aged 16 or over, and they will be processed on a first come, first serve basis, although Health Canada promised to distribute the cash equally around the country.

The $600,000 fund will run for three years as part of the government’s Substance Use and Addictions Program. Taylor believes that it will help increase awareness of the facts surrounding cannabis, mitigating health risks among Canadians.

Anyone who wins a grant will be required to produce social media posts chronicling their education sessions, helping to further spread the word.

The government has committed $62.5 million over five years to support education around the risks associated with cannabis use. It legalized recreational cannabis use in October 2018, and concentrates should also be permitted later this year.

Statistics Canada reported cannabis sales of $105 million across Canada in January and February 2019 and that figure has been pretty steady since it was legalized. However, a larger black market exists as it is cheaper to source and the legal industry has been hit by several shortages and supply issues.

Canada is now probably the most progressive and liberal country in the world when it comes to the cannabis trade, and the government feels the need to improve education so that Canadians are armed with all the necessary facts before deciding whether to use it.

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