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Category Archives: Psychedelics

Key Insights from PSYCH: The Psychedelics as Medicine Report – Prohibition Partners

Posted: March 18, 2020 at 2:44 am

PSYCH: The Psychedelics as Medicine Report is the first of Prohibition Partners market-leading intelligence reports to focus solely on psychedelic compounds and their potential. Specifically, the report concentrates on the use of psychedelic substances as medicines administered within clinical settings. The consumption of psychedelics outside of a clinical setting, whether for recreational or spiritual purposes, falls outside the scope of this first edition of the report.

The Psychedelics as Medicine Report presents detailed profiles on all the major psychedelic compounds which demonstrate therapeutic promise, and offers expert analysis of the current worldwide regulatory frameworks, clinical trial status, and commercial opportunities associated with these compounds.

In addition, the report features exclusive full-length interviews with some of the fields most prominent scientific minds and industry trailblazers, and highlights the key areas for development moving forward.

Psychedelics refers to a large number of different compounds, which as a group are characterised by their common ability to elicit hallucinogenic effects on a user. Most psychedelics are believed to produce these effects through the stimulation of 5-HT2A receptors in the brains cortex, which are ordinarily triggered by the brains joy chemical, serotonin.

These psychedelic compounds can be divided into two major categories: entheogens, which are psychedelic compounds originally derived from plants, and synthetically manufactured psychedelics. Common entheogens include psilocybin, which is the active component in magic Psilocybe mushrooms, and ibogaine, a psychoactive compound found in the bark of the Tabernanthe Iboga shrub native to Gabon. Synthetic psychedelics include the likes of LSD, MDMA, and ketamine.

Both entheogens and synthetically developed psychedelics are of increasing interest to researchers, who believe that their ability to modulate serotonin activity could be useful in the treatment of mood disorders and other mental health conditions.

As the Psychedelics as Medicine Report details, there have been a number of active and past clinical trials investigating the use of psychedelics in treating cluster headaches, pain, arthritis, and other physical health problems. However, where research has demonstrated the most promise is in the treatment of mental health disorders.

The primary focus of psychedelics as medicine has become the treatment of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), major depressive disorders (MDD), and treatment-resistant forms of depression (TRD). Collectively, these conditions affect hundreds of millions of people worldwide and their prevalence continues to rise, making the promise of psychedelic therapeutics an ever more pertinent area of study.

. . . while there will undoubtedly be plenty of opportunity for investment, the focus of the industry must remain on the benefits that these products will bring to a rapidly growing patient base, and the creation of a legal and fully regulated field of medicine that is trusted, consistent and sustainable for the future. The Psychedelics as Medicine Report: First Edition.

Aided in part by the normalisation of researching other previously stigmatised drugs (e.g. cannabis) for medical purposes, many prestigious universities and research institutions such as Johns Hopkins, New York University, and the University of California, Los Angeles have now begun investigating psychedelics in a similar vein.

In the United States, research conducted by Compass Pathways and the Usona Institute has led to the psychedelics MDMA and psilocybin both being awarded breakthrough therapy designations from the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA), in recognition of their promise in treating PTSD and MDD/TRD respectively. The designation allows for the development and review process for research on these psychedelics to be expedited, as they represent a substantial improvement in outcomes over existing therapies.

In February 1971, the United Nations published the Convention on Psychotropic Substances. The treaty officially designated most of the major synthesised psychedelics, including LSD, DMT, and MDMA, as internationally controlled substances. Later that same year, the United States and United Kingdom would bring in even stricter domestic controls on psychedelic compounds, including the plant-derived psilocybin/psilocin and mescaline psychedelics in their respective Schedule 1 and Class A controlled substance designations.

In the present day, a new decriminalisation/legalisation movement for psychedelics is gaining strength. In the Americas, religious rights battles have led to the legalisation of peyote and ayahuasca use in select Native American and indigenous tribes and religious communities, where the substances have been traditionally used in spiritual worship and healing ceremonies.

Several US states have previously, albeit unsuccessfully, sought to decriminalise the medicinal use of psilocybin; though a campaign group in Oregon is currently actively lobbying the state to make psilocybin available for medicinal use in 2020. These campaigns, taken in conjunction with the FDAs recent breakthrough therapy designations make the United States a key area to watch for medical psychedelics.

Brazil and Jamaica are also establishing themselves as key areas for psychedelics research. Brazil is one of the leaders in research output for the potential applications of ayahuasca within neuroscience, with major psychedelics research groups based at the Federal University of Rio Grande do Norte, the University of So Paulo, and the Chacruna Institute.

In Jamaica, psychedelics have never explicitly been made illegal. This has allowed the nation to open the worlds first psilocybin mushroom research centre, which is based at the University of the West Indies in Mona. The centre, which is funded by the Canadian psychedelics company Field Trip Ventures, plans to study the genetics of the Psilocybe mushrooms to develop improved methods of psilocybin extraction which they then hope to patent and commercialise.

To learn more about psychedelics as medicine, and the future medical and commercial potential of the field, download The Psychedelics as Medicine Report: First Edition, here.

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Cannabis Countdown: Top 10 Marijuana And Psychedelic Stock News Stories Of The Week – Benzinga

Posted: at 2:44 am

Welcome to theCannabis Countdown. In this weeks rendition, well recap and countdown the top 10 Marijuana and Psychedelic Stock News stories for the week of March 9th 15th, 2020.

Without further ado,lets get started.

*Yahoo Finance readers, please click here to view full article.

The Burgeoning Psychedelics Industry Has Investors Tripping For an Opportunity to Ride the Shroom Boom

For those looking to enter the emergingPsychedelicssector, these 3Psychedelic Stocksshould be on every investors watchlist.

READ FULL PSYCHEDELIC STOCKS ARTICLE

Canopy Rivers is a Venture Capital Firm with a Unique Investment and Operating Platform

Narbe Alexandrian, CEO of Canadianlicensed producer(LP)Canopy Rivers (TSX: RIV) (OTC: CNPOF),sat down with TCI hostAlyssa Boston(Miss Universe Canada 2019 + Cannabis Crusader) to discuss the current state of the business as well as the companys plans for 2020 and beyond. The company has a strategic partnership in place withCanopy Growth (TSX: WEED) (NYSE: CGC) (FRA: 11L1), the worlds largest cannabis firm.

WATCH FULL CANOPY RIVERS VIDEO

As Per the Terms, Canopy Will Lend to TerrAscend $80.5 Million Through a Second Debenture

Canopy Growth (TSX: WEED) (NYSE: CGC) (FRA: 11L1)announced that it has made a further investment intoTerrAscend (CSE: TER) (OTCQX: TRSSF), this time in the form of a secured debenture to the tune of CDN $80.5 million. The loan follows a USD $10 million investment byCanopy Rivers (TSX: RIV) (OTC: CNPOF)in late 2019, as well as a subsequent financing by TerrAscend.

