Pine River Institute’s CEO Vaughan Dowie and Acting Clinical Director Anne Tong once again participated in a media marathon with the CBC radio news, this time to share Pine River’s response to Ottawa’s newly released final report on its review of the Cannabis Act.

The independent legislative review was tasked with assessing the impact of the legalization on cannabis on various sectors of Canadian society, incorporating insights shared from more than 600 stakeholders, including Pine River, and culminating in 54 recommendations.

“Now that the report has been tabled with the Government of Canada, we want to see action,” said Pine River’s Acting Clinical Director Anne Tong, in her interview with the CBC’s Here and Now. “Especially around public education and bringing awareness to youth.”

You can listen to the complete interview with Anne Tong on CBC’s Here and Now below.

In more than a dozen interviews on CBC syndicated radio news shows across the country, Vaughan and Anne said they welcomed several of the recommendations, echoing Pine River’s longstanding advocacy on two key fronts:

  • Comprehensive, targeted public education to inform youth about the potential risks of cannabis use.
  • Government commitment to allocate cannabis revenues towards treatment initiatives.

In the newly tabled report, Recommendation 4 urges Health Canada to “develop and implement evidence-base school prevention programs to reduce the prevalence of youth cannabis use.” It also recommends that all level of governments “commit a portion of cannabis revenues to fund public health intervention programs” with an emphasis on prevention programming for youth and young adults.

Recommendation 5 calls on Health Canada to “establish a representative youth advisory board.”


Canada introduced The Cannabis Act in 2018, with a primary goal to “protect the health and safety of Canadians while keeping cannabis out of the hands of youth and profits out of the hands of organized crime.”

In 2022, the independent expert panel, led by Morris Rosenberg, launched an 18-month Legislative Review to evaluation progress towards the Act’s stated objectives.

“The Expert Panel engaged extensively with a wide range of cannabis stakeholders to better understand the impacts of the cannabis legislative framework and the challenges and opportunities that exist within the sector,” said Health Canada in its news release.

Pine River made its submission to the Review in November, 2022, outlining critical measures to improve the legislation.

In January 2023, PRI’s CEO Vaughan Dowie wrote an Op-Ed in the Ottawa Citizen, reinforcing Pine River’s commitment as an advocate for youth substance and mental health and well-being.