Oregon is embarking on the decriminalization of “hard drugs”

Oregon is making moves to be the first state in the U.S. to decriminalize the personal possession of “hard drugs,” such as cocaine, heroin, MDMA, psilocybin and LSD. 

The measure (110) will reclassify possession of small amounts of drugs as a civil violation, effectively decreasing yearly convictions for possession of a controlled substance by 90.7%. The measure will also reallocate state funding to addiction treatment and harm-reduction efforts.

The measure will make possession of the following amounts a noncriminal violation:

  • Less than 1 gram of heroin
  • Less than 1 gram, or less than 5 pills, of MDMA
  • Less than 2 grams of methamphetamine
  • Less than 40 units of LSD
  • Less than 12 grams of psilocybin
  • Less than 40 units of methadone
  • Less than 40 pills of oxycodone
  • Less than 2 grams of cocaine

The measure will also reduce possession of substances in the below amounts from a felony to a misdemeanor:

  • 1 to 3 grams of heroin
  • 1 to 4 grams of MDMA
  • 2 to 8 grams of methamphetamine
  • 2 to 8 grams of cocaine

Possession of larger amounts of drugs, as well as manufacturing and distribution of these drugs, will still be considered a crime.

Florida Lawmaker Moves Ahead with Legalization

After announcing plans to introduce a bill to legalize psilocybin-assisted therapy in mid-January, Florida Representative Michael Grieco (D) has authored the ambitious 59-page document.

Tackling Florida’s Mental Health Crisis

Florida has one of the highest rates of mental illness amongst adults in the U.S. The bill was filed in an effort to broaden the scope of mental health treatments, citing psilocybin’s proven benefits in the treatment of a variety of mental health conditions, including, “addiction, depression, anxiety disorders, and end-of-life psychological distress.” 

What’s In The Bill Going To (Florida’s) Capital Hill

  • Adults over the age of 21 would be administered the psychedelic in clinical settings as part of therapy programs.
  • The bill will also aim to redirect police resources away from criminalizing psychedelics. This means law enforcement departments  will  make the investigation and arrest of those engaged in growing, purchasing, transporting, distributing or possessing entheogenic plants and fungi low on their priority list.
  • This includes all plants or fungi containing psilocybin, ibogaine, mescaline, peyote, dimethyltryptamine, or psilocin.

Road Ahead: The Florida bill has not received a hearing as of yet, but Grieco is looking forward to sitting down with leadership to further the conversation. 

DMT is Being Studied to Help Stroke Victims

Algernon Pharmaceuticals (CSE:AGN) is launching a stroke treatment clinical research program with DMT. The company intends to start the clinical research program as soon as possible, making it the first application of DMT for this purpose. 

  • Positive preclinical studies have demonstrated that DMT helps promote the neurogenesis and neural plasticity required for healing from a brain injury.
  • Algernon will be focusing on intravenous microdoses to provide patients with the therapeutic benefits without affecting a psychedelic experience, which could cause recent stroke victims undue stress.
  • The company also believes that microdosage will garner wider participation, review and acceptance of its data.

Zoom Out: Algernon plans to leverage synthetically produced DMT for a more stable and trusted substance that can be supplied in large quantities for their research purposes as well as global clinical needs going forward. The global stroke treatment market is expected to reach a value of $15B US by the year 2027.

Psychedelic People Power

Dr. Robin Carhart-Harris joins Tryp, ATMA appoints Dr. Ravinder Bains as CMO, CannaGlobal rebrands to GoodCap Wellness and appoints new Board of Directors, and MindMed revamps their leadership team.

Tryp Therapeutics (CSE:TRYP) appoints Dr. Robin Carhart-Harris to help lead its Scientific Advisory Board.

Recognized for his popular TEDx talk, Psychedelics: Lifting the Veil, Dr. Carhart Harris has been leading groundbreaking brain imaging studies with psilocybin, LSD, MDMA and DMT. As Head of the Centre for Psychedelic Research in the Department of Brain Sciences at Imperial College London, he has published numerous clinical trials studying the effects of psychedelics on the brain, and has over 90 published papers in peer-reviewed scientific journals.

Dr. Carhart-Harris will help Tryp shape the design of their upcoming clinical trials of TRP-8802, their orally-delivered formulation based on a synthetic psilocybin, for chronic pain and eating disorders.

