Harvard Law group to study the legal implications of psychedelics
Touted as yet another sign that psychedelics are being accepted into the mainstream, Harvard Law School’s Petrie-Flom Center for Health Law Policy, Biotechnology, and Bioethics announced the launch of POPLAR, the Project on Psychedelics Law and Regulation, writes VICE.
The three-year initiative is:
- Funded by podcaster and author Tim Ferriss’s Saisei Foundation and Matt Mullenweg, founder and CEO of Automaticc and co-founder of WordPress
- Headed up by Petri-Flom Center’s faculty director I. Glenn Cohen and Mason Marks, a prof at the UNH Franklin Pierce School of Law and member of the Oregon Psilocybin Advisory Board
POPLAR will examine a huge breadth of legal issues, including:
- Intellectual property and what types of psychedelics patents will be granted
- Synthetic compounds and how patents could be implicated
- Protecting indigenous practices from “biopiracy”
- NDAs and their potential impacts on public health
- Insurance coverage and access to therapy
- Psychedelics policy and its intersection with PTSD treatment and the opioid crisis
The project will be focused purely on research and not advocacy, but their work will be important to advocates, policymakers and industry reps.
“We are very much academics,” I. Glenn Cohen said. “We want people to feel as though we are an honest broker on the subject; we’re not working for a company, we’re not working for a legislature, we’re not working for the DEA.”
Psychedelics in California take another step toward decriminalization — sans ketamine
California’s Assembly Public Safety Committee voted 5-3 in favour of Sen. Scott Wiener’s psychedelics decriminalization bill, but not until he removed ketamine from the list of substances that would be implicated, writes KTLA5.
The bill allows anyone 21 and older to possess and share psilocybin, DMT, psilocyn, ibogaine, mescaline (but not peyote), LSD and MDMA. Ketamine was removed after critics said it could be used as a date rape drug.
While healthcare professionals, veterans and mental health advocates outlined the benefits of psychedelics and defended the bill, critics also came forward. They argued:
- There could be overdoses and fatalities from contaminated drugs, and LSD should be excluded
- It gives drug dealers a “built-in defense” from prosecution
- Therapy should be done in a clinical setting, not just anywhere
Wiener disagreed. “It’s time we acknowledge the benefits of these substances even outside of a clinical study,” he said. Opposing decriminalization “is like the psychedelic equivalent of Reefer Madness, that this is going to do all sorts of horrible things. And that is just not true.”
What’s next: The bill is headed to the state’s health committee before going to the Assembly.
Daniel Carcillo’s Wesana launches BrainStorm Lab at University of South Carolina
Wesana (CSE:WESA), a company founded by former Chicago Blackhawks player Daniel Carcillo, has invested $1.5 million into the University of South Carolina to create BrainStorm Lab, a research centre devoted to psychedelics and traumatic brain injuries, according to business journal Chicago Inno.
The lab will focus on athletes, including Olympians, and military personnel to look at how psychedelic substances can be used to treat brain trauma.
About Wesana: The now-public company was born after Carcillo used psilocybin to treat the brain injuries he sustained playing hockey in the NHL. Investors include Mike Tyson, Ambria Capital, JLS Fund, K2 & Associates and George Steinbrenner IV.
BrainStorm Lab will begin evaluating patients within nine months.
Cybin researchers see positive pre-clinical results with multiple proprietary psychedelic molecules
Management at Cybin (NEO:CYBN) announced positive pre-clinical results from their latest research initiatives which indicate that their proprietary psychedelic molecules perform in the same way that naturally occurring psychedelic molecules do.
Specifically, they observed that their molecules have:
- A similar potency to serotonin 2 receptors and monoamine transporters
- A similar binding profile to non-targeted receptors
- The same “in-vivo assay” of serotonin 2 receptors
- Similar levels of toxicity in kidney and liver cells
“While the profiles are similar to parent molecules,” said Cybin CEO Doug Drysdale, “early research has shown that these proprietary molecules also carry certain characteristics that may lead them to potentially become commercially viable because of their improved stability, bioavailability, controlled psychedelic duration and overall enhanced chemical make-up.”