Buying into a sector as controversial as psychedelics is seen by some as a risky business. But according to the founders of Microcybin Canada – a leading supplier of premium prescription psychedelics – it actually makes perfect sense.
New and established investors alike are slowly but surely setting their sights on the fledgling psychedelics sector. This is particularly true in Canada, where the country’s relaxed and open minded attitude to psychedelic pharmaceuticals has created an exceptionally vibrant market.
Microdosing in Canada has become a common practice among patients looking to treat a wide variety of psychological health conditions, without turning to conventional prescription drugs.
Even with such an enormous and lucrative legal cannabis sector, the psychedelics sector is capturing all the headlines in Canada right now. As for why, experts attribute its appeal to the fact that we have barely scratched the surface with regard to what psychedelic pharmaceuticals may be capable of.
A Complex Field with Legislative Obstacles
Bringing psychedelic pharmaceuticals to the market is not easy. A point illustrated over the past couple of years by Johnson & Johnson, who attempted to bring a ketamine-derived antidepressant to the market in 2019.
Approval for ‘Spravato’ was granted by the FDA, but the product’s potential was severely stunted by its list price of $6,785 for the first month and $3,450 per month thereafter. In addition, the fact that Federal guidelines insisted that the drug could only be administered at approved healthcare facilities under supervision further limited its appeal.
All of which resulted in highly disappointing returns for Johnson & Johnson, with a fairly bleak outlook for Spravato in general.
North of the border in Canada, things are progressing much faster. Extensive studies conducted over the course of several decades have indicated the extraordinary potential of psychedelics as effective treatments for a long list of mental health conditions.
Just a few examples of which include depression, PTSD, anxiety and suicidal thoughts.
“It’s important to remember that we have evidence pertaining to decades of human consumption have psychedelics to go on, along with the efficacy of countless different psychedelics. This is all likely to boost the speed of the clinical trials taking place right now, while at the same time making them so much less expensive to conduct,” commented a spokesperson from Microcybin Canada.
Canada already has an extensive network of magic mushroom dispensaries and a huge domestic market for prescription psychedelics.
Coupled with growing demand among patients for safer and more effective treatments that exclude synthetic medication, the prescription psychedelics sector is tipped for a robust future.
For Medicinal Use Only
One of the biggest differences between Canada’s legal cannabis market and the psychedelics sector is that the latter is focused purely on therapeutic benefits. Microdosing – i.e. consuming psychedelics in the tiniest doses – has the potential to alleviate a wide variety of life-affecting symptoms, with no psychoactive effects whatsoever.
By contrast, the vast majority of medical cannabis products contain moderate to high concentrations of THC. Using cannabis for therapeutic purposes almost always results in the patient getting ‘high’, whereas micro dosing can have similar therapeutic effects without the high.
Anecdotal evidence among those who use psychedelics for therapeutic purposes suggests they have no detrimental impact on their ability to function, or their general lifestyle. The psychoactive effect of the psychedelic is so minimal that is often completely undetectable.
Consequently, the pharmaceutical psychedelics sector could have several points of appeal that position it ahead of the legal cannabis sector, for the treatment of psychological health conditions.
Some of those who have already entered the market have stated outright that moving into commercial distribution is not on their agenda.
“We’re not planning on selling micro doses out of a dispensary,” says JR Rahn, the founder and chief executive of MindMed.
“These are going to be picked up from your local pharmacy. They’re going to be prescribed by a doctor. We’re not trying to build cannabis 2.0.”
Experts believe that the psychedelics sector could grow in value to more than $100 billion over the coming years, if the market maintains its current momentum.
Nevertheless, there are those who do not believe the sector will come close to reaching its full potential, unless consumption and distribution policy is relaxed significantly.
“We don’t want to see psychedelic culture or history become sterilized the way that cannabis has,” says Shelby Hartman, co-founder of a psychedelics-based publication in New York.
“We don’t think there’s a right way to do psychedelics; we believe doing them at a festival can be deeply therapeutic, and doing them in a clinical trial with researchers can, too. We do believe that more people should learn about psychedelics and their therapeutic potential—and that accessible, entertaining content will help with that.”