Senate Bill 519, which would allow the possession and sharing of psilocybin, MDMA, LSD, ketamine and ibogaine for people aged 21+, passed in the California Senate in a 21-16 vote, writes KTLA5.

“This is a big step for this legislation and for our movement to end the war on drugs and to take a more health and science-based approach and to move away from criminalization of drugs,” said Sen. Scott Wiener in a video posted on Twitter.

In addition to allowing possession of some hallucinogenic drugs, the bill would:

  • Improve access to psychedelics which can be beneficial in treating mental illness
  • Allow the creation of a Department of Public Health task force that would recommend other drugs to be decriminalized
  • Go above and beyond existing policies in cities like Santa Cruz and Oakland, where psilocybin is already decriminalized

Opponents to the bill have concerns about addiction and substance abuse.

What’s next: The bill still needs to be passed by the California Assembly.

America’s first psychedelics ETF, the Defiance Next Gen Altered Experience, began trading under the ticker PSY on Friday, reports Bloomberg.

The details:

  • It will track the BITA Medical Psychedelics, Cannabis and Ketamine Index
  • Its top positions are in Charlotte’s Web Holdings Inc. and Aurora Cannabis Inc.
  • A similar Canadian ETF (Horizons Psychedelic) launched earlier this year but has not performed well so far
  • Horizons ETFs has filed for a sister US version which will trade under the ticker PSYK, but it hasn’t been approved by regulators yet

“The focus of this is the medical aspect around psychedelics and mental health — we’re seeing a lot of breakthroughs,” said Paul Dellaquila, president of Defiance ETFs. “You’re seeing some of the bigger companies get involved in this type of treatment. Johnson & Johnson has a treatment that is ketamine-based for depression.”

An animal study at the University of Szeged in Hungary shows that DMT can reduce the damaging biological effects of a stroke, according to a press release put out by Algernon Pharmaceuticals (CSE: AGN).

How it works:

  • Permanent and debilitating damage can occur within 10 minutes of a stroke due to oxygen deprivation to brain cells
  • In the first few minutes post-stroke, the brain becomes inactive in a kind of “power saving mode”
  • When the stored energy is depleted, electrochemical changes begin to cascade, which can lead to cell poisoning if oxygen isn’t restored
  • DMT reduced some of the activity leading to the potentially damaging cascade
  • DMT also reduced the volume of poisoned cells and increased viability of vulnerable cells

One author of the study, Dr. Ede Frecska, recently joined Algernon as a consultant. The company has filed a number of provisional patents and recently created a clinical research program to investigate DMT treatment for strokes. A clinical trial will begin in Q4 of 2021.

Eastra Health (EHI) says they’re the first psychedelics company with plans to develop medicines to treat women-specific issues, according to a press release.

“For years, women have been overlooked by the medical establishment when it comes to drug development and female-specific healthcare solutions, especially when it comes to PMS and menopause-related symptoms,” said co-founder Pamela Hadfield.

The company will look at treating symptoms like depression and anxiety that can come with hormonal changes related to menstruation or menopause.

EHI is raising its seed fund, which “will be used to conduct proof of concept observational studies and lead molecule research.”

In a new study published in Nature, University of California researchers report that mice exposed to seven days of mild unpredictable stress experienced less anxiety and better cognitive activity after a single dose of tabernanthalog (TBG), a synthesized psychedelic analog, after just one day. The treatment also helped regrowth of neuron dendritic spines.

Why TBG:

  • Researchers say TBG has a much faster uptake period than commonly prescribed SSRIs, which don’t usually take effect in humans for a week
  • As opposed to classical psychedelics, TBG has no hallucinogenic effects

TBG is an ibogaine analog, and was created by David Olson, Ph.D., a UC Davis professor and chief scientific officer of preclinical biotech Delix Therapeutics.

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