“Cannabis serves as the most multipurpose and effective plant on planet earth. It has numerous reasons that can be tracked back to hundreds of centuries.”
“When grown for industrial purposes, cannabis is known as industrial cannabis, or hemp. Normally, hemp has very low THC concentrations (the psychoactive ingredient that produces the ‘high’) and has many uses among which are important ecological uses like food, clothes, medicine, etc. There are about 50,000 recorded commercial uses.”
“Introspection can be an amazing experience under the effect of cannabis. One of the most fascinating parts of consuming cannabis is that it brings aspects of the subconscious mind into the conscious. What has been suppressed may come flowing out as it widens your consciousness. This is the reason why cannabis has for long been considered as a ‘sacred herb’. Many describe the higher state of consciousness that is provided by cannabis as a divine self-reflection.”
“Medical Cannabis supports the bone health, offers a valuable relief from pain, fights myriads of annoying symptoms that have to do with many serious health conditions. For example reduces seizures caused by rare forms of Epilepsy, and fights nausea while stimulating appetite, improving the overall health of patients fighting cancer through chemotherapy. It fights inflammation, relieves Asthma, Glaucoma, and even helps people suffering from alcohol and opiate addiction.”
It’s also pleasurable to just get high. And that is not a dirty word. All adult use, or recreational use, has roots in mental and spiritual consolation. According to Merriam-Webster Dictionary the origins of the word recreation are grounded in spiritual renewal and rebirth:
“History and Etymology for recreation
Middle English recreacioun “act of refreshment, action of amusing,” borrowed from Anglo-French & Late Latin; Anglo-French, borrowed from Late Latin recreātiōn-, recreātiō “spiritual refreshment, amusement, new birth,” going back to Latin, “act of restoring,” from recreāre “to make new, restore, revive” (from re- RE- + creāre “to bring into being, beget, give birth to”) + -tiōn-, -tiō, suffix of verbal action — more at CREATE entry 1”
Clearly many agree with the medicinal and adult use benefits of this plant as proven by its success at the ballot box. And as of the 2020 November election there remain only 14 states where cannabis is completely illegal, either medicinally or for adult/recreational use.
“Finally, there are 14 states where cannabis is illegal… period! These states are:”
- North Carolina
- South Carolina
“The prevailing theme here is these are states predominantly run by Republican lawmakers.”
Be that as it may, a Republican Congress did legalize CBD derived from hemp in the Farm Bill, with restrictions. And now we do have Chuck Schumer dedicated to working towards cannabis legalization.
So with all this movement towards a legal framework for cannabis, and this sacred plant can help humanity on so many levels, and the fact that so many people already have access in legal states, why will psychedelics outpace weed on Wall Street?
Both cannabis and psychedelics share some of the same issues: they are both schedule 1 drugs.
“The psychedelic sector faces some of the same hurdles as the cannabis industry, since many institutional investors are prohibited from investing in Schedule 1, 2 and 3 drugs – federal classifications for substances considered ripe for abuse.”
Bloombergquint explains it this way:
“The overlap between the two sectors is clear. Both involve substances that are federally illegal in the U.S. and in many other countries around the world, putting off most institutional investors and leaving the playing field to high-net worth individuals and family offices.”
“Yet there are also huge differences. Psychedelics, which can involve intense, side-effect-plagued trips, aren’t predicted to have the widespread recreational appeal of marijuana. And with all the talk about micro-dosing as a productivity-booster or mood-hack — which has little to do with the narrow regulatory pathways these psychedelics startups are treading — there’s a fear the market could see a bubble just like cannabis did.”
Is it a bubble? Treating mental health should or could not be considered a bubble.
“While cannabis is chasing widespread recreational use — a path that hinges more on changes to the federal laws — the narrower medical path that most psychedelics companies are taking makes investing in them more like investing in biotech, said Simeon Schnapper. His JLS Fund has invested around $10 million in 12 psychedelics companies and is currently raising another $50 million.”
I personally think that comment places cannabis in a negative light – since all recreational use is founded on spiritual refreshment and re-invoragation. Yet, I understand that cannabis can be more widely used on a daily basis than psychedelics – unless one is microdosing the psychedelic.
“It is true that cannabis and psychedelic drugs are still both currently tightly controlled compounds at the federal level in the United States and most of the rest of the world. However, there is one major difference between the two that has significantly impacted the investment landscape: recreational use. More importantly, it is the lack of a recreational market for psychedelic medicine that has attracted notable investors, such as Shark Tank’s Kevin O’ Leary.”
“From the mental health crisis to the profoundly therapeutic benefits of microdosing, O’ Leary’s bullish perspective on psychedelic medicine is matched by many modern entrepreneurs. Indeed, the “clinical only” pathway these compounds are taking is a significant factor behind notable players like O’ Leary backing them.”
Over the years we have heard the term endocannabinoid system when understanding how cannabis affects our body and mind. Scientists have discovered that we have our very own cannabis-like system in our bodies, called the endocannabinoid system. And this system helps to control some very important mental and physical functions in our bodies. It just so happens that THC and CBD the main compounds we hear about in cannabis (there are many more) are able to “tap” into receptors in our own endocannabinoid system and like a lock and a key have a range of effects on our body and mind, in many case desirable effects.
“There are several reasons why we can feel the certain effects that a cannabis strain can have and differentiate them! The endocannabinoid system (ECS) is a biological system that was found almost 40 years ago. Components of the ECS are endocannabinoids, receptors and enzymes. There is some research that points out that the ECS might help regulate a variety of functions like sleep, mood, memory, appetite and pain sensation.
The endocannabinoid system is functioning inside everybody even if they never consumed cannabis.”
“Endocannabinoids are small molecules that our bodies produce. They are similar to cannabinoids found in the cannabis plant. One of the endocannabinoids is anandamide which acts on CB-1 and CB-2 receptors, modulating the central or peripherial nervous system.”
