Momentum Builds Behind the Push for Psilocybin Decriminalization
NEW YORK, May 29, 2020 /PRNewswire/ -- Several recent developments indicate that psychedelic products for medical use are getting the attention of businesses and politicians alike. For example, earlier in April, a New York lawmaker introduced a bill to decriminalize psilocybin mushrooms by removing the main active ingredient from the state's list of controlled substances. Psilocybin is a naturally occurring psychedelic prodrug compound produced by more than 200 species of mushrooms, collectively known as psilocybin mushrooms. In its justification, the bill indicates that many cities, including Denver, CO, Santa Cruz, CA, and Oakland, CA, have already decriminalized the use and possession of psilocybin, and New York should do the same. With the opportunity to positively affect the lives of millions suffering with mental health and addiction issues, the bill would decriminalize psilocybin and allow further research into the study of the drug and its beneficial uses for treatment. In addition, data published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences shows that, under the influence of psilocybin, the brain creates a feedback loop of neuron activity and neurotransmitter release (the chemical messengers that neurons use to communicate). According to the study, this provides an understanding of why psilocybin is showing considerable promise as a therapeutic intervention for neuropsychiatric disorders including depression, anxiety, and addiction. Numinus Wellness Inc. (TSX-V: NUMI) (OTC: LKYSD), Cronos Group Inc. (NASDAQ: CRON), Tilray, Inc. (NASDAQ: TLRY), Canopy Growth Corporation (NYSE: CGC) (TSX: WEED), Aurora Cannabis Inc. (NYSE: ACB)
The path of psychedelic products for medicinal purposes resembles the path cannabis products took towards legalization. CBD products have become more popular and well-known because of their lack of psychoactive effects many associate with cannabis. For example, in a survey conducted by HelloMD and Brightfield Group, approximately 60% out of 2,400 patients said that CBD participants used the compound to successfully treat insomnia or other sleep problems. Meanwhile, 42% percent of CBD users stopped using traditional medications and now use cannabis instead, and 80% of CBD users found CBD be very or extremely effective for treatment. Yet despite extensive research and growing popularity, the FDA has only approved one cannabis-based drug, Epidolex, which is used to treat epilepsy. Nevertheless, thousands of retailers and ecommerce platforms have already began selling CBD products after the passage of the U.S. Farm Bill in 2018.
Numinus Wellness Inc. (TSX-V: NUMI) (OTC: LKYSD) announced breaking news yesterday regarding, "its near-term goals to advance our mission to address the universal desire to heal.
For 2020, the Company plans to upgrade its lab and processing facilities (for both cannabis and psychedelic substances), seek additional licences related to psychedelic substances and cannabis products, identify and build out a second wellness centre and develop psychedelic therapy protocols.
Numinus believes the societal costs of mental illness, addictions, trauma and unmet human potential are much too high. New approaches and new ways of thinking are required to supplement existing options, including the application of psychedelic assisted therapies when approved by regulators.
'We are not a concept. We are a growth story,' says Numinus CEO Payton Nyquvest. 'That means executing on our business plan and advancing each piece of our value chain — one we have in place today.'
Numinus Bioscience, through its wholly-owned subsidiary Salvation Botanicals, has a 7,000 square foot laboratory located in Nanaimo, B.C. and is licensed by Health Canada to test, sell, distribute, and eventually conduct research on psychedelic substances, as well as test and analyze cannabis products. Numinus Wellness is dedicated to therapies that enhance and supplement existing options for people wanting lasting physical, mental and emotional health — with psychedelic treatments at its core when approved for therapeutic and research use. Numinus R&D is creating partnerships with leading research groups to advance practice and understanding in the space. Company plans for 2020 include:
- Upgrade existing laboratory and processing facilities including systems, instruments and the building to obtain GMP compliance to facilitate R&D and clinical studies
- Amend dealer's license under Health Canada's Controlled Substances Act to include import/export, packaging and R&D
- Identify and build out a purpose-built facility to complement our existing wellness centre. Psychedelic assisted therapies will not be available at the existing centre and will only be available at our purpose-built facility through research or clinical trials once approved by regulators and governing bodies — a process Numinus is helping to support
- Explore potential acquisition of additional existing wellness facilities in North America
- Establish partnerships to advance Psychedelic Therapy Protocol development, under the direction of Numinus Chief Medical Officer, Dr. Evan Wood
- Pursue American and European securities listings to provide investment opportunities for international markets and engage appropriate investor relations groups to support this process
'We are building a solid team to deliver on our business plan,' Nyquvest says. 'And, revenue from our existing cannabis testing operations provides us a foundation for growth – differentiating us from others in the psychedelics space. This offering will be strengthened by a standard processing/extraction licence from Health Canada which the Company hopes to be granted in Q4 2020.'
