The Canadian Stock Exchange has become a haven for licensed weed companies that can’t yet list on the US exchange due to America’s federal pot prohibition. But pharmaceutical psychedelics may soon be joining our favorite flower for infusions of public investments.
Mind Medicine, Inc., a Canadian biotech firm, is entering Phase II clinical trials for two experimental treatments. According to its website, one trial involves an ibogaine-derived drug for treating opioid addiction. The other trial will test LSD microdosing as an ADHD treatment. The company hasn’t yet generated revenue, but it’s anticipating a $50 million valuation when it goes public.
“Our ambition is to be one of the first publicly listed neuro-pharmaceutical companies developing psychedelic medicines,” Mind Medicine’s co-founder and director, JR Rahn, told BNN Bloomberg.
“I think that the psychedelics industry could be much bigger than the cannabis industry because it’s going to attract institutional capital and already is starting to,” he added. “It’s also going to be a more concentrated space because the barriers to entry are much higher.”
Mind Medicine isn’t the only trippy drug manufacturer looking to list on the Canadian Stock Exchange. Field Trip Psychedelics, Inc. currently focuses on ketamine (“special K”) treatments for anxiety, treatment-resistant depression, and post traumatic stress. The company is also building a network of clinics in Toronto, New York City, and Los Angeles. Although Field Trip only takes private investments at the moment, the company is looking at a public listing in the near future.
Ronan Levy, Field Trip’s executive chairman, helped his company raise $8.5 million during a Series A financing round last week. He noted that early investments look promising, since the company’s first fundraising attempt attracted “some very large Silicon Valley tech investors and entrepreneurs.”
Silicon Valley, of course, loves psychedelics. According to the tech-innovator community’s insiders, engineers and coders often microdose substances such as LSD and psilocybin to stimulate creative problem-solving, which, in the tech world, can translate to million- if not billion-dollar ideas.
Future psychedelic medicines may include other therapeutically promising — and currently outlawed — compounds such as MDMA (“ecstasy” or “molly”) and psilocybin or psilocin (from magic mushrooms). In fact, MDMA and psilocybin may soon receive FDA approval in the US, meaning American companies may beat the Canadians to listing on public stock exchanges when it comes to these drugs. MDMA recently received “Expanded Access” designation from the FDA, so it can now be legally prescribed to terminally ill patients. Around the same time, the FDA granted “Breakthrough Therapy” status to psilocybin, which essentially fast-tracks the shroomy compound through clinical trials.
The real question is, will public psychedelics investments bring in the big bucks right out the gate? Or will these stocks hobble along slumping price slopes due to over-eager investment hype, like most Canadian pot stocks are at the time of this writing? Time will tell, but at least time flies when you’re tripping balls.