READ FULL CANOPY/TERRASCEND ARTICLE

Dow Sets Record For Single-Day Point Drop, Oil Crashes Up to 30%, TSX Index Plummets Over 10%

It was an even bigger bloodbath on weed street asPot Stockscollapsed in a sea of red. While manyMarijuana Stocksposted double-digit losses on the session, not a single company was able to close the day in the green. To give you a better idea of how bad the trading session was, take a look at the days top 10 cannabis stock decliners.

READ FULL TCI MARKET WATCH ARTICLE

The Financing Will See 7.25 Million Class 2 Common Shares and 11.75 Million Pre-Funded Warrants Issued

Ever been so strapped for cash that you announced a $90.4 million registered offering during the worst financial week in over a decade? Evidently,Tilray (NASDAQ: TLRY)has. The company this morning announced that it will be conducting a financing for up to $90.4 million this morning, which is expected to close March 17, 2020.

READ FULL TILRAY ARTICLE

Cannabis Firms Were Facing a Liquidity Crisis Even Before the Coronavirus Pandemic

TheCanadian Cannabis Stocksweve weeded out have enough cash on hand to sustain their operations for at least six quarters, meaning they could likely withstand a recession caused byCoronavirus.

READ FULL CASH RICH POT STOCKS ARTICLE

There is a Clear-Cut Winner Here, But Growing Pains Should be Expected in the Short Term for All Pot Stocks

The big question is, should investors consider putting their money to work in CanadianPot Stocks, which are operating in the only recreationally legal developed country at the moment, or U.S.Cannabis Stocks, which are operating in the largest weed market in the world by annual sales?

READ FULL U.S. VS CDN POT STOCKS ARTICLE

Hollister Signs LOI to Acquire Legal Medicinal Mushroom and Psilocybin Firm Alphamind Brands

Hollister Biosciences (CSE: HOLL) (OTC: HSTRF) (FRA: HOB)announced this morning the signing ofan LOIto acquire Alphamind Brands, an exciting company operating in the legal medicinal mushroom and psilocybin markets. Alphamind is developing mushroom products and conducting R&D forPsilocybinpharmaceutical applications.

READ FULL HOLLISTER ARTICLE

RWB Also Announced it Closed its Acquisition of Illinois Based Mid-American Growers

Tidal Royalty (CSE: RLTY.U) (OTC: TDRYF)provided an update today on the companys executed business combination agreement with MichiCann Medical o/aRed White & Bloom (RWB).

READ FULL RED WHITE & BLOOM ARTICLE

The Acquisition Will Allow Champignon Brands to Continue Accelerating its Vertical Integration Strategy

Champignon Brands (CSE: SHRM) (FRA: 496)announced the execution of a definitive agreement to acquire British Columbia based craft mushroom cultivator and supplier Artisan Growers Ltd. Champignon also has plans to create the most compelling IP portfolio, clinical pipeline and drug development platform in thePsychedelicssector.

READ FULL CHAMPIGNON BRANDS ARTICLE

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With No Progress in Therapy, NYC Couple Turns to Psychedelics for Help – NBC New York

Posted: March 13, 2020 at 8:41 am

It wasnt always smooth sailing for Vanessa Velez and Danny Panzella.The Ditmas Park couple started dating again a few years ago and very quickly they felt tension. Vanessa was helping Danny raise his son, now 9 years old.

I would take my wine, go off to my room, said Vanessa, And just stay to myself.

We were suffering from PTSDfrom our previous relationships, said Danny. We brought that into ourrelationship.

Vanessa was struggling withinfertility and felt she had trouble getting through to Danny.

It made it really difficult for me to talk to Danny. He didnt understand what I was feeling.

The two had been trying traditional couples therapy for months but they had yet to make progress. And then a friend suggested they try MDMA, a psychedelic drug more commonly known as ecstasy or molly.

I was definitely scared, I was afraid, said Vanessa. All those things your parents instill like dont do drugs, something can happen to you.

A lot of time in western medicine, youre treating a symptom. You have a headache and we give you a pill to treat the headache, said Rebecca Kronman, a therapist in downtown Brooklyn.With psychedelics, we can get more curious about whats causing the headache.

Kronman is the founder of Plant Parenthood, a community and online resource for parents interested in psychedelic therapy.It may not remain at the fringe for long, there are nearly 200 clinical trials, some happening in New York City, that are studying the therapeutic potential of psychedelics.

My patients have experienced anythingfrom decrease in anxiety, decrease in symptoms of depression, ability to lovethemselves and care for themselves better.

Vanessa and Danny decided to givepsychedelics a try.

It was amazing!It was life changing, said Danny. A mushroom trip is like, years of therapy packaged into one night.

LSD, MDMA and psilocybin are classified as Schedule 1 drugs, which according to the DEA means they are not currently accepted for medical treatment in the United States.Having these drugs could land you in jail. Kronman cautions her patients there are risks.

Psychedelics are not for everyone, said Kronman. Ill never make a recommendation to someone, partially because I cant. Its not legal.

Kronman says she has seenthese drugs help patients understand the causes of their behaviors but that thehard work comes after the trip is over.

I like to work with people pretty soon after they have their experience, said Kronman.There is so much to unpack.

Danny agrees.He says they do not use psychedelics as often now, but says the benefits have been worth the risk.

If our trips are helping us become more understandingpeople then that helps us become better parents, said Danny.

I dont have this anxiety over not being able to have a baby, said Vanessa.I love him as my child.

The National Institute of Drug Abuse told NBC New York that MDMA and psilocybin are not yet approved for therapy, but have been granted breakthrough therapy designations by the FDA and could be developed into medications in the future.

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Upscale Psychedelics Therapy Center Opens On New Yorks 5th Avenue – Forbes

Posted: at 8:41 am

Psychedelic Therapy

Psychedelic medicine is quickly going mainstream. This week, New York City witnessed the debut of its first legal, upscale guided psychedelic therapy center.

Located on New York Citys emblematic 5th Avenue, the new Mindbloom center offers science-backed, clinician-prescribed, guided ketamine therapy in an upscale, spa-like setting, for $150 to $250 per session.

After conducting a few hundred private sessions over the past couple of months, Mindbloom is now making its clinical protocols (designed by well-known psychedelics researcher and psychiatric practitioner Dr. Casey Paleos) available to the public. The company will seek to address common conditions like anxiety and depression at first.

Mindbloom also offers technology-enabled, remote therapy options. Were essentially One Medical meets Headspace, but for psychedelic therapy, says CEO Dylan Beynon, when asked to briefly explain what his company does.