For our latest "Buzz on the Street" Show featuring Numinus Wellness Inc. recent corporate news, please head over to: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WqP9NkQHfPg
Cronos Group Inc. (NASDAQ: CRON) announced last September that it had closed its previously announced acquisition of four Redwood Holding Group, LLC operating subsidiaries. The transaction provides Cronos Group with a leading U.S. hemp-based products platform, including hemp-derived cannabidiol infused skincare and other consumer products that are sold online and through retail and hospitality partner channels in the United States under the brand, Lord Jones™. Mike Gorenstein, Cronos Group's Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer, said, "this acquisition is one of a number of new growth opportunities that is differentiating our company and our strategic direction. We are pleased to have completed this acquisition and look forward to working closely with Rob and Cindy to further build on their record of innovation and fully capitalize on the platform they have created."
Tilray, Inc. (NASDAQ: TLRY) announced earlier this year its entry into a strategic agreement with Canndoc Ltd., a wholly-owned subsidiary of InterCure Ltd., through its wholly-owned subsidiary Tilray Portugal Unipessoal Lda., to export a wholesale shipment of up to 2.5 tons of medical cannabis from Portugal to Israel. "The cooperation between Canndoc, an Israeli cannabis pioneer and Tilray, a global cannabis pioneer, is a significant breakthrough for both Canndoc and the entire Israeli market," said Ehud Barak, former Israeli Prime Minister and Chairman of the Canndoc Board of Directors. "This enables the two companies to offer a broad product range for Israeli patients and patients worldwide in the near future. This is an important milestone for Canndoc's growth strategy."
Canopy Growth Corporation (NYSE: CGC) (TSX: WEED) announced last month news regarding the American-made CBD brand, First & Free, a new line of CBD Creams: Everyday, Motion and Revitalize. The creams are the latest addition to First & Free's portfolio of hemp-derived CBD isolate products including oil drops and softgel capsules, which launched exclusively in the U.S. last December. The new product line includes three distinct topical creams with CBD isolate that has been derived from 100% USA-grown hemp. Each 1.76 oz tube contains 2500 mg of CBD, making First & Free the highest strength hemp-derived CBD topical cream on the US market. (*Based on product portfolios from the top 5 CBD companies according to Brightfield Research Group 2018-19 data). According to Canopy Growth Chief Commercial Officer David Bigioni, "With our new line of topical creams, First & Free is building a portfolio to treat the everyday stressors that affect both body and mind. We're proud to offer the highest strength topical cream on the US market – up to five times the CBD of other topicals – at a great value."
Aurora Cannabis Inc. (NYSE: ACB) announced on February 3rd, 2020 its Aurora River production facility, located in Bradford, Ontario, has received European Union Good Manufacturing Practice certification. EU GMP certification is granted to companies whose production facilities demonstrate a high degree of quality and consistency in their manufacturing procedures and is a requirement for the export of medical cannabis products into most European markets. "Aurora is leading the development of medical markets across Europe and around the world," said Terry Booth, CEO of Aurora. "The EU GMP certification of our River facility further validates our strategy focused on purpose-built facilities, designed and constructed exclusively for the production of high-quality, pharmaceutical grade cannabis. I congratulate our team on successfully working with regulators and licensing bodies to ensure Aurora's facilities and products are in accordance with local and international standards that will allow for greater access to the highest quality medical cannabis products to patients who need them."
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