“Tetrahydrocannabinol is one of the most known cannabinoids, and the one that is responsible for the psychoactive effect. After it is in the body it binds, like endocannabinoids, to the CB1 and CB2 receptors. Because it can bind to both, this cannabinoid can induce a wide range of effects.”
“CBD interacts with CB1 and CB2 in a different way, and it may be that it binds to a receptor that is not found yet. CBD also affects overall levels of endocannabinoids in the brain.”
Puzzled by all this? It’s somewhat puzzling, and therein lies the hitch, there is more academic research on psychedelics than on weed. That interests investors.
“The pathway to mainstream medicalization of psychedelic drugs is through deep scientific research and large-scale clinical trials. The body of academic literature surrounding the traditional serotonergic psychedelic drugs (e.g. psilocybin, LSD, DMT) far outweighs that of cannabis and endocannabinoid research. Even in these early days, investor interest across these two industries clearly reflects this.”
“Our understanding of psychedelic drugs and the brain regions they act upon is orders of magnitude greater than that of cannabis and this has significant implications on the nascent psychedelic medicine industry. It puts companies in the psychedelic medicine space at a massive advantage over their cannabis counterparts, as much less is understood about cannabinoid pharmacology. One of the primary reasons for this discrepancy is the multidimensional nature of the “entourage effect” exhibited by cannabis. Psychedelic drugs fit the modern “single molecule” paradigm of drug discovery much more effectively than cannabis.”
And now the drawback to cannabis, which from a purely personal standpoint, as someone who feels that weed helps me be a better version of myself by keeping my mood balanced should not be discounted as a substance to help with mental health wellness. This is what the research has to say:
“The potential psychedelic medicines, such as psilocybin, have to induce neuroplasticity and neurogenesis alone are profoundly impactful to the fields of medicine and mental health treatment in particular. While cannabis has shown to be effective at symptom treatment, psychedelics have shown to induce lasting brain changes. The sheer volume of research and clinical data surrounding psychedelic drugs and the way they affect the human brain puts them at a huge advantage over cannabis.”
The FDA has also fast-tracked several clinical trials in the psychedelic space opening the door for investment opportunities.
“With the importance of clinical research firmly established for both cannabis and psychedelic markets, it’s worth noting the incredible regulatory progress psychedelic compounds have made in this arena. Landmark psychedelic programs have been granted the coveted “breakthrough therapy” status by the United States Food & Drug Administration. This effectively “shortens the process of drug development and review by about 30%” states Tania Gonsalves, an analyst for Canaccord Genuity Capital Markets, in a March research report. Expediting the lengthy and expensive clinical trial process for psychedelic drugs puts the companies backing these trials at a massive advantage.”
“There are more than a dozen psychedelic clinical trials underway in the U.S., spearheaded by public companies and organizations, including the Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies, or MAPS, a nonprofit research and educational organization that studies psychedelics and marijuana for a drug to treat PTSD; MindMed (ticker: MMED) for adult ADHD and opioid withdrawal treatment; and Seelos Therapeutics (SEEL) for suicidal thoughts and behavior. In 2019, the FDA approved Spravato, a Johnson & Johnson (JNJ) drug that consists of esketamine, which is derived from ketamine and used for treatment-resistant depression.”
All in all the future looks bright for psychedelic stocks although investors should be cautious as drug approval can take years.
“Schedule 1 drugs are notable because they are “heavily controlled and expensive to procure,” wrote Tania Gonsalves, analyst for Canaccord Genuity Capital Markets, in a March research report. “Each of the labs, researchers and manufacturers needs to obtain licenses to produce, store and work with the compounds. This eats into profit margins and materially extends development timelines.”
“One reason that pharmaceutical cannabis sales have been “lackluster” is because cannabis companies “strategically focused their efforts on the recreational market,” and their “therapeutic scope has so far been narrow,” Gonsalves wrote.”
“Therapeutic psychedelic companies “should not be compared with the cannabis industry but rather with the biotechnology industry,” she wrote.”
Clinical trials take time as well but for good reason. Take MindMed, for example, a major player in the space.
“NEW YORK, Aug. 25, 2020 /PRNewswire/ — Mind Medicine (MindMed) Inc. (MMED)(OTCQB: MMEDF), the leading neuro-pharmaceutical company for psychedelic inspired medicines and the University Hospital Basel’s Liechti Lab are now combining MDMA and LSD in a groundbreaking Phase 1 clinical trial. The Phase 1 MDMA-LSD trial is scheduled to start in Q4 of this year in Basel, Switzerland.”
“Combined MDMA-LSD treatments have the potential to create next-generation psychedelic assisted therapy paradigms. When added to a psychedelic assisted therapy session, MDMA has the potential to reduce some known rare negative side effects that may occur while using LSD or other classic psychedelics on their own.”
“MindMed is interested in understanding how to balance these compounds in a cohesive way to create better patient outcomes and develop more advanced psychedelic assisted therapies as it expands both its R&D and commercial drug development pipeline.”
“The Phase 1 Clinical Trial is intended to take around one year to complete. If MindMed finds the results promising, the company may decide to undertake further studies with treatments combining MDMA and LSD, and prepare patient trials for various indications.”
Psychedelics are here to stay. To sum up psychedelics are slated for a number of mental health breakthroughs and this psychonaut is happy to see the renaissance only growing in momentum.
The website Medscape had this to report:
“A literature review showed completed clinical trials support the efficacy of 3, 4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA), commonly known by its street name of Ecstasy, to treat chronic PTSD.”
“The review also confirmed that psilocybin, a compound contained in some species of mushrooms, significantly helped in the treatment of depression and cancer-related anxiety.
Other promising, though more preliminary, results suggests that the hallucinogenic drug LSD (lysergic acid diethylamide) and a plant-based brew called ayahuasca may also be effective in treating psychiatric disorders.”
The acceptance to psychedelics is not just a biotech industry rage. If a rolling stone gathers no moss then the only spores released in this scenario will be the ones from homegrown mushrooms because the acceptance at the ballot box is growing in leaps and bounds.