As per Mindblooms protocol, all patients need to undergo a rigorous initial screening, including a clinician-led psychiatric evaluation, before receiving the green light to receive ketamine therapy.

See Also: Are Shrooms And Other Psychedelics The Next Big Thing?

The program then consists of four one-hour sessions where FDA-approved ketamine is administered via sublingual tablets or an intramuscular injection in a spa-like setting.

Friendly, expert guides accompany the patients throughout their experiences. Each session is followed by some introspection time.

Dr. Casey Paleos

Dr. Paleos, Mindblooms medical director and a board-certified psychiatrist, has spent more than a decade researching psychedelics such as ketamine, MDMA and psilocybin (a psychedelic prodrug compound found in magic mushrooms) in both academic and clinical settings. After such a long time working with these remedies, he feels its a privilege to help bring these cutting edge medicines to the people who need it most.

Mindblooms therapeutic protocols are science-backed, medically supervised and expertly designed to help clients achieve optimal wellness and mental health, he explains.

Beynon has also experienced profound healing and personal growth with ketamine therapy. This is why he decided to found Mindbloom: to bring psychedelic medicine out of the shadows and make it an approachable, accessible option for people battling anxiety and depression.

Every detail of our first psychedelic therapy center in New York City has been thoughtfully designed to deliver a comfortable, elevated and inspired client experience, he assures.

Mindbloom says its clinic is the first of its kind to open in the U.S. Acknowledging there are other clinics administering ketamine in the country, the company claims its business model is completely different.

Instead of a white coat doctors office or a psychedelic tourism experience outside the U.S. (like the kind Goop did), people can do this right on 5th Avenue, in a spa chair under a weighted blanked, using a ketamine tablet instead of an IV, and for a $250 or less price point versus other clinics that administer ketamine transfusions intravenously for a price range of around $900-$1200, a company representative explained. Its essentially revolutionizing the model and making it both mainstream and patient-driven... This means a person can walk in on their own and get evaluated to do it, rather than going to their doctor and getting a diagnosis, a referral, and doing it in-patient.

Only last week, Field Trip Health, a wholly owned subsidiary of psychedelic-enhanced psychotherapy company Field Trip Psychedelics, opened a clinic in Toronto.

Sublingual Ketamine

The Field Trip clinic is also administering ketamine, using its own protocol.

Field Trip says it will open additional centers in New York and Los Angeles over the course of 2020. Similarly, Mindbloom has planned openings in Los Angeles, San Diego, San Francisco and Austin.

See Also: Julian Marley On Losing His 11-Year-Old To Cancer: Medical Cannabis Should Be Easier To Access

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Why Kevin O’Leary is betting on psychedelics – Wealth Professional

Posted: at 8:41 am

He thinks the risk is worthwhile, though, because of MindMeds innovations like the non-hallucinogenic drug candidate 18-MC. 18-MC is based on a psychedelic substance called ibogane and has been shown in preclinical research to help curb addiction.

OLeary insists that despite a cultural conflation between psychedelic drugs and cannabis, he is investing in MindMed because theyre not following the model set out by cannabis companies. He cited the initial hype around cannabis as deeply flawed given its continued status as a schedule 1 narcotic at the federal level in the U.S. MindMed, conversely, is subjecting all its products to FDA approval. Theyll be sold as pharmaceutical drugs, subject to extreme controls but with an existing path to wide market reach.

At the time of cannabis legalization in Canada, OLeary warned against investing in the sector.

Theres also no focus, OLeary says, on MindMed as a producer of recreational drugs. OLeary is optimistic that if drugs like 18-MC prove effective in curbing opioid addiction, the ongoing crisis will make for fast-tracked FDA approval.

Though OLeary doesnt endorse the practice, he noted the growing anecdotal popularity of microdosing, taking miniscule amounts of a psychedelic drug like LSD, as a means of improving focus and productivity, especially in the tech and engineering sectors. He thinks that a focus-aid derived from psychedelics could pay off big for the company that develops it and gets it approved.

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Learning the hard way that psychedelic drug use can have long-term consequences – Dailyuw

Posted: at 8:41 am

Seven years ago in my middle school health class, I was introduced to a diverse array of recreational drugs. I still remember my friends' innocent, carefree chats on the way to the gym and our bespectacled, strict health teacher.

I remember at the time I wasn't much concerned with the drugs themselves. For our unit-ending project, I diligently researched and compiled the facts, prepared something to say, presented my work, and collected my grade.

At the most, perhaps I briefly wondered why anyone would actually be driven to consume substances with qualities like that. It was unthinkable to me that one day I might be interested in actually trying any of them. Today, I marvel at my transformation from unquestioning obedience to eager open-mindedness.

Despite all of my health teacher's efforts, none of those teachings could dampen my curiosity just years later. I knew that nothing could replace firsthand experience.

But the risks still existed, no matter how prepared or determined I felt.

About 4% of those who have taken psychedelic drugs like LSD and magic mushrooms develop the condition known as hallucinogen persisting perception disorder (HPPD). It's characterized by visual distortions, similar to those experienced while tripping, but persisting after the drug has cleared ones system. HPPD can last for months and even years.

For me, the symptoms consist primarily of visual snow and afterimages. Visual snow refers to an intrusive layer of static over the visual field; as for afterimages, most people are familiar with the scenario of looking at a bright light and having the image "seared" into their vision. HPPD afterimages are similar, but they occur sporadically, in all kinds of scenarios throughout the day.

After a trip midway through 2019, the symptoms appeared for me within a month. They can be pretty awful. Theyre especially noticeable when trying to admire distant mountains and finding them difficult to focus on through the visual distortions. They also obscure and distort the blue sky.

There are plenty of folks out there who have it worse than I do; for some, the condition hinders their ability to work and navigate daily life. Some require treatment with anti-anxiety medications like benzodiazepines. Thankfully, my symptoms arent that extreme.

Dr. Charles Chavkin, a professor in the department of pharmacology, shed some light on the condition. He said that, as of right now, scientists generally hypothesize that HPPD occurs not as the result of drug-induced neural damage, but as a result of the drug interacting with a person with already predisposed neurochemistry.

"There's really no evidence that typical hallucinogens like LSD or psilocybin are themselves neurotoxic," Chavkin said. Some people are uniquely vulnerable for reasons we dont yet understand.

He pointed out that only a small, specific subgroup of UW students decides to ever experiment with hallucinogens.

You gotta ask, what is it about that subgroup? Chavkin said. What preselects them, and is this vulnerability that we just described a part of that selection? Where's that curiosity com[ing] from? Could it be that they've been experiencing [something] that is triggered by some underlying differences in their existing neurochemistry?"

