Numinus Wellness (NUMI.V) is the first company to receive the Health Canada nod to standardize the extraction of psilocybin from mushrooms.

The Health Canada nod comes at the behest of an amendment to the company’s existing license under the Controlled Drug and Substances Act, and grants them the honour of being the first publicly traded company to conduct research of this kind in Canada.

“We are proud to be at the forefront of a new therapeutic category by advancing evidence-based science focused on wellness and personal connection at its core. Numinus is the only publicly traded company in Canada approved to develop a consistent psilocybin extraction method from naturally-produced mushrooms at a time when alternative therapeutic methods are increasingly being investigated and demand from clinical research is growing,” said Payton Nyquvest, Numinus chief executive officer.

Numinus is a Vancouver-based healthcare company involved through its subsidiary, Salvation Botanicals, in testing and analysis of cannabis products from licensed producers. Lately, though, they’ve branched out to include a dealer’s license which allows the company to test, possess, buy and sell MDMA psilocybin, psilocin, DMT and mescaline. The Health Canada license allows for the import/export, testing and research and development of these substances. The expanded license allows the company to support the ongoing scientific studies presently going on all around the world on the efficacy and medical potential of various psychedelic therapies.

This regulatory approval gives Numinus the ability to proceed with the production of naturally sourced, sustainable psilocybin to perform research in support of the emerging field of psychedelic assisted therapy, at lower costs to currently produced synthetic psilocybin. The Health Canada license also gives Numinus the opportunity to develop and license its own intellectual property to develop products in partnership with leading research organizations, which is something the research community has been trying to secure.

The work will be eligible for the Government of Canada’s Scientific Research and Experimental Development tax incentive program and act as a foundation for future grant applications.

The effects of psilocybin include:

  • Psilocybin has both positive and negative physical and psychological effects.
  • Psilocybin is not naturally addictive.
  • The drug can trigger psychotic episodes.
  • Individuals with a family history of schizophrenia or early onset mental illness face an increased risk of an adverse psychiatric reaction to psilocybin.

Numinus Bioscience sports a 7,000 square foot research facility and laboratory, where senior researchers Dr. Kristina Grotzinger and Dr. Bernd Keller work on developing a proprietary extraction method from mushrooms, which will allow for consistent dosing and application of psilocybin. Once the company has discovered a method including both of these requirements, they will move onto supply agreements with leading research organizations for their clinical and therapeutic work.

Researchers at Johns Hopkins University, the Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Substances (MAPS) and other leading researchers have published studies displaying the benefits of psilocybin in the treatment of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) and other mental illnesses.

“In most cases, the creation of synthetic compounds are less pure than those found in nature, which is the case with psilocybin. There is risk of contamination from solvents, gases and other chemicals, which makes them less safe to work with and requires added safety and processing expense. By working directly with the mushroom in its natural state, these risks are reduced, as is the cost to extract the psilocybin.” Grotzinger added that standardized plant or fungi extracts are accepted by European standards and are a common dosage form in Europe,” according to Dr. Grotzinger.

The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has granted psilocybin breakthrough therapy status for treating PTSD, which illustrates and reinforces the growing demand for therapeutic access.

—Joseph Morton

Written By:

Joseph Morton

Joseph is a Vancouver-based author and journalist with both a communications degree and journalism diploma (and a few novels) under his belt. His joie de vivre is to spin difficult technical topics into more human-centric narratives. Buy him a coffee and he'll talk your ear off for hours about privacy issues, blockchain, cryptocurrency and martial arts. Don't talk to him if you're either a tomato, a bully, or if you're not a fan of either 1984 or Tender is the Night. No. You can still talk to him. Just be prepared to be told why you're wrong.

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