According to Marijuana Moment:
“Lawmakers in Connecticut and Florida have filed new bills to reform state laws on psilocybin mushrooms—the latest in a trend of psychedelics proposals to emerge in 2021.”
“Rep. Michael Grieco (D) filed the Florida legislation on Thursday, which would establish a legal psilocybin model for therapeutic use in the state, similar to an initiative that Oregon voters approved in November. It also seeks to deprioritize criminal enforcement against a wide range of psychedelic plants and fungi.”
“The Connecticut bill, sponsored by Rep. Josh Elliot (D) and four other legislators, would simply create a task force responsible for studying the medical benefits of psilocybin, the main psychoactive ingredient in so-called magic mushrooms.”
“This trend can be traced back to Denver, where voters approved a first-in-the-nation initiative to decriminalize psilocybin in 2019. That was proceeded by a wave of city-level reforms, with Oakland, Santa Cruz, Ann Arbor, Washington, D.C. and Somerville, Massachusetts enacting policies to deprioritize enforcement of laws against psychedelics.”
“A California state senator also plans to file a bill to decriminalize psychedelics for the 2021 session. And lawmakers in New York, Virginia and Washington State are pushing broader reforms concerning the decriminalization of all drugs, similar to a separate ballot measure that Oregon voters approved in November.”
So, what does this all mean to investors large and small? Lately I like to delve into the minds (no pun intended) of the Reddit crowd.
Reddit users were talking about the merits of psychedelics pre-pandemic as shown from this post last January 2020 https://www.reddit.com/r/investing/comments/emkhwt/2020_psychedelic_industry_insights_report/
2020 Psychedelic Industry Insights Report
By: Nikita Alexandrov BChem, MBA – CTO, ThinkMyco
Jan 8th, 2020
2019 was a pivotal year in the psychedelic industry with US decriminalization actions, two companies receiving FDA breakthrough status for psilocybin, funding of the $16M Johns Hopkins Psychedelic Research Center, The US Defence Department starting their rumored $20M+ Focused Pharma psychedelic science program and the movement of top universities into research and clinical trials. With the explosion of the more than $100M dollars worth of investable psychedelic opportunities in Q3 2019, the collapse of high quality cannabis investments, one of the best Decembers on record and a potential $1B scale psychedelic IPO – 2020 will be the year of psychedelic investment.
The movement in the field recently is just a blip compared to what is to come, this industry has been brewing for the last few decades. Big Pharma has failed when it comes to new approaches to brain and central nervous system treatment. Due to poor understanding of mechanisms, complex clinical trials and systematic side effects, Neuro drugs have half the success rate of all Pharma projects, which caused most of the big players to reduce or cut their Neuro programs in the last decades. Recently, engagement is exploding with new clinical legislature supporting Neuro and the recent approval of 3 potentially blockbuster Neuro drugs in the last 2 years,
Q2 2019 saw a record of over $320M in investment into Neuro drug development. Interestingly enough an influential group of ultra-high net worth individuals including PayPal founder Peter Thiel funded the psychedelic holding company Atai Lifesciences which went on to fund Compass Pathways and continues to fund commercial efforts in this field. Atai Lifesciences recent movements are a familiar story of acquisition and consolidation in an emerging market which will be a common theme in the future of the psychedelic industry. In 2019 Atai Lifesciences acquired Perception Neuroscience and GABA Therapeutics for their next generation tranquillisers. Last week, Atai also acquired NeuroNasal, a non-psychedelic company creating a concussion nasal spray. In partnership with pharma, Atai’s recent launch of EntheogeniX, an AI based psychedelic drug discovery platform, shows that Atai is serious about making investments into the fundamental research required to continue being an industry leader in the long-term. It is rumoured that Atai has made a number of cash investments recently, so new partnerships and acquisitions should be expected in the next months.
The collapse of investable cannabis opportunities are driving investors comfortable in stigmatised industries and binary risk to the table with big pharma, cutting edge science and huge unmet market needs to create a perfect storm of opportunity.
How big is the Psychedelics Industry?
Historically, the psychedelics industry has been fragmented with around $60M worth of companies in the last 20 years, many of which were not sustainable. The current industry is around $220M+ worth of investments, dominated by the Peter Thiel backed Atia Lifesciences at $100M+ and Compass Pathways at $50M+, followed by Mind Medicine at $10M+, Fieldtrip Ventures at $10M+ and then a 10-25 early companies in the range of $2.5-10M each. The $220M+ worth of investable deals have only existed since the public formation of Compass Pathways in 2016, with the majority leaving stealth mode in 2019.
How big is the Psychedelics Market?
The psychedelics market is emerging while highly coupled to clinical/regulatory events and is split between recreational and medical psychedelic markets:
Calculated from cannabis market and comparable usage prevalence as well as demand size economics.
Calculated from the main markets addressable by psychedelic therapeutics (neurogenics market): mental health drugs, therapy spending, neurodegeneration drugs and cognitive enhancement.
Who are the players?
Atai Lifesciences – German based, Global psychedelic pharma holding company formed by ultra-high net worth individuals and big pharma, $100M+
Compass Pathways – London based psychedelic giant, Atai’s bet on psilocybin as an approved drug for depression, $50M+, IPO 2020
Usona Institute – A Wisconsin based non-profit powerhouse competing with Compass Pathways to approve psilocybin for depression.