Chavkin also brought up the well-documented antidepressant effects of psychedelics and hypothesized that there might be a connection between them and the HPPD phenomena since both arise after the drug has cleared the system. In all the excitement over psychedelic therapy, perhaps something's being overlooked: If the psychedelic trip facilitates a long-term alteration in mood, then perhaps it causes other, less desirable long-term effects on the brain.

[These drugs] have actions that are unknown; you're taking great risks that we don't really understand or appreciate, Chavkin said. Don't be assuming that you're invulnerable, as many people do."

Sound advice. It's always hard to imagine that you'll be among that tiny percentage that contracts a condition, until it happens.

The truth of the matter is that no amount of education, influence from my family, or advice from experts could have altered my decision to experiment with drugs. I don't regret it on the whole, but in the end, I believe I may have indulged in one trip too many.

I think for many college students, the drug education of their youth didn't make much of an impression. Maybe the voice of a fellow college student can be more effective. If you're like me, you're gonna do some drugs. Satisfy your curiosity, but maybe afterward, respect the substances enough to let them go.

Reach contributing writer Aidan Treat at wellness@dailyuw.com. Twitter: @aidantreat

Like what you're reading? Support high-quality student journalism by donatinghere.

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Forget taking a pill a day. Canada is using psychedelics to revolutionize the way we treat mental health and addiction – The GrowthOp

Posted: at 8:41 am

There are many people that see the lack of effectiveness in traditional treatments and yearn for something more effective and psychedelics seem to be the most promising thing on the horizon.

Before Mind Medicine Inc. rang the bell at Torontos NEO Exchange last week, signalling the arrival of the worlds first publicly traded psychedelic company, they held a moment of silence.

It was Stephen Hursts idea. Hurst, who has worked in biopharmaceuticals for 35 years, co-founded the company with JR Rahn, a Silicon Valley tech executive who previously worked at Uber, in 2019. Together they are part of a growing movement thats pushing neuro-pharmaceuticals and psychedelics into the mainstream.

Hurst has brought a secret weapon to Mind Med. For more than two decades, his research team has been developing a derivative of ibogaine, a naturally occurring psychedelic from the root and bark of Iboga a rainforest shrub that grows across West Africa.

Ibogaine is used as a religious sacrament in some regions of Africa and can induce powerful, discomforting hallucinations. It can also be toxic to the heart, and fatal even months after ingestion. But it has shown promise in treating some of the worlds most destructive and damaging addictions: heroin, alcohol, methamphetamine and opioids.

The derivative, 18-MC, maintains the anti-addictive properties of ibogaine but is non-toxic and non-hallucinogenic. The drug is in phase two clinical trials for treating opioid addiction, which kills more than 130 people a day in the U.S., according to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Research from the New York Times indicates that drug deaths are occurring at a higher rate than at any other time in human history. Meanwhile, mental health disorders have been soaring for the past decade, especially among youth.

This is the backdrop for a revival in psychedelic research. In the 1950s, psychedelics were thoroughly studied and celebrated for their therapeutic potential. Much of the leading research happened in Canada and specifically at the Weyburn Mental Hospital in Weyburn, Sask., where LSD was studied as a treatment for alcoholism and a range of mental health disorders.

In the late 1960s, as recreational use of LSD increased, the perception of psychedelics began to change. Fears of moral and societal decay ran rampant. When Timothy Leary, one of the towering figures of the psychedelic movement, instructed young people to Turn on, tune in, and drop out, the popular conception of psychedelics were irrevocably changed. By 1968, LSD was outlawed in Canada and by the U.S. federal government, which deemed it to have no medicinal value.

But the potential never went away. Neither did the research. Some of the leading figures from that period are still alive, like Czech psychiatrist Stanislav Grof, who predicted in the 1970s that Psychedelics will be for the study of the mind what the telescope was for astronomy, and what the microscope was for biology.

In 2017, the U.S. Federal Drug Administration gave MDMA a breakthrough therapy designation for post-traumatic stress disorder. In 2018, they gave the same designation to psilocybin for treatment-resistant depression. In March of last year, the FDA approved a new antidepressant for the first time in decades, a nasal spray that mimics the effects of ketamine.

In 2018, the U.S. Federal Drug Administration gave psilocybin breakthrough therapy designation for treatment-resistant depression.iStock / Getty Images Plus

When used properly, the belief is that psychedelics can play an important role in psychotherapy and make headway where traditional treatments have failed. Momentum is building from medical and grassroots organizations to nonprofits and Silicon Valley financiers.

We knew that 2020 was going to be the year for psychedelics, Rahn told The GrowthOp the day after the company went public. The momentum is there. The science is there. And we were more or less expecting this.

While comparisons to the cannabis industry are common, Rahn says psychedelics are vastly different, and the potential for the sector is much larger than cannabis.

There are some folks who think they can apply this cannabis paradigm or way of doing business to the psychedelic market and its just not going to happen, he says. The market here is 100 per cent medical. We have no desire to be in the recreational psychedelics market and we dont see one even forming. We are pursuing rigorous science and the FDA pathway, and its going to give us access to institutional capital that never came into the cannabis space.

On the floor of the NEO Exchange, the moment of silence was to remember the lives lost to addiction, Rahn says, and to recognize the millions of people who are currently suffering.

Were trying to create the antibiotic for addiction, he says. Were not trying to put people on a pill a day for the rest of their life. What were trying to do is actually cure a disease.

The day after Mind Med went public, another psychedelics company, Field Trip Inc. announced its first medical clinic in downtown Toronto. The space resembles a spa more than a traditional doctors office. It is open and airy, with lounge seating, a juice bar and soft light falling on walls of Norwegian moss.

Inside, patients will be dosed with ketamine, which is legal in Canada for medicinal use, and have psychedelic-enhanced psychotherapy.

The company is less than a year old and was founded by Joseph del Moral, who previously co-founded CanvasRx Inc., and Canadian Cannabis Clinics, a national network of medical cannabis clinics with more than 20,000 patients.

Theres definitely a feeling that this is the next big wave in plant-based medicine, del Moral says. Were not encountering the same type of resistance we did when we started our cannabis businesses.

The clinics are set up to deliver psychotherapy at scale, he says. Additional locations are under construction in Manhattan and Los Angeles. They also have a research facility in Jamaica, where they are growing and studying psilocybin mushrooms in partnership with the University of West Indies. The goal is to have 60 clinics operating across Canada by 2023.

The medical director for Field Trip is Dr. Michael Verbora, who is also the Chief Medical Officer for Alefia Health, a cannabis company. Ketamine, Verbora says, is a safe, dissociative drug that works the same way other psychedelics do, by taking consumers out of their default mode network.

