Social Impact Fund

Social Impact Fund: Frequently Asked Questions

Social Impact Fund Application FAQs

Who do I contact if I have questions during the application process?

If you have questions, please contact the Social Responsibility team at, and your email will be acknowledged within 24 hours.

My project does not fall under any of the three identified Social Impact funding streams — should I still submit?

No. If your project does not clearly meet one of the OCS’s Social Impact funding streams, you should not apply, as our pre-screening process will filter out any applications that do not clearly align with (1) Establishing a Foundation for Environmental Sustainability, (2) Supporting a Diverse and Inclusive Cannabis Industry in Ontario or (3) Advancing Cannabis Knowledge and Promoting Responsible Consumption. Please review Application Evaluation & Submission > Application Evaluation Criteria in the Social Impact Fund — Application Guide.

What is the maximum length of a Funding Agreement?

Funding must be used for projects from eight to 12 months in length.

Our organization has received industry funding before — is that OK?

Yes, prior funding will not disqualify applicants from applying. However, we ask that you disclose this in your funding application for transparency purposes.

Can industry, private research or consulting companies apply?

No. Currently, we are only accepting applications from incorporated not-for-profit organizations, registered charitable organizations, and research and academic institutions.

Can I apply for multiple funding opportunities at once?

No. Each applicant is limited to one application for the 2023 pilot of the Social Impact Fund. A research or academic institution may house multiple diverse and cross-disciplinary research teams and, as such, may submit more than one application. To clarify, multiple applications from a single research or academic institution are accepted, as long as only one application is submitted per researcher/research team affiliated with that institution.

How long should I wait to hear back about the success of my application?

After the application window has closed, applicants can expect to hear back from the OCS by August 2023.

Can multiple organizations come together to submit a funding application?

Yes. The OCS views collaboration as a meaningful way to increase the impact of proposed projects. However, we ask that one organization takes the lead in submitting the application on behalf of the project and details the community partners and/or collaborators in the application section. Additional collaborators must adhere to the organizational eligibility criteria, as defined in the Social Impact Fund Guide.

How are applications assessed?

Please see Application Evaluation & Submission > Application Evaluation Criteria in the Social Impact Fund — Application Guide for full assessment steps and criteria.

What is the deadline for applying?

The deadline to apply for the 2023 pilot of the Social Impact Fund is May 25, 2023, at 5 p.m. EST.

What if I experience technical difficulties with submission and miss the deadline?

Please contact us immediately at if you are experiencing trouble submitting the application.

Do you provide operational or administrative funding?

We do not fund operating costs for business as usual (e.g., rent, utilities or general salaries) or for administrative, indirect costs, institutional overhead and/or tuition fees.

If I submitted a research-focused application, do I need to consider ethics approval?

For research proposals from applicants affiliated with an academic or research institution, you are responsible for seeking ethics approval through your home institution. The home institution remains responsible for the ethical acceptability and ethical conduct of research undertaken by its members. Generally, if your proposal involves people or the collection or analysis of personal information, you are required to seek an ethics review and approval from your home institution. If you are unsure, please contact us when you are preparing your proposal. If your proposal involves research, you should include a statement about your plans to seek ethics approval and your methodology.

How much money can I request?

Applicants may apply for $25,000 to $100,000 in funding through the Fund.

What happens if I do not submit a mid-year report or final report?

At the OCS, this reporting is critical to measure the success of our Social Impact Fund projects. Our approach to funding is rooted in performance monitoring and measuring outcomes. That said, the mid-year report and final report must be submitted using the available templates. If the mid-year or final report is not completed and submitted by the agreed upon due date, the next funding instalment will not be disbursed until it has been received by the Social Responsibility team. Unless the applicant has been given pre-approval by the OCS, if either report is not received within 60 days of the due date, the applicant will be required to give back funding received through the 2023 pilot of the Fund and will be disqualified from submitting funding applications in any future funding cycles.

General FAQs

Can I apply again if I have been previously unsuccessful or successful?

Applicants are welcome to apply once for each funding cycle.

Do you provide sustainable funding?

Currently, we provide funding for projects that range from eight to 12 months, and we do not provide multi-year support. However, we encourage you to apply for next year’s Social Impact Fund, and organizations are welcome to apply once per funding cycle.

Why did the OCS create a Social Impact Fund?

The OCS created the Fund to support our mandate of promoting social responsibility in connection with cannabis, as aligned with our Social Responsibility strategy.

How can I find out about new funding opportunities?

We recommend bookmarking the OCS’s Social Responsibility page for updates on the 2024 funding cycle.

Where can I send feedback about the application process or application?

Please send any feedback to us at, and your email will be acknowledged within 24 hours.

How often will a funding cycle occur?

The OCS intends to initiate one funding cycle per calendar year.