Mind Medicine – Toronto based ibogaine derived addiction drug development company taking their lead candidate 18-MC through the clinical approval process, $15M+, RTO in 2020
Eleusis Benefit Corporation – New Orleans based discovery/clinical stage Psychedelic pharma company supported by industry scientists, raising $25M
FieldTrip Ventures – Toronto based, Aurora backed magic mushroom research and development company building clinical and production infrastructure, raising $12M+
ThinkMyco – Vancouver based holding company developing disruptive mushroom production technology and next generation therapeutics, raising $5M+
Gilgamesh Pharmaceuticals – Psychedelic drug discovery company affiliated with the Atai owned Perception Neuroscience and Columbia University, raising 10M+
Universal Ibogaine – Vancouver based Ibogaine clinical development company franchising the world’s most advanced ibogaine clinical model, raising $10M+, RTO in 2020
PsyGen Labs – Alberta based psychedelic mass production and clinical research company with highly experienced production chemists $8M+
Entheogen Biosciences – Vancouver based company pursuing psilocybin and DMT based drug development, raising $3M, IPO in 2020
Salvation Botanicals – A Vancouver based company touting a private controlled substances site license and supporting clinical research, raising $10M+, RTO in 2020
Numinus Wellness – Vancouver based wellness company building testing as well as clinical infrastructure, partnered with Salvation, raising $5M+, RTO in 2020
Cybin Corp – Toronto based research and development company building drug development and production infrastructure as well as nutraceutical assets in legal jurisdictions, raising $3M
Emerging Players – There are a number of emerging players, around $35M+ in emerging deals in Q3 2019 which have not passed due diligence.
Recent data is showing psychedelics can be real mega blockbuster Neuro drugs. Johns Hopkins recent trial on Psilocybin for smoking cessation showed an 80% success rate in terminating nicotine addiction, more than double any known therapeutic approach, including nicotine replacement therapy. This is showing addiction can be treated with new mechanisms that are much more low level than replacing the drug in the receptor. Academic data unequivocally shows that Ibogaine is 95% successful in terminating acute opioid withdrawal symptoms permanently from a single dosage. Limited data from long-term Ibogaine for opioid addiction trials show 50% success rates in terminating addiction in the 6 month period with a single dosage, more than 10X higher than the generous 5% success rate of other approaches in the 6 month period. Data from leading Ibogaine providers like Universal Ibogaine show that this 50% figure can be pushed closer to 75% with proper protocols and aftercare. Clinical trials on Psilocybin for cocaine/crack addiction are ongoing at the University of Alabama at Birmingham, a top 20 medical research university. 10 patients were un-blinded for bioethics review and the unpublished data shows that 30% never touched crack again while the other 70% had a relapse or two and turned their lives around, showing a 100% success rate in changing lives with minimal cost. When this data is available publicly in the next years, tidal waves of interest will move into the field.
As a recreational market, 0.1% of the population was surveyed as using psychedelics in the last month, placing the current black market at $19.1B while as a comparable percentage of the legal cannabis market adjusted for prevalence would place it at $8B.
As a medical market, the $373B neurogenics market seems to be the addressable market. Penetration into any indication in the neurogenics market would reap vast rewards. Psilocybin is on track to compete in the depression market with two FDA breakthrough designations, a 2% penetration into the depression market would being $1.4B+ in value yearly. Ibogaine’s very reasonable projected 5% penetration into the opioid dependence market in the next 10 years will bring $9.6B+ in value yearly to groups like Universal Ibogaine which are deploying clinical infrastructure, supporting clinical trials and controlling the Ibogaine supply chain. Of all of the indications in current psychedelic clinical trials, not considering crossover, they address a $400B+ market, with projected penetrations across each indication and adjustments for market factors, it is projected $16B+ of value yearly will be created from commercialisation of the current late stage clinical trials which are in progress.
While nearly 100 cities are creating legislation to decriminalize psychedelics and multiple US jurisdictions have passed decriminalization, federal changes will be required to open legal markets to the full potential. While investing in the binary risk of regulatory changes is standard in the junior markets, current regulatory controls are preventing early revenues. Many Canadian companies building production and distribution infrastructure offshore in jurisdictions such as Jamaica are operating in a legal grey area. While it is legal in Jamaica, any benefit or advantage given to a Canadian company could be considered a proceed of crime including IP development, capital repatriation and validation of technology offshore. Section 56 exemptions from Health Canada are required for Canadian companies working with psychedelics offshore and companies which are raising investment dollars without a secured Section 56 exemption may be incurring legal risk.
The unspoken elephant in the room of psychedelic derived pharmaceutical acceptance is not regulation, for example Ketamine is a scheduled drug which was recently approved for the general market. The problem is actually the liability of bringing a seratonergic based drug to the market like Psilocybin, DMT and LSD. The crippling withdrawal of blockbuster drug Fen-Phen and issues with other drugs like Imitrex due to seratonin agonist effects on the heart have scared the FDA into a position that any seratonergic drug will require extreme cooperation and diligence and will absolutely incur additional clinical and monitoring costs over other drugs. Psilocybin while technically hitting the 5ht2b receptor which causes cardiac side effects, does not have a high enough affinity to be a deal-breaker, meanwhile LSD having a very high affinity will cause large barriers for groups attempting to bring microdosed LSD to the market. Ibogaine suffers from cardiac liability due to an entirely different mechanism and unlike Psilocybin or LSD, adverse events have been reported. While Methadone and other standards of care also have the same long-QT cardiac liability at much higher rates and significantly higher mortality rates , Ibogaine clinical models must pre-screen patients for existing heart defects before procedures to guarantee no adverse side effects.
Legitimate psychedelic derived drug development companies have already had bank accounts halted at multiple banks for involvement in this industry and moving forward similar challenges faced by the cannabis industry should be expected. Exchanges and public offerings will have logistic challenges with this industry and minor friction has already been seen in the listing process. DNO insurance and other underwriting will be required to list in large markets and to date no psychedelic company has been underwritten, although underwriters and leading insurance brokers are actively exploring his industry.
The real whale will be insurance and single payer reimbursement of psychedelic derived pharmaceuticals on the market, allowing for global market uptake. Health systems have traditionally been decades behind the state of the art as seen in the point of care and home diagnostic device market, a market which could keep people healthy at minimal cost but has been crippled by lack of reimbursement.