We have 99 per cent of the same thoughts every day, Verbora explains. Your brain, after age 10 or 11, gets stuck in this circuit, it forms a lot of biases and beliefs about the world. These psychedelics disrupt this pattern of thinking. You wake up the next day and youre kind of looking at things from a different perspective and questioning a lot of your assumptions. That can be extremely therapeutic because a lot of our assumptions are self-sabotaging and harmful to our health.

Experiences range from complete ego dissolution to smaller subtle changes to peoples baseline thinking. Insights experienced during the trip are discussed with a psychotherapist and the hope is that those insights can lead to lasting changes in behaviour and patterns of thinking.

Its extremely therapeutic just to have a third perspective on your own life, to look at things from a different lens, especially if for 20 or 30 years youve looked at life in the same way and its made you severely depressed or anxious, Verbora says.

In the dosing room, patients recline in a zero-gravity chair. They are blindfolded, given bluetooth headphones with a curated playlist, and draped in a heavy blanket. The intention is to replicate a sensory deprivation tank, to increase the intensity of the experience. The ketamine trip lasts about an hour.

A dosing room at Field Trip Healths Toronto clinic, where patients will be administered ketamine.

A week before opening, a waitlist was already forming. The treatment is not currently covered by OHIP, del Moral says, but they are working on it.

For some patients, the experience will not be easy.

You have to sometimes do work, Verbora says. You have to revisit things that have caused major pain mentally and we want to provide the safest environment to do that.

Despite the therapeutic potential, Verbora says the medical community remains divided.

A lot of young physicians feel the future is, instead of taking a pill every day, go for an experience of three sessions of a drug, open up your connections and try and look at the world from a different perspective. See if you get six months, or 12 months, or even longer, of relief. As you can imagine thats a massive paradigm shift. Those are two very different approaches and there are a lot of people who are going to put up resistance to this.

But he doesnt see the momentum slowing. Verbora predicts that within five years, MDMA will be approved for treating post-traumatic stress disorder, psilocybin will be legal for end of life care and anxiety, and ketamine therapy will be much more commonplace.

I want to help those patients who feel like there are no other options, he says. I want to give them hope and I want to give them a safe setting and a safe place to have an expert help them to use these drugs in a new way to give them joy, happiness, and their lives back.

When you enter the clinic the first thing you see is a wall of the same book, backlit with soft purple light. It is Harvard professor Michael Pollans 2018 investigation into the psychedelic reemergence, How to Change Your Mind: What the New Science of Psychedelics Teaches Us About Consciousness, Dying, Addiction, Depression, and Transcendence. The book became a #1 New York Times bestseller.

When the ego dissolves, so does a bounded conception not only of our self but of our self-interest, Pollan writes on page 390. What emerges in its place is invariably a broader, more openhearted and altruistic that is, more spiritual idea of what matters in life. One in which a new sense of connection, or love, however defined, seems to figure prominently.

I want people to know that there are better alternatives in the future, says Irie Selkrik, the co-founder and director of Rise Wellness Retreat, a legal psilocybin microdose retreat-based in Jamaica. We dont have to keep doing what weve been doing. Its not working.

Selkirk is also the co-founder of Sansero, a psilocybin life sciences company thats developing psilocybin-based treatments for mental health disorders, inflammation and addiction.

She has been working with plant-based medicine for more than a decade and doesnt believe normalizing these therapeutic approaches will be as much of an uphill battle as some might assume.

Remember that MDMA was legal in my lifetime, she says. And people are really looking for better ways to take care of their mental health. In my opinion, this is an evolution and a necessary step as we use more technology-based medicine.

She understands the skeptics and the critics who say the industry is being propped up by investors looking to score big in a Green Rush 2.0 scenario, but shes hopeful there will be less pump and dump in psychedelics.

It would be an incredible missed opportunity, she says. Its important that people understand that this is definitely a long term approach to meaningful change in the way that people take care of their mental health.

There are also lessons from the cannabis industry that can be applied to psychedelics. For those of us who created real businesses coming from a place of expertise and understanding of the industry, not just hopping over, thats where you see success in the cannabis industry, she says.

This is a rising tide. And the markets are there to push this forward socially, as well.

Mark Haden, the executive director of the Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies (MAPS) Canada and an adjunct professor at the University of British Columbia, agrees with that characterization. Theyll be a huge number of people who want to improve treatments and a lot of people who want to make money and both will come together and legalization will move forward, he predicts.

There are many people that see the lack of effectiveness in traditional treatments and yearn for something more effective and psychedelics seem to be the most promising thing on the horizon, says author and educator Mark Haden.Rebecca Blissett/Postmedia

Haden worked as a supervisor at Vancouvers Pacific Spirit Community Health Centre for 28 years. Through that work, he witnessed how unsuccessful traditional treatments were for many people. I spent my career trying to help people with addiction and we werent very effective, he says. There are many people who see the lack of effectiveness in traditional treatments and yearn for something more effective and psychedelics seem to be the most promising thing on the horizon.

He distinguishes between the cannabis industry and psychedelics, explaining that cannabis is a product and psychedelics are a service.

Cannabis can be safely consumed by most adults, without doing harm to themselves or others. Psychedelics need a container of safety that needs to be structured.

He also sees therapeutic potential for otherwise healthy adults.

For adults who would like to have a mystical experience at some point in the future, it would be reasonable to allow those folks to have that experience, but again, it has to be wrapped in a container of safety. And so having a new profession that is there to guide these experiences makes complete sense to me.

After a lifetime of work and research, Haden is optimistic about the future of psychedelics and the momentum building behind the industry.

At this point in our human history, we certainly need to have access to psychedelics, he says. There are a lot of untreated mental health conditions. And we can certainly improve our bonding to each other and improve our bonding to nature. Thats where were hoping to go in the long run.

Kevin OLeary, of Shark Tank fame, is perhaps one of the last people you might envision championing this industry. But about 18 months ago, he invested in Mind Med.

Bruce Linton, considered by many to be one of the architects of Canadas cannabis industry, is also an investor with the company. OLeary stayed out of cannabis and doesnt plan on changing that, but psychedelics, he says, is a different ballgame.

Kevin OLeary invested in Mind Medicine Inc. about 18 months ago.

When I first got approached on this one, my initial reaction was no, this is another cannabis situation with a schedule one narcotic, he says. But the more I investigated it, the benefits of just pursuing one outcome, such as solving, or at least helping, opiate addiction, was a multibillion dollar business. And thats when I started to do some due diligence.

He defines psychedelics as a binary investment. The returns could be extraordinary, or its a zero, he says.

Thats the way you have to look at developing new medicines, you dont know. But then I started to talk to some of the sovereign wealth and the pension plans that I work with and they were just as intrigued. This is not a secret. People have been looking at the space now for a few years.

