Research Data Requests

As part of our social responsibility mandate, and in keeping with Ontario's Digital and Data Directive, 2021, the Ontario Cannabis Store (OCS) accepts data requests for aggregate data for research purposes for researchers, institutions and government organizations. 

Why does the OCS collect this data and why is it important?

As a Crown agency of the Government of Ontario, the OCS is determined to operate our business in a way that promotes the responsible consumption of cannabis while protecting youth and vulnerable populations. This is a mandated responsibility we take seriously. Our purpose-driven values guide us to deliver on our strategy.

Understanding the impacts of cannabis use is a core responsibility that plays a prominent role in our day-to-day business. We believe it is our duty to strengthen and disseminate evidence-informed cannabis education — particularly on responsible consumption — among the people of Ontario.  

It is our mandate to promote social responsibility to help demonstrate a public health approach to cannabis legalization. As part of our strategy to build trust and break down stigma among Ontarians in this new legal industry, we commit to taking steps to assist the academic community in filling gaps in existing cannabis education.

Personal Information Data Collection

The OCS does not disclose any personal information (PI) for research purposes.

Data Limitations

What types of data are available for external research requests?

Aggregate Data: Summarized and/or categorized data that are analyzed and placed in a format that precludes further analysis (for example, in tables or graphs). Aggregate data does not include PI.

Published Data: Data made available to the public. Published data does not include PI.

This process applies to all research requests received by the OCS from researchers. A researcher must demonstrate that the request aligns and advances the OCS’s strategic goals and benefits the broader cannabis industry (for reasons such as education, awareness, knowledge dissemination). Researchers must be affiliated with an accredited research institution, and the primary purpose of the research must be educational from a public interest perspective and must not be commercial in nature.

Before the request is approved, the OCS will ensure that the release of information complies with the OCS’s obligations under the Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act (FIPPA).

Download the Research Data Request Form here.

Research Data Request Process

The OCS’s research data request process is composed of five key phases:

1. Application

The application phase begins with the submission of a completed Research Data Request Form to During this phase, the OCS team will review the form for completeness, assign a request number to the project and provide the Researcher with a request number assigned to the project.

2. Review

The review phase involves a detailed review of the Research Data Request Form by the OCS to determine data availability, limitations and request feasibility. During this phase, a group of subject matter experts will review the form and make recommendations. The Researcher may be contacted during the review to clarify any questions and provide revisions to or additional information for the application.

3. Recommendation

Once all outstanding items have been addressed, the relevant subject matter experts will review the updated form. If approved, the Research Data Sharing Agreement (DSA) will be shared with the Researcher.

4. Fulfilment

The OCS team will work with the Researcher to finalize the request, confirm the available data and begin data extraction.

5. Disclosure

Data is disclosed using a secure data-sharing system upon completion of the following: requested data is fully prepared and undergoes quality assurance activities and internal review, and the DSA is fully executed.

Request Timeline

The length of the intake, review and approval for each data request varies based on the complexity of the data request and completeness of the Research Data Request Form. Please note, we will not review the request until the form is complete.


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