Supply Chain Commoditization:
The production and control of psychedelic supply chains which is the familiar play of the cannabis industry will be a race to the bottom with magic mushrooms and other psychedelics. Production models are competing with a much more fluid black market and are being cannibalized by low cost home production and wildcrafting of psilocybin mushrooms. The LSD or ergoloid supply chain is highly monopolized, with the majority of the worlds ergoloids being produced in a single location. Companies competing in the production and supply chain space will face heavy price pressure and a highly coupled global regulatory system. The single outlier is Ibogaine, with a current global use estimated around 90kg, expected to reach 280kg in the next few years, this is a commodity whose price will drive through the roof. Large ibogaine producers have stopped production and natural sources are not commercially viable, with an Iboga plant producing maybe a single dose on the 10 year period, the move of Ibogaine to endangered status in 2019 and no synthetic GMP producers – the Ibogaine market is legal in the majority of the world and exploding while highly underserved and fragmented.
Delivery System Challenges:
A number of recent psychedelic deals are built around new drug delivery systems for psychedelics entering the recreational market to build expertise and infrastructure ready to move into the pharmaceutical market. Many of these technological approaches will not translate from the recreational market to the pharmaceutical market such as CBD/psychedelic compositions, natural product compositions as well as vaporizer and inhaler based delivery systems. While 20%+ of all new FDA drug entities are derived from natural products, natural product mixtures containing many products and a controlled substance have never and will never be FDA approved due to the regulatory system. Companies developing Psilocybin/CBD combinations and related therapeutics for the recreational market should understand that unlike the cannabis market, recreational approaches will not translate directly to medical approaches.
One of the largest opportunities in any emerging market is syndicated investment, a 2002 analysis of 584 venture backed exits showed that syndicated investments produced double the rate of return of non-syndicated investments. Psychedelic research and development companies require standardized infrastructure that can be leveraged across a number of players. The big players entering the industry are more interested in empire building, requiring massive consolidations of commercial efforts which can be facilitated by syndicated investment groups. Companies like ThinkMyco, Entheogen Biosciences and Cybin Corporation which focus on technology development, IP Portfolios and early stage drug discovery will benefit the most from syndicated investment and collaboration. A Harvard Business School review of Pharma discovery programs statistically compared drug discovery programs to weapons research programs and found in these high reward/low incremental cost programs the optimal path is to run parallel programs, with an average Pharma drug discovery program having 16 parallel programs, 10 core and 6 low budget/high risk. At the current moment, around 5-10 psychedelic investment funds are forming in the range of $10-50M each, including the Cannacord Genuity backed Entheos and the $20M psychedelic quant fund Tabula Rasa Ventures.
IP Portfolio Development:
IP development is the highest value for dollar on the investment value chain and the psychedelic industry will be a totally IP driven industry. The most valuable patent portfolios will include new psychedelic compositions and therapeutic mechanisms, which require significant investments into fundamental R+D, while less competitive portfolios will include delivery system/psychedelic combinations.A recent review of patents related to psychedelics shows many hundreds of patents for psychedelic derived therapeutics with only a small cross-section being commercially competitive. DemeRX, the $40M+ Ibogaine research company holds 65+ patents in the ibogaine therapeutic area. While DemeRX filed for bankruptcy and their research and development assets were liquidated, it is rumored they have been injected with enough capital to come back to the party – this is a dark horse to keep an eye out for.
The real opportunity in magic mushroom production models is flying under the radar: protein production. Mushrooms are one of the highest quality sources of nutrition and protein, if you took a vitamin C supplement you can live exclusively off mushrooms. Dried mushrooms have basically the same protein percentage as beef and in terms of grams of protein per acre per year are 100 fold higher producers and much more sustainable than traditional agricultural practices. Companies in this space which invest into real R+D for lower cost mushroom production will get a lift from the $1.8+ trillion dollar protein market. A recent review of mid-sized mushroom farms shows that 50%+ of the cost of mushroom production is due to labor and technical inefficiencies. If energy, labor and materials cost drivers can be reduced, and the cost of growing a pound of mushrooms can drop from around $2 to around $0.75 through automation, mushroom protein becomes significantly more commercially competitive than many of the industry leaders in plant based protein like pea protein. If energy cost reductions can drop the cost even further, mushrooms will become a disruptive food source. Psychedelic companies building mushroom production infrastructure will be well served to remember that by investing in automation, new technology and new growing systems the price of mushroom based protein production can make it more competitive than any other food source. The largest food security report in history was released Q2 2019 and showed that without subsidies a hamburger would cost more than 30$ and the meat industry will economically collapse by 2040, the protein game is looking more and more attractive as a hedge against the regulatory risk of magic mushroom production.
China is one of the most advanced markets in terms of size and pharma spending, as well as venture investment. Traditionally the Asian cultures had no interest in marginalized and politically tense areas such as drug medicalization but the movement into CBD and China’s rabid interest in plant medicines may create a large influx of Asian capital moving into psychedelics. This industry shifting action will be leveraged by education and the court of public opinion. A dialog must be created showing psilocybin as a plant medicine and not a drug of abuse. Interestingly enough, Chinese firms have very recently started producing magic mushrooms industrially and importing them into the Canadian market where they are sold into the black market over-the-counter in some Canadian herbalist stores.
Ibogaine is the only psychedelic model which will not be very quickly commoditized. Ibogaine as a solution to the opioid problem is a disruptive technology, with the rise of fentanyl and fentanyl analogs like carfentanil dominating global supply chains, Buprenorphine, the preferred standard of care is no longer effective and produces a life threatening condition called Precipitated Withdrawal. This is due to the aggressive affinity of fentanyl to receptors, the lack of tolerance ceiling and the little understood metabolism of next-generation fentanyl analogues, dramatically compounding a problem already at pandemic levels. Ibogaine supply chains have collapsed at the same time that demand is growing exponentially, the firm which dominates the current global ibogaine supply chain will reap around $1.4M/mo profit serving the current global demand. One of the largest African Ibogaine brokers has seen a 30x increase in sales from 2017 to 2019. With Universal Ibogaine taking Ibogaine through the Canadian clinical process and the grassroots support from Health Canada, Ibogaine will be the first psychedelic approach available to consumers. While Ibogaine is a scheduled drug in the US and some European jurisdictions, it is not scheduled in Canada and the majority of the global market. Multiple Ibogaine documentaries are in filming, including actors such as Johnny Depp, as this is an education driven industry, we should expect exponential growth to accelerate in 2020.