OLeary says there is tremendous potential for institutional investment and that it will be needed to finance clinical trials in multiple jurisdictions and countries.

FDA approved trials are very expensive. And so as the industry grows, and they keep hitting milestones, and proving efficacy, youre going to get a lot of capital coming out. And thats my basic premise of why I invested. The entire medical community is looking for solutions. The governments looking for solutions because its a multibillion dollar cost to enterprises in America, Canada and Mexico.

OLeary also hears in his day to day how effective psychedelics can be. Microdosing in Silicon Valley began to gain traction about six years ago. Steve Jobs, Tim Ferriss, and many others, have all publicly discussed how microdosing psychedelics has improved their work output and creative problem solving. Bill Gates has even hinted at it.

I dont endorse this at all, but theres all kinds of anecdotal evidence right now, particularly in areas like engineering and coding, where microdosing is going on illegally and having some very positive outcomes, OLeary says. Now, I dont endorse it. Im totally against it. Its illegal. But, you know, I hear it every day. I work in the tech industries and I talk to engineers all the time, and its going on all over the place, and theyre getting great outcomes. People with ADD, great outcomes. People that have difficulty concentrating, great outcomes. So when I hear that, I want this research to go on, and I certainly want to be part of it as an investor.

Before joining the company, Rahn made a handshake deal with OLeary that Mind Med would never pursue the recreational market. He said If you ever invest in or develop recreational psychedelics, Im out, and Im selling all my shares and youre on my hit list, Rahn says. So, you know, I think thats very clear.

Rahn believes that if you can provide something of value to society, it will lead to a successful business, and thats where he sees psychedelics heading. We are doing good work here, he says. Its not just about a stock listing. Its going to be a big business but its also going to have a big impact on society.

Teaming with OLeary whose moniker Mr. Wonderful is somewhat at odds with his sharp-tongued, no-nonsense image required looking past reputation. Something similar is happening within psychedelics.

Im an advocate for this now, OLeary says. There is no other solution right now and theres a massive multibillion dollar problem. This research is of great interest to many regulators, many politicians, and many leaders. Im optimistic.

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High Stakes: Will The Legalization Of Psychedelics Mimic That Of Cannabis? Will It Learn From Its Mistakes? – Benzinga

Posted: at 8:41 am

By Double Blind's Madison Margolin, provided exclusively to Benzinga Cannabis.

The cannabis industry has drifted from its grassroots values. Will the psychedelic field learn from its mistakes?

Im in the back corner of a Hollywood cafe and I just took a hit off my vape pen. For focus, mainly, and to get some creativity flowing. No one seemed to notice or care, plus the vapor smells more like rose than like weed. The pen itself is pink, now sitting in the front pocket of my purse with my earbuds, chapstick, car keys, and a small jar of cannabis salve for my tendinitis.

At home, I have a ziplock baggie of psilocybin mushrooms hidden in my bedroom. Theyre tucked away with a square of tin foil wrapped around some MDMA powder. The baggie, the foil, the hiding spotits the definition of a drug stash. The last time I treated cannabis this way was my freshman year of college nearly a decade ago.

Things have changed since then, at least here in California. My designer weed feels like an accessory to my makeup bag, and I cant remember the last time someone gave me bud in a ziplock. I know its only a matter of time before psychedelics go the same way. But do we want them to?

Granted, microdosing psychedelicsis on its way to becoming almost as socially acceptable as vaping cannabis before work. As of a 2013 National Survey on Drug Use and Health, nearly7%of the American population had taken MDMA, while on any given weekend, dozens of ayahuasca ceremonies are happening in lofts, yoga studios, and private homes all over Brooklyn, Los Angeles, the Bay Area, and beyond.

Psychedelics are fast re-entering the mainstream, with prudent visionaries, scientists, and academics like Rick Doblin, founder of the Multidisciplinary Association of Psychedelic Studies, Michael Pollan, author ofHow to Change Your Mind, and Johns Hopkins researcher Roland Griffiths, among others, leading the way.

Some arguethat the psychedelic movement is where the cannabis movement was only a decade agoand they have a point. California pioneered medical marijuana in 1996 and, since then,33 states have legalized cannabisfor medical or adult use, the FDA has approvedthe first cannabis-based medicine for prescription, and cannabis has become a central issuefor some candidateson the campaign trail. In many ways, the cannabis plants route to legalization serves as both a template for psychedelics, as well as an example of what not to do along the way.

In many ways, the cannabis plants route to legalization serves as both a template for psychedelics, as well as an example of what not to do along the way.

See Also: What You Need To Know About Publicly-Traded Psychedelics Companies

Thoughdisproven as a gateway drug, cannabis indeed is a gateway plant, introducing consumers to a plant-based approach to wellness. Having experienced the power of cannabis therapy, those who may otherwise have feared psychedelic drugs are seeing their merit.

The approach to cannabis legalization has been threefold. The most obvious route has been local, with state measures to decriminalize or legalize cannabis for medical or recreational purposes. Key players in state markets like Californias, luring the brightest minds in marketing, haverebranded cannabis as a wellness and lifestyle product. Once embraced only by hippies, cannabis has been sterilized enough to lure even the most conservative squares (like John Boehner) into the industry. Congress is catching on, too, now considering arecord number of billsto deschedule or otherwise promote cannabis law reform. The federal approach comprises the second route to reform.

Meanwhile, the third prong is through FDA rescheduling. Currently, Sue Sisley, president and principal investigator at the Scottsdale Research Institute, has partnered with MAPS to study cannabis floweras a treatment for veterans with PTSD. When the research is complete, the idea is for cannabis, in its organic form, to become an affordable, prescription medication.

One of the things that the cannabis movement has done right is having operated in multiple levels of government, says Noah Potter, author of The Psychedelic Law Blog and an attorney with cannabis firm Hoban Law Group. Theres no central organizing on cannabis, but it has happened organically as people have stepped up in different capacities as journalists, as physicians, and as entrepreneurs, [while] for better and for worse, theres a diversity of messaging on cannabis.

Similar to organizations like the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws or the Drug Policy Alliance, MAPS, a nonprofit which has sponsored much of the recent, pioneering psychedelic research, has strong political leanings.

Yet MAPS and other research nonprofits are not alone in seeking to make psychedelics legal, as medications. Theres been concern among some key players in the psychedelic community that COMPASS Pathwaysa for-profit company whose research has recently been put on the fast-track by the FDA to develop psilocybin therapy for depressionis an indication that people looking to profit from psychedelics, rather than ensure their accessibility, are getting into the space. The company is backed by major venture capitalists including Peter Thiel and Michael Novogratz.

