The psychedelics story is quickly gaining momentum. Over the last few months, Denver, Oakland, and Santa Cruz have recently legalized its use. Joining them, Ann Arbor, Michigan lawmakers voted to decriminalize psilocybin mushrooms, as well.
Now, even Florida could soon legalize magic mushrooms by 2022. In fact, according to Miami New Times, “A recent bill introduced by Florida House Rep. Michael Grieco aims to legalize the use of psilocybin, a hallucinogenic substance found in certain types of so-called magic mushrooms, to treat mental illnesses such as depression and anxiety.”
Even the Canadian government allowed four terminally ill patients with cancer to receive psilocybin therapy to help ease end-of-life distress. This is the first time in 46 years that an exemption has been given in Canada for patients to access such treatment. Better, with the FDA’s more open-minded approach to psychedelic medicines, and as several major U.S. cities continue to approve the decriminalization of psilocybin, investors are speculating that the psychedelic boom could be sizable.
Fueling even more momentum are psychedelic mushroom vacations. For example, according to The Washington Post, “One of a handful of established psilocybin retreat centers in the world, MycoMeditations was founded in 2015, and in the years since has seen surging interest in the reputed mental health benefits of psychedelics.
With the psychedelic boom showing no signs of slowing, it’s creating big opportunity for companies, such as MindMed (NEO:MMED)(OTC:MMEDF), Numinus Wellness Inc. (TSXV:NUMI)(OTC:LKYSF), Compass Pathways Inc. (NASDAQ:CMPS), and Cybin Inc. (NEO:CYBN)(OTC:CLXPF).
It’s also good news for companies like Psyence Group Inc. (CSE:PSYG)
The company just announced it has entered into a Research Collaboration Agreement with MycoMeditations Inc., a leading psilocybin retreat provider to conduct an observational study of the efficacy of naturally derived psilocybin. The Psyence Group is a leading platform in naturally derived psychedelic therapy and the development and commercialization of related technologies and products. MycoMeditations is the leading global provider of psilocybin-assisted therapeutic retreat experiences in Jamaica, with a record of more than 750 guests successfully completing psilocybin-assisted retreats.
“Based on Psyence’s experience, scientific focus, and commitment to Jamaica, we are pleased to partner with Psyence to advance research in the area of psilocybin-assisted therapy,” said Justin Townsend, CEO of MycoMeditations. “We look forward to working with the Psyence team and toward evolving into a centre of excellence in research and therapeutic retreats as well as the future expansion of our offerings in this emerging field,” he added.
The initial retrospective study will investigate a cohort of 30 people who have participated in a MycoMeditations retreat in the past 6 months and had reported suffering psychological trauma prior to their visit. This is the first in a series of studies Psyence intends to carry out that investigate the efficacy of naturally derived compounds in comparison to studies undertaken using synthetically produced molecules.
The Study will be submitted for approval to the Ethics Committee of the Jamaican Ministry of Health, following which, and other relevant consents, the Study will be led by Dr. Tamika Haynes-Robinson, Senior Neuropsychologist at Psyence Group, with initial results anticipated in mid-2021. In support of this work, Dr. Haynes-Robinson attended a MycoMeditations retreat in early January 2021 as an observer in order to inform her study design and to assess areas where there are opportunities for current retreat practices to be augmented through consultation with Psyence’s team of experts via technical, scientific and medical support to bring operations into what is anticipated to be a soon-to-be regulated environment. The Study will utilize MycoMeditations’ existing data combined with Psyence generated data analysis. Following completion of the Study, the parties intend to publish the findings in a peer-reviewed academic journal and other available publication outlets.
The findings will inform the commercially licensed cultivation and production work being undertaken by Psyence Production (Pty) Ltd in the Southern African Kingdom of Lesotho (formerly known as Mind Health (Pty) Ltd and a wholly-owned subsidiary of Psyence Group Inc.), pursuant to its federally issued commercial license to cultivate, process, store, and export psilocybin.
Jody Aufrichtig, Co-Founder, President, and CEO, Psyence Group Inc. adds: “This collaboration with MycoMeditations will begin the process of supporting existing groups active in the field of providing psilocybin-based therapies, in their path to enter and participate in the licensed and regulated opportunities and industry being created by industry pioneers. MycoMeditations brings a wealth of practical knowledge and experience that we believe can be of great value to derisking our product development work. We look forward to working with Justin and the MycoMeditations team on generating evidence-based data and future collaborations.”
The Research Collaboration Agreement further serves as an opportunity for the Psyence team of medical and technical professionals to assess the utility of Mycomeditations’ vast database of survey data collected from having led therapeutic psilocybin retreats in Jamaica over the past several years for future research and evaluate its possible use in identifying promising therapeutic pathways and indications. Assuming a positive outcome, the parties intend to expand their research collaboration with a further prospective study to measure dosing and efficacy within the structure of the retreat-based guided group experience.
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Want to know more?
- How To Change Your Mind: The New Science of Psychedelics – Michael Pollan
- The Psychedelics Explores Guide
- Fantastic Fungi
- Dying to Know (free on YouTube)
- Have a Good Trip: Adventures In Psychedelics (Netflix)