Industries supporting the growth of psychedelics will be a large part of the future landscape as was seen in the cannabis sector. A psychedelic business support network including education, conferences, business analysis and financing have already cropped up commercially. In Q3 2019 the renowned Cambridge House International Extraordinary Future conference created a panel for psychedelic opportunities. Two weeks before the conference there was a frantic rush and the majority of relevant psychedelic players were represented last minute in the panel discussion including: Compass Pathways, FieldTrip Ventures, Mind Medicine, Johns Hopkins, Dennis McKenna and ThinkMyco. Multiple psychedelic investment funds are forming alongside of industry press, consulting groups and other support interests. In Q3 2019, Dr. Matthew Thompson of Johns Hopkins and Dr. Charles Nichols of LSU/Eleusis Benefit Corporation helped organize the inaugural conference for the new journal called International Society for Research on Psychedelics in its home of New Orleans. Over 100 international scientists from top universities were represented, with the conference having to turn down many late registrations. Dr. Rolland Griffiths, head of the Johns Hopkins Psychedelic Research Center said “This was the best scientific conference I have been to in my entire career.”.
Microdosing was popularized by Silicon Valley, catalyzing the resurgence of the psychedelic industry but microdosing is a protocol built on unsound fundamentals. Research shows that the therapeutic effects of psychedelics are highly dose dependant, higher doses lead to better therapeutic effects. The microdosing supply chain model has excellent returns, with a pound of mushrooms costing less than 5$/lb to produce which provides around 1200X microdoses. When dosages increase past the perceptual threshold, the potential for adverse events such as bad trips exponentially increases. The ideal dosage seems to be just under perceptual threshold where you can still go about your day, but much higher than a microdose. This is industry standard with seratonergic pharmaceuticals, an example being the diet drug Belvique, which is closely related to psilocybin, dosed at the perceptual threshold for maximum effectiveness. Belvique can cause psilocybin like hallucinations if 4 tablets are taken as it is a seratonergic drug. High doses of psilocybin require a clinical infrastructure and in-patient experience, dramatically increasing costs and logistics overheads. Sub-perceptual dosed pharmaceuticals will be available for out-patient and take home treatment and in many cases may be as effective as full blown psychedelic experiences. Mind Medicine, ThinkMyco and Eleusis Benefit Corporation are leading the charge in sub-perceptual therapeutics.
Next Generation Drug Development:
Mind Medicine is taking the approach of engineering the hallucinations out of the therapeutic experience by removing parts of the molecule and are moving their drug, 18-MC through the clinical process. This is the ultimate high risk/high reward play in the psychedelic industry. 18-MC is modified which also changes a variety of important receptor binding effects. The modified receptors include the receptors responsible for neural growth factor release, cognitive effects, cardiac effects and the opioid system coupled NMDA receptor system. Since there is no data on the human use of 18-MC in opioid addicts, significant capital must be deployed before it is even known if 18-MC is as efficient as the parent molecule Ibogaine for treating opioid addiction, the ability to treat addiction in an out-patient setting with no cardiac toxicity – 18-MC will be the megablockbuster all investors in the neurogenic space are waiting for. ThinkMyco, Gilgamesh Pharmaceuticals, Mind Medicine and Eleusis Benefit Corporation are leading the field in next generation drug development.
Lateral Drug Development:
While psychedelics address a $373B neurogenics market, companies such as Eleusis Benefit Corporation are showing they can address other unmet clinical needs such as chronic inflammatory disease. Eleusis is developing new psychedelic compounds for the treatment of inflammation, specifically within ophthalmology, and has recently published Phase I trial results revealing the safety and tolerability of low dose LSD in healthy older adults, with the intention of evaluating low dose LSD as a disease modifying therapy in Alzheimer’s disease. Eleusis Benefit Corporation looks poised to cannibalize the $3B steroid therapeutic market. Not yet published research is showing Ibogaines potential as a therapeutic to treat sleep disorders. Johns Hopkins is currently reviewing the application of psychedelics in pulling patients from comas and vegetative states. The original pre-Mind Medicine clinical trials on the Ibogaine derivative 18-MC showed promise in treating Leishmania infection. BOL148, an inactive form of LSD, originally the placebo in human clinical LSD research, was found to in some cases to permanently terminate cluster headaches after a few doses and is being publicly demanded from the cluster headache community. These are the earliest days of understanding the application of psychedelic derived chemistry as new therapeutic approaches.
Public Health Engagement:
Looking at recently released data representing North American, working class adults, methamphetamine and fentanyl use is growing enormously and consistently. Linear regression of growth rates over the last 5 years projects a 380%+ increase in Fentanyl usage the next 15 years, with Methamphetamine projected at a 475%+ increase. This is concerning as there are more than a million high quality data points over 5 years and an R2 value of 90%+ which paints of picture of statistical certainty. This shows that the opioid crisis has moved from a lift caused by supply side drivers to an organically growing demand side driven pandemic, fueled secondarily by histories cheapest and most available synthetic drugs. With Johnson and Johnson settling with two counties in Ohio, projections have placed the total at $100B+ in fines for the opioid crisis in the next few years. State jurisdictions will shortly receive an enormous amount of cash that will be legally obligated to flow into anti-addiction spending. Due to poor outcomes and non-scalable approaches around advanced public health programs, there will be a flurry of legislature to address how to spend the $100B+ anti-addiction warchest. Players like Universal Ibogaine who have proven clinical models, can deploy infrastructure and guarantee statistically better outcomes will receive unprecedented amounts of non-dilutive government funding and will be the first to benefit from Decriminalization/Medicalization in the North American market. Players that can come to the table now at the state level and propose medicalization legislature as well as profitable clinical infrastructure with proven outcomes, could monopolize the entire US market. FieldTrip Ventures is developing Psilocybin clinical infrastructure while Universal Ibogaine is deploying proven clinical infrastructure already developed and proven by Clear Sky Recovery, the leading Ibogaine clinical experts with thousands of successful detox procedures and no critical adverse events.