Were now seeing at least a two-pronged approach to psychedelics, mirroring cannabis. The first is government-approved research on MDMA for PTSD and psilocybin for anxiety, addiction, and other conditions. The second is state- and city-level initiatives in places like Denver and Oregon to decriminalize or legalize psilocybin.According to Oaklands Decriminalize Nature campaign, more than 55 cities now want to replicate the citys initiative, which passed in June, to decriminalize all naturally-occurring psychedelics.

But as Potter mentioned, the diversity of messaging has its drawbacks, too: Without a central tenant to either the cannabis or psychedelic movement, theres no way to ensure these industries grow to be accessible or equitable.

How is it that in the cannabis industry, for instance, thousands of Drug War victims (mainly people of color)remain incarcerated for minor cannabis violations, while white men (those like Boehner) make headway in yet another increasingly corporate American industry?

You combine cannabis with capitalism, in which cannabis is now just a consumer product, and its now just all about the money, Potter says.

Consequently, were now in a place where even black market farmers and gray market dispensary owners, who for decades lived under the looming threat of having their livelihoods taken from them, are bemoaning legalization amid burdensome regulations and an inability to compete with Big Marijuana. And whereas women once comprised 36% of executives in the cannabis industry, the mainstreaming of pot has had the side effect of reducing that statistic byabout 9%, according to a 2017 survey byMarijuana Business Daily. With a number of industry execs having never even gotten high themselves, its hard not to wonder how the cannabis industry digressed so far from the morals of its original, grassroots movement.

And thats just the question we should be asking about the coming psychedelic industry: How can the commercial market uphold the values of community and compassion so often reinforced when a person is under the influence of these entheogenic plants?

While, admittedly, there are far fewer prisoners of the War on Psychedelics than the War on Weed, equity in the case of psychedelics means not only including marginalized groups in the nascent industry, but ensuring psychedelic medicine as a right, rather than a privilege. Also, says Potter, to go about psychedelic legalization solely for the purpose of providing medicine feeds into the prohibitionist paradigm that these substances may still be unsafe outside that paradigm; it neglects their merit in recreational or spiritual purposes, the line between both often being hazy.

See Also: Will Shroom Dispensaries Become A Thing Anytime Soon?

There remains a need, within the movement, to uphold the right to cognitive liberty, the pursuit of happiness, and the innate yearning for spiritual connectionall alongside the need for better medicine. At the same time, we need to ensure that the movement and industry give due respect to the indigenous cultures that have been using these substances, safely and wisely, for generations. You now have potential exploitation of these substances for-profit and first-world psychedelic tourism, says Potter.

Ultimately, psychedelic legalization would be preferable to decriminalization, Potter argues, because it would allow psychedelics to be regulated and make a larger dent in the Drug War. But, in order for psychedelics to actually become integrated into society, the medical-spiritual-commercial divide will have to shift, too. If done properly, says Potter, that will have profound implications for everything we do.

Photo byAhmed ZayanonUnsplash

2020 Benzinga.com. Benzinga does not provide investment advice. All rights reserved.

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Scientists Just Proved These Two Brain Networks Are Key to Consciousness – Singularity Hub

Posted: at 8:41 am

Consciousness is one of the greatest mysteries of the human species. Where and how does it originate? Why do we have it? Is it even real, or just an illusion?

These questions arent just hard to answereven looking for answers is difficult. But scientists are slowly chipping away at them, with teams all over the world carrying out studies on the brain aimed at cracking the consciousness code.

One of the most recent studies showed a clear relationship between two brain networks critical to consciousness. In a paper published this week in Science Advances, a team from the University of Michigan described their finding that the default mode network (DMN) and the dorsal attention network (DAT) are anti-correlated, meaning that when one is active, the other is suppressed. The team also found that neither network was highly active in people who were unconscious.

These findings suggest that the interplay of the DMN and the DAT support consciousness by allowing us to interact with our surroundings then to quickly internalize those interactions, essentially turning our experiences into thoughts and memories.

Say youre walking through your neighborhood on a sunny afternoon. Youre thinking about the party you went to over the weekend, remembering people you met and conversations you had. Then theres a crashing noise and a car horn starts honkinga biker has run into a car and fallen over not ten steps from you. No one appears to be hurt, but you rush to the bikers side to see if she needs help.

In a few seconds, youve switched from using one brain network to another. The default mode network (DMN) is active when were internally focused, thinking about ourselves and using our memory and imagination. The dorsal attention network (DAT), on the other hand, is activated when were aware of and paying attention to the environment around us.

Of course, switching between different brain networks happens constantly, as does simultaneous use of multiple networks; wed use both the frontoparietal network (active in higher-level processing) and the visual network (used for sight) to analyze and react to images we see or words we read, for example.

But when it comes to the default mode and dorsal attention networks, the situation is a little different; the two are rarely, if ever, active at the same timein fact, neuroscientists had long suspected the two networks werent simultaneously active. The relationship between the two has been studied before, but the Michigan teams research yielded the first definitive proof that the DMN and DAT are, in fact, anti-correlated.

If you think about it, it makes sense; its hard to be fully engaged with your surroundings and be deep in thought about yourself at the same time.

People meditate to try to get out of their heads and focus on the present moment, that is, to quiet the DMN and activate the DAT. Psychedelics like psilocybin or LSD have the same effect: the default mode network is quieted, often resulting in intense feelings of connection to the natural world, other people, or ones surroundings. Since the DMN is where our egos live and where negative thought loops about ourselves take place, the use of psychedelics to quiet this brain region is increasingly being studied as a treatment for depression, PTSD, addiction, and other neurological disorders.

Indeed, were trying pretty hard these days to get out of our own headsand its not easy. This study showed that not only can we not be in our own heads and out of them at the same time, but this mutually exclusive relationship between the DMN and the DAT and the consistent switching between them is what enables us to interact with our environment then internalize and process our experiencesin other words, to be conscious.

The results provide novel scientific insight into the neuronal mechanisms of consciousness, said Zirui Huang, the lead author on the study, and these insights could eventually be used to develop an indicator of the state of consciousness in patients with brain disorders.

The team used functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI), which measures brain activity by detecting changes in blood flow, to study the brains of 98 participants. Some of the participants were awake, while others were mildly sedated or generally anesthetized, and some suffered from brain disorders of consciousness.

The team built a machine learning model to analyze when different parts of participants brains were in use at the same time. Many previous studies of these patterns used fMRI data averaged over several minutes, but the Michigan team took second-to-second images of brain activity.

We know the brain is changing second to second with different networks engaged in collaboration, said Anthony Hudetz, Professor of Anesthesiology and Director of the Center for Consciousness Science, and a senior author of the paper. Temporal averaging can miss the actual dynamics of the brain and what underlies everything the brain does, from our thinking to our imagination.

