Canada’s first publicly traded company to be licensed to grow and research psilocybe mushrooms kicked off its first psychedelic crop Thursday.
Numinus Wellness Inc. (TSX-V: NUMI) is cultivating psilocybin mushrooms for research purposes at its 7,000 square foot Health Canada-certified facility in Nanaimo, British Columbia.
Once the mycelium has popped out enough fungal fruiting bodies to harvest, the mushrooms will be used to produce psilocybin, the psychedelic compound found in the mushrooms.
Numinus is a multi-pronged company that focuses on the therapeutic potential of psilocybin mushrooms. To do that it is producing psilocybin to help further psychedelic research, testing and selling psychedelics and eventually offering psychedelic-assisted therapy — Canada regulates the practice. Recreational or medical psilocybin use remains illegal under the Canadian Drugs and Substances Act.
Current psilocybin research in Canada is done using synthetic compounds which are more expensive to produce than growing some fungi as Numinus is doing, COO Michael Tan told Mugglehead in June.
On Thursday Tan said he was thrilled to finally have crops in the ground.
“We envision a day when the option of natural, plant-based psilocybin is available for use in therapies at Numinus clinics and by others, and this is a tangible step towards that goal,” he said in a statement.
As well as working to produce more affordable research materials and laying the groundwork for potential future therapies, Numinus is also working to develop standardized extraction methods, explore naturally occurring psilocybin formulations and create a standardized test for the chemicals produced by the mushroom.
Canada’s House of Commons will hear the country’s first official call to decriminalize psychedelics this fall.
And if — or when — psychedelics are legalized or regulated, Numinus will set up as a trusted leader in psychedelic-assisted psychotherapies, the company said.
Numinus is also interested in furthering the research on how psilocybin could be used to treat some addictions or to ease end of life anxiety, CEO Payton Nyquvest told Mugglehead in June.
Earlier this month four Canadians with terminal illness were granted compassionate access to psilocybin therapy for just that reason. They were the first people to be publicly given permission to use the drug since 1974 when it was first criminalized.
Top image via Numinus