Like any emerging industry, there are challenges and growing pains but the blue-sky upside is unparalleled. “Black swan events are characterised by their extreme rarity, their severe impact, and the practice of explaining widespread failure to predict them as simple folly in hindsight.” Due to changes in public opinion, a mental health and addiction pandemic as well as enormous movements of liquid cash, this sector is poised to explode in 2020.
Weed 2.0 here we goooo!
(yes it’s real)
To the mooooooooon!!!!
You should watch the latest South Park episode where they legalize cocaine.
Very in depth report! Was this something for school or work? I want more reports like this but for other industries/companies.
My feelings exactly. Kudos to the creator of that post! It reads like a dissertation. Let’s see what Reddit is saying now, a year later. It seems the interest has not waned. https://www.reddit.com/r/investing/comments/l2kt85/horizons_psychedelic_etf_psyk_is_expected_to/
Posted by u/paisleyno2
95% Upvoted 26 days ago
Horizon’s Psychedelic ETF (PSYK) is expected to commence trading Jan. 26, 2021 and includes 17 psychedelic companies in the first ever Psychedelic ETF
Will trade on the Canadian NEO Exchange under the ticker PSYK. The ETF includes companies in the Canadian legal psychedelics industry, as well as U.S. companies engaged in legal activities involving psychedelic drugs and substances. The purpose of the ETF is to “invest in, and indirectly derive revenues from, companies in the psychedelics industry engaged in legal activities involving psychedelic drugs and substances.”
MER = 0.85%
The ETF will include:
- Johnson & Johnson (JNJ)
- AbbVie Inc (ABBV)
- COMPASS Pathways (CMPS)
- Field Trip Health (FTRP)
- MindMed (MMED)
- Greenbrook TMS Inc (GTMS)
- Entheon Biomedical (ENBI)
- Seelos Therapeutics (SEEL)
- Cybin (CYBN)
- Mind Cure Health (MCUR)
- Havn Life Sciences (HAVN)
- Numinus (NUMI)
- Mydecine Innovations (MYCO)
- Nova Mentis (NOVA)
- Psyched Wellness (PSYC)
- Revive Therapeutics (RVV)
- Red Light Holland (TRIP)
In this case, the underlying index is the North American Psychedelic Stock Index, provided by German-based index provider Solactive.
It’s interesting to note that $NUMI (Numinus Wellness Inc) has 3x the share allocation vs. $MMED (MINDMED INC) within the index.
The weightings of the Solactive index is interesting. Within the index, $NUMI (Numinus Wellness Inc) has 3x the share allocation vs. $MMED (MINDMED INC). $NUMI being the Canadian leader in the psychedelic space. $MMED being the lead player in the market with a $1.50B Market Cap vs. $NUMI at $250M. At 6x the market cap, I expect significant upside potential for $NUMI with the launch of the ETF.
Overall I am very bullish on this ETF. The index is up 12.70% since Monday.
For Americans, while the original listing is set to be in CAD, Horizons may also list on a U.S. exchange under the ticker symbol PSYK.U.
Numinus Wellness Inc trades OTC under $LKYSF and under $NUMI on the TSX Venture.
Lastly, cut and paste in part/s from another exhaustive post from a psychedelic Reddit subgroup that is ready to ride the wave or rather the “mush rush” – take a deep dive into this feed and if your sentiment is like mine and psychedelics are the new wave for a new age: invest in the future of wellness. Or to tweak the words of my favorite spaceman, Live Long and Prosper but read Reddit first”.
2/23 @ 10:00AMFOLLOW
- Posted by u/Trevor_Millar_CPO
Hi, this is Rob Tessarolo and Trevor Millar from NeonMind Biosciences (CSE: NEON). We’ll be here to answer your questions on February 23rd at (1pm ET). Ask us anything!
NeonMind has two divisions, a consumer products division with a focus on functional mushroom infused food and supplements, and a pharmaceutical division engaged in drug development of psychedelic compounds. NeonMind’s consumer division currently sells 4 NeonMind branded coffee products in Canada through NeonMind’s direct to consumer e-commerce platform. In its pharmaceutical division, NeonMind’s first drug candidate involves psilocybin (a complex organic compound found in psychedelic mushrooms) as a treatment for obesity and related illnesses for which NeonMind is conducting a preclinical trial at the University of British Columbia. NeonMind’s intellectual property includes methods of aiding in weight loss, treating compulsive eating disorder, treating obesity and complications of obesity by administering psilocybin or other psychedelic compounds.
About the team:
Rob Tessarolo, CEO:
With over 25 years of experience in the pharmaceutical industry, Rob has a wealth of knowledge in the space. Rob is the former President, CEO and a Director of Mind Medicine Inc. (NEO:MMED), a pioneer in psychedelic drug development, for four months, prior to Mind Medicine becoming the first psychedelics company to list on a stock exchange. As well, he was President & CEO of Cipher Pharmaceuticals Inc. (TSX:CPH), under his leadership the company was restored to positive EBITDA with the execution of 7 business development transactions to rapidly expand the product pipeline. Prior to this, at Watson Pharmaceuticals, he led the integration of major M&A transactions including Warner Chilcott (~$5B global acquisition), Forest Laboratories (~$28B global acquisition) and Allergan (~$66B global acquisition).
Commercial and Business Development experience across numerous therapeutic areas including obesity, addiction, and neurologic disorders.