They observed eight primary brain networksfrom higher-level processing to visual processing and the activity of the whole brainin addition to the aforementioned DAT and DMN. Using the first 98 participants, the team created a model of the activity patterns of these networks, including which ones were activated simultaneously, for how long, and which network activated subsequently.

Once they had a reliable model, the team further evaluated their results in an additional group of 248 participants, all of whom were conscious but some of whom had psychiatric disorders that could alter the functioning of their brain networks.

The researchers saw that the brain quickly transitions from one network to another in regular patterns, and the conscious brain cycles through a structured pattern of states over time, including frequent transitions to the default mode and dorsal attention networks.

But in patients who were unconsciouswhether theyd been sedated or they suffered from brain disorderstransitions to the DMN and DAT were much less frequent.

This is key: though the experiences of unresponsive patients would have differed depending on how they became unconscioustheir brain networks would have been impacted and reorganized in different waysthey all shared the same isolation of the DMN and DAT networks.

In people who are conscious, turning off the DMN (which is what happens when you take psychedelics) results in an inability to deeply self-reflect. Turning off the DAT, on the other hand, would result in an inability to be aware of and respond to ones surroundings. Its the switching between these two networks that allows us to be engaged, aware, self-reflective humansconscious beings, you could say.

We wanted to pinpoint which networks are related to consciousness, said Huang. By suppressing consciousness, we developed a better sense of which networks are important for consciousness by process of elimination.

We already knew that youre in a conscious state whether youre daydreaming and caught up in memories or out of your head and engaged with the world around you.

But now we have further proof that, one, you dont use the brain networks required for self-reflection and external engagement at the same time, and two, you dont use much of either when youre unconscious.

Huang hopes to next identify how the brain regulates these moment-to-moment changes from one network to another. These structured patterns of brain changes are important for consciousness, he said.

Cracking the codeor, rather, the many codesof the human brain will likely take decades, and thats taking into account the decades scientists have already devoted to studying, probing, imaging, and analyzing the three-pound ball of neurons and fatty acids inside our heads.

But after all, the brain is the seat of consciousness, as well as that of every thought, memory, emotion, and sensation we have; we couldnt have expected its inner workings to be straightforward.

Image Credit: Greyson Joralemon on Unsplash

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Cannabis Countdown: Top 10 Marijuana Stock News Stories Of The Week – MarketWatch

Posted: at 8:41 am

Welcome to theCannabis Countdown. In this weeks rendition, well recap and countdown the top 10 Marijuana Stock News stories for the week of March 2nd 8th, 2020.

Without further ado,lets get started.

*Yahoo Finance readers, please click here to view full article.

The Psychedelics Industry is Beginning to Heat Up, Giving Cannabis Investors an Eerie Sense of Dja Vu

Psychedelic Stocksare in high demand asChampignon Brands (cse:SHRM)andMindMed (neo:MMED)IPO in the same week. Lets compareSHRMandMMEDs first week of trading to see how the two stacked up and which stock came out on top.

READ FULL PSYCHEDELIC STOCKS IPO ARTICLE

Dow Jones Soars 1,173 Points as Joe Bidens Super Tuesday Win Sparks Major Market Rally

As the stock market soared, North AmericanPot Stocksalso rebounded sharply with some posting double-digit gains on the day. Here are the top 15 gainers of the trading session.

READ FULL TCI MARKET WATCH ARTICLE

Heres What Wall Street Is Saying About TLRYs Disappointing Q4 Results

Tilray Inc TLRY, -16.07% reported a net loss of $219.1 million in the quarter, or $2.14 a share. The net loss included a $112 million impairment charge related to assets, as well as a $68 million inventory write-down.Wall Streethad been anticipating a loss of 40 cents a share.

READ FULL TILRAY EARNINGS ARTICLE

Now Listed on the NEO, MMED Stock Was Very Active on its First Day, Trading Over 14 Million Shares

Prior to going public,PsychedelicsfirmMindMed (neo:MMED) (fra:BGHM)raised $24 million in a pre-IPO round which includedKevin OLearyand the founder and former CEO ofCanopy Growth (WEED) CGC, -18.20% (fra:11L1),Bruce Linton.

READ FULL MINDMED IPO ARTICLE

One Harvard Economist Says the U.S. Government Loses up to $20B a Year By Keeping Cannabis Illegal

Some experts believe that the U.S. Federal Government makes up for prohibition costs and lost tax revenue in other ways, such as by not allowing cannabis companies to write-off regular business expenses.

READ FULL FEDS CANNABIS ARTICLE

Analysts Gordon Johnson Calls the Companys Guidance Aspirational

GLJ Research is zeroing out itsTilray Inc TLRY, -16.07% price target in the wake of the cannabis companys fourth-quarterearnings. Johnson maintained a Sell rating and lowered the price target for Tilray from $5 to $0, suggesting the equity is essentially worthless.

READ FULL TILRAY TARGET ARTICLE

Q4 Results Fell Short for Acreage Holdings According to Beacon Securities Analyst Russell Stanley

In an update to clients, Stanley kept his Buy rating on shares ofAcreage Holdings (cse:ACRG.U) (otcqx:ACRGF) (0VZ),but dropped his price target from $17.00 to $5.25 per share. Stanley said the quarter came in under his estimates.

READ FULL ACREAGE HOLDINGS ARTICLE

BlueKudu is a Producer of Premium Edible Cannabis Products

Curaleaf Holdings (cse:CURA) (otcqx:CURLF)will acquire BlueKudu, a Colorado-based producer of premium cannabis chocolates and gummies. Founded in 2011, BlueKudu is one of Colorados oldest and most experienced edible manufacturers.

READ FULL CURALEAF ARTICLE

GW Pharma Owns a Proprietary Cannabinoid Platform with Epidiolex as its Lead Product

As the worlds first company to commercialize a plant-based cannabinoid-derived pharmaceutical,GW Pharmaceuticals GWPH, -11.95% stands out as a Top Pick for 2020, according to David M. Kideckel, an analyst for AltaCorp Capital, who stayed bullish on the name in an update to clients.

READ FULL GW PHARMA ARTICLE

Hundreds of Canopy Employees Showed Up for Work Only to Find Themselves Out of a Job

Canopy Growth (WEED) CGC, -18.20% (fra:11L1)has closed large greenhouses in Delta and Aldergrove, B.C. The top Canadianlicensed producer (LP)says the closures have resulted in the elimination of approximately 500 positions. In addition to the closures in B.C., the company says it no longer plans to open a third greenhouse in Niagara-on-the-Lake, Ontario.

READ FULL CANOPY BC TWEED ARTICLE

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