Psychedelic-assisted therapy company ATMA Journey Centers Inc. has appointed Dr. Ravinder Bains as Chief Medical Officer.

The first psychiatrist to conduct legal psilocybin-assisted therapy in Canada, Dr. Bains has been practicing psychiatry and psychotherapy for 15 years. His primary goal has been to offer patients holistic and effective methods to improve their mental health. 

Dr. Bains’ first order of business will be to provide medical oversight and review for ATMA’s Collective Application, and to lead the treatment and protocols for ATMA’s growing team of mental health professionals.

CannaGlobal has announced a rebrand to ‘GoodCap Wellness’.

They have also appointed an impressive new Board of Directors, who will help GoodCap fast track its mushroom-based research and development projects, one of which is a low-dose psilocybin product intended to displace antidepressants as a safer and more effective daily solution.

MindMed (NEO:MMED) revamps their leadership team. 

Stephen Hurst will retire from his co-CEO and Executive Chair positions, but will remain on the Board. J.R. Rahn will become the sole CEO. Perry Dellelce will become Chair of the Board. Stanley Glick will be retiring from the Board, but will continue to act as a scientific advisor. His vacancy will be filled after an extensive search and interview process.

The streamlining efforts were made to expand on the company’s later stage clinical trial pipeline and drug development efforts at the FDA, and advance MindMed’s plans to integrate its psychedelic clinical development programs with innovative digital technologies, including the hiring of new technologists and potential tech platform acquisitions.

The Sonoran Desert Toad population is threatened by psychedelic enthusiasts

As more people learn of the Sonoran Desert Toad’s psychoactive secretions, a cottage industry has emerged around the extraction of their venom. Thanks to psychedelics enthusiasts, who are milking the amphibians for the mind-altering toxin, Bufo alvarius toad venom, the Sonoran Desert Toad is now a threatened species.

  • The toad-derived 5-MeO-DMT is one of the most potent psychoactive substances in the world. Users in the U.S., Canada and Mexico recognize the dried and vaporized toxin for its therapeutic merits. 

Toad Trip

  • Users have reported the effects of the substance to come on fast and strong, and contain a heavy psychic load that can be quite intense. 
  • Others report feelings of euphoric bliss, unity, expansiveness and an offloading of emotional baggage that aids in diminishing depression and anxiety after a single session.
  •  Many end-of-life users, as well as those with chronic depression, anxiety and post-traumatic stress syndrome are finding relief with the substance. 

Unfortunately there is a lack of rigorous clinical research data to validate these claims. 

Fake It Until You Make It

Most users are unaware of the detrimental extraction process and its negative effects on the toad populations, so conservationists are rallying together.  They are proponents of manmade options of 5-MeO-DMT, and hope the availability of synthetic alternatives will help take the pressure off the Sonoran Desert Toad.

How psychedelics could be beneficial in treating racism-related PTSD

With psychedelic micro-dosing on the rise as many seek out coping mechanisms for dealing with the mounting isolation, anxiety and depression amidst the Covid-19 pandemic, researchers believe psychedelic drugs could help treat PTSD specifically caused by racism and discrimination.

Dr. Monnica Williams, clinical psychologist and Canada Research Chair for Mental Health Disparities at the University of Ottawa, recognizes that racialized groups have higher rates of PTSD and believes this is likely attributed to racial trauma.

Dr. Williams cites that PTSD treatment can be very demanding on racialized groups, as it requires patients to revisit traumas in vivid detail. She believes psychedelics used in a psychotherapeutic setting could be a “game changer” in helping people of colour address their trauma, when many might typically turn to alcohol as a coping mechanism.

Dr. Williams is planning several more studies on the subject, including using psilocybin and MDMA to treat trauma in racialized people and refugees.

Report Read Out:

The Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA) has determined that MDMA and psilocybin are not approved for medicinal use in Australia.

Biotechnology company Cybin Inc. (NEO:CYBN) has announced that it is closing its previously announced bought deal short offering, having raised nearly $90M CAD.

Bexson Biomedical Inc. has announced it has raised $4.8M to further develop their proprietary ketamine therapies, including development of a wearable device for subcutaneous delivery of ketamine.

Cannabis and wellness products marketplace platform Namaste Technologies Inc.(CSE:N) has announced it will evolve to a wellness company, expanding in the nutraceuticals market.