Trevor Millar, CPO:
Trevor is a social-entrepreneur who has played a key role in advancing the psychedelic movement over the last eight years. Since May 2018 he has been on the board of directors for the Multidisciplinary Association of Psychedelic Studies (MAPS) Canada, where he acted as Chair of the Board for over two years. Trevor is currently a board member and co-founder of the Canadian Psychedelic Association. Prior to this, from 2012 to 2017, Trevor was active as the founder and President of Liberty Root Therapy Inc., a business dedicated to healing and transformation by legally providing the plant medicine ibogaine to people with opiate use disorder. He was featured in the award-winning documentary ‘DOSED’ about using magic mushrooms and Iboga to heal addiction, anxiety and depression.
Shrooms Talks 🍄1 day ago·Stickied comment
Welcome to our official AMA with CEO Rob Tessarolo and CPO Trevor Millar from NeonMind Biosciences! This is the open question period. Please read over our AMA Guidelines before posting your question(s). All spam and disrespectful comments will be removed. Thank you and enjoy the AMA!
Hi, very interested in NeonMind, looks like a great company. I have a couple of questions:
- What attracted Rob to NeonMind? What’s special about them compared to others in the field, is there a particular area of research or product that sets them apart?
- What are the plans for scaling the research division’s work? Going from a direct-to-consumer coffee company to a drug company sounds like a hurdle and a half. It sounds like Rob has a lot of experience in this area, how does the sausage (drug company) get made?
What are your competitive advantages?
I’d be curious to learn a bit more about the clinical trial process. It seems a lot of companies announce them but don’t have the expertise to actually do it. A quick read of the people involved in NEON made it pretty clear you know what you’re doing, but can you outline the stages of trials and at which point you know you’re really onto something?
Aren’t NEON and PLNT affiliated some how?
What are his thoughts on Red Light Holland’s all natural microdose play? As a synthetic developer, I’m curious why the natural product can’t be kept natural. TIA
Why your specific focus on OBESITY? Can you tell us more about your pre-clinical trial at UBC. Are you the only company focusing on obesity?
What is the projected rate of customer attrition due to being able to grow one’s own mushrooms? With the internet, most people can google “psilocybin mushrooms” and find out that they can grow their own. It is fairly common that individuals who take mushrooms and like them turn on to growing their own, so, what are projections for the number of customers you can sell more than 1 dose in face of this fact? That is, if you have 10 ppl you can sell 1 dose, how many of those are projected to grow their own doses instead of buying your product again? Do you think convenience will really outweigh the fact that i can grow a pound of mushrooms for $100 or less, and that is the first go-round, the second I don’t need to buy spores, jars, etc. etc.?
I think you’re missing the point, they aren’t looking to sell dried shrooms to customers. I mean they do sell mushroom coffees, but those aren’t psychedelic. Their main opportunity is around their patent portfolio related to using psychedelics to cure eating disorders and/or suppress appetite.
Posted by u/youcandigit
AbbVie Inc (ABBV)
COMPASS Pathways (CMPS)
Entheon Biomedical (ENBI)
Field Trip Health (FTRP)
Greenbrook TMS Inc (GTMS)
Havn Life Sciences (HAVN)
Johnson & Johnson (JNJ)
Mind Cure Health (MCUR)
Posted by u/Tboparoni
Posted by u/PsilocybinAlpha
🍄 Psychedelic Investment Resource 🍄21 days ago
Posted by u/PsilocybinAlpha
🍄 Psychedelic Investment Resource 🍄22 days ago
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Posted by u/Psych_Stock_Watch
Psychedelics News & Analysis22 days ago
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Posted by u/progodyssey
Posted by u/ClammySnatchers
I’m so excited to see all these players and initiatives being erected. It’s amazing, knowing the research backing and the potential culturally shifting industry that is underway is phenomenal.
But I find myself constantly recalculating how I can make the most money, regretting not investing more when it was cheaper (I found them when they were $0.19). I can’t help but feel corrupt and disfigured.
How is everyone else coping….I’m quite satisfied with what I have but I want MORE and I despise that.
Posted by u/wanpakudrew
10,000 @0.022 feeling special!
Posted by u/PsychedelicFinance
Crossposted by u/TheCanOpenerPodcast
Spiritual Revolutionary22 days ago
Posted by u/tpelkey15
Posted by u/Soothsayer102
On the website, the inception date is today but on news articles, it says it’s out tomorrow. Could anyone clarify? Thanks
Posted by u/SailingWhatsKraken
What’s your strategy here? My account has seen it at +150% and I feel like should’ve sold 75% and re bought when it dipped back to only +60%… holding some OG shares would’ve kept my cost basis low and now it’s back at +105% and I could’ve rinsed and repeated. What’s everyone’s plan?
Posted by u/Technical-Itch
Crossposted by u/InvestorForLife
Posted by u/InvestorForLife
14 points 2 comments
Posted by u/Dylatronx
Are you all seeing whats happening with r/wallstreetbets and GameStop? If we did something similar with psychedelics we could all get rich, accelerate the psychedelic revolution and legit make the world a better place in the process.
When psychedelic medicine is legal and mainstream it could literally change the lives of hundreds of millions of people suffering from mental illness. With more investment money flowing in and higher prices it would accelerate this process just like Tesla and EV’s
To be clear I’m not encouraging a pump and dump. More like buy and hold. Most of us already believe these stocks are headed to the moon or we wouldn’t be here. This train is leaving the station soon, and the sooner the better, so get onboard!
Posted by u/PsilocybinAlpha
🍄 Psychedelic Investment Resource 🍄22 days ago
Posted by u/Grechoir
Curious about when you first heard about shrooms as an investment and where.
I saw some of documentaries on the topic of lsd an its ban couple of years ago. But that was more about experimental treatment not much about companies and medicine brands.
Then about this time last year I stumbled on a Dutch Vice video from 2019 and remembered a crypto video from Vice in 2015 before the boom. So I started to research a bit more, also discovered this sub and bought 3 shroom stocks I’m in for the long game and always curious to discover emerging markets!
(the Vice video: https://youtu.be/VLwJiU9jJyo)
Author: Sherri Margolin (Dark Matters)