Is California The Next State to Fall?

Two municipalities in California have already decriminalized psychedelics, now with momentum on the side of drugs following Oregon’s legalization and D.C.’s decriminalization votes, California may be the next state to change their psychedelic laws. 

San Francisco once the psychedelic capital of the world is now much more techy and corporate, but activists are eyeing the city as a perfect target for municipal decriminalization. Decriminalize Nature is appealing to SF District Attorney Chesa Boudin to make the investigation of entheogens the lowest priority of his office. Targeting progressive DAs like Boudin has been successful in Ann Arbor, Oakland and Santa Cruz. 

Statewide Changes

San Fran’s decrim efforts won’t matter if California State Sen. Scott Weiner gets his way. Weiner, along with Assembly members Evan Low and Sydney Kamlager plan to introduce a bill next year which would decriminalize psilocybin and other psychedelics across the state. The lawmakers haven’t decided on the details of their proposal but have said they are  “leaning towards Oregon’s approach,” the state of course legalized psilocybin. 

Jockeying for Position in Oregon

Ballots are still being counted across the country but that’s not stopping psychedelic companies from positioning themselves to take advantage of Oregon’s soon to be legal psilocybin market. Keep in mind that ‘soon to be’ is two years from now. 

Field Trip Health (CSE: FTRP) announced shortly after the election that they were “in advanced stages of identifying potential sites for Field Trip Health centers to treat people in Oregon with psilocybin therapies.” Field Trip also said that they plan to seek cultivation licenses in the state when available, their Director of Research is quoted as saying  “Based on its geography and climate, Oregon is an ideal place for cultivation of psilocybin-producing mushrooms.” 

Field Trip is already cultivating 25 strains of psilocybin producing mushrooms in Jamaica. 

Silo Wellness made a point of issuing a press release to tell the word they are launching a “First-of-Its-Kind U.S.-Legal Psychedelic Wellness Nature Retreat in Oregon.” Of course, just like everyone else in Oregon they will have to wait two years before knowing what rules will govern psilocybin usage in the state. What they’re actually doing is planning a ketamine retreat, a substance that is legal in the state, unrelated to the recent ballot measure, and has already been offered in the state. 

DMT Linked to New Brain Cells

A group of Spanish researchers published in The Journal of Translational Psychiatry new research which indicates DMT is linked to the regeneration of cells in the brain. 

Key findings:

  • Experimenting with mice, the study found DMT promotes “acute neurogenesis,” the creation of brain cells. 
  • The newly created brain cells “can be linked to detectable improvements in the animals’ memory and cognition.”
  • The neuroregeneration is caused by a separate mechanism than that which causes the hallucinogenic effect of DMT. 

Individual Impacts

A common theory for why psychedelics are effective in treating mental health disorders is that the substances are able to generate new neurons, this study demonstrated DMT is able to create the neurons and importantly it’s a separate mechanism that does so:

  • 5-HT2A serotonin receptors are generally though to be responsible for the hallucinogenic effects of psychedelics. 
  • Sigma-1 receptors (S1R) were shown in this study to be responsible for the growth of brain cells. 

Big Picture

The really big deal here is the separation of hallucinogenic from other therapeutic effects. If scientists are able to develop a treatment without the trip, that would rapidly expand the safety and accessibility of such a drug. 

MDMA’s Trust Deficit 

A study published in the Journal of Psychopharmacology found MDMA may encourage feelings of closeness but when it comes to trust, that’s another story. 

Trust Tests

25 participants had their trust tested in a double-blind, placebo controlled study, where they were dosed twice with MDMA. Instead of sending the group to a rave, they were asked to complete a series of games including a dictator game, an ultimatum game and a public project game. 

Findings

  • Participants reported increased feelings of ‘closeness to others’ and ‘euphoria.’
  • MDMA did not significantly change task-based empathy, trust or cooperative behaviour.

Hangover Horror: The study also concluded that MDMA didn’t produce a noticeable ‘hangover,’ the bad feeling after using the drug recreationally is more likely related to other party activities. 

What Else We’re Watching

XPhyto Secures Exclusive Psychedelic Drug Development Agreement: The company traded on the CSE as XPHY, announced an expansion of their drug development agreement with Prof. Dr. Raimar Löbenberg.


Canadian Rapid Treatment Center of Excellence Opens Second Location Providing Ketamine Treatment for Adults with Depression: CRTCE, a subsidiary of Champignon Brands (CSE:SHRM), has opened a second location in downtown Toronto.