NEW YORK, May 28, 2020 /PRNewswire/ -- Recent data indicates that psychedelic products are gaining recognition. Several crucial data points have been observed in recent studies, pointing to potential benefits of such products. For example, according to a recent study, a single dose of psilocybin (naturally occurring psychedelic compound) can make symptoms of depression significantly improve. The randomized controlled trial compared single-dose psilocybin with single-dose niacin in conjunction with psychotherapy in participants with cancer-related psychiatric distress. Results suggested that psilocybin-assisted psychotherapy facilitated improvements in psychiatric and existential distress, quality of life, and spiritual well-being up to seven weeks prior to the crossover. At the 6.5-month follow-up, after the crossover, 60-80% of participants continued to meet criteria for clinically significant antidepressant or anxiolytic responses. Following recent studies, and the FDA's decision to approve the first ketamine-based psychedelic medicine from Johnston & Johnston to treat depression, psychedelic products may follow cannabis on a similar path to the legalization and finally breaking free of their established stigma. Numinus Wellness Inc. (TSX-V: NUMI), Aphria Inc. (NYSE: APHA) (TSX: APHA)
The growing awareness of health benefits associated with cannabidiol (CBD) products has pushed the market into mainstream retail. And yet, despite its growth of recent years, it is important to remember that cannabis products are still illegal in the U.S on the federal level. This regulatory obstacle is one of the last remaining difficulties that has been holding the industry back to a significant degree. "There is plenty of room for growth here," believes Confident Cannabis VP of Growth & Marketing Brad Bogus according to a report by Civilized. "CBD is sort of stuck in between prohibition era policies and federal acceptance. We just saw the first cannabis derived FDA approved medication make its way onto the market, which is a CBD medication. Where it goes from here in the world of Big Pharma is hard to say, but the direction will be up, in some velocity. Seniors are more keen to try a CBD product over a THC product, so even on the regular non-pharmaceutical market, CBD will still snag a good portion of untapped market share. International trade of source material is another big advantage of the CBD market, to help it grow."
Numinus Wellness Inc. (TSX-V: NUMI) announced breaking news this morning that it is, "pleased to report its near-term goals to advance its mission to address the universal desire to heal.
For 2020, the Company plans to upgrade its lab and processing facilities (for both cannabis and psychedelic substances), seek additional licences related to psychedelic substances and cannabis products, identify and lease a second wellness centre and develop psychedelic therapy protocols.
Numinus believes the societal costs of mental illness, addictions, trauma and unmet human potential are much too high. New approaches and new ways of thinking are required to supplement existing options, including the application of psychedelic assisted therapies when approved by regulators.
"We are not a concept. We are a growth story," says Numinus CEO Payton Nyquvest. "That means executing on our business plan and advancing each piece of our value chain - one we have in place today."
Numinus Bioscience, through its wholly-owned subsidiary Salvation Botanicals, has a 7,000 square foot laboratory located in Nanaimo, B.C. and is licensed by Health Canada to test, sell, distribute, and eventually conduct research on psychedelic substances, as well as test and analyze cannabis products. Numinus Wellness is dedicated to therapies that enhance and supplement existing options for people wanting lasting physical, mental and emotional health - with psychedelic treatments at its core when approved for therapeutic and research use. Numinus R&D is creating partnerships with leading research groups to advance practice and understanding in the space.
Company plans for 2020 include:
- Upgrade existing laboratory and processing facilities including systems, instruments and the building to obtain GMP compliance to facilitate R&D and clinical studies
- Amend dealer's license under Health Canada's Controlled Substances Act to include import/export, packaging and R&D
- Identify and build out a purpose-built facility to complement our existing wellness centre. Psychedelic assisted therapies will not be available at the existing centre and will only be available at our purpose-built facility through research or clinical trials once approved by regulators and governing bodies — a process Numinus is helping to support
- Explore potential acquisition of additional existing wellness facilities in North America
- Establish partnerships to advance Psychedelic Therapy Protocol development, under the direction of Numinus Chief Medical Officer, Dr. Evan Wood
- Pursue American and European securities listings to provide investment opportunities for international markets and engage appropriate investor relations groups to support this process
"We are building a solid team to deliver on our business plan," Nyquvest says. "And, revenue from our existing cannabis testing operations provides us a foundation for growth – differentiating us from others in the psychedelics space. This offering will be strengthened by a standard processing/extraction licence from Health Canada which the Company hopes to be granted in Q4 2020."
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Aphria Inc. (NYSE: APHA) (TSX: APHA) announced last year that it had received a cultivation licence from Health Canada for Aphria Diamond, the Company's second Leamington, Ontario cannabis greenhouse facility, bringing an additional 1,300,000 sq. ft. of production space with an annual growing capacity of 140,000kg. Combined with the Company's Aphria One facility and its subsidiary Broken Coast Cannabis, the Company now has more than 2,400,000 sq. ft. of cultivation space capable of reaching a total annualized production capacity of 255,000kg. "We are extremely pleased to receive the licence for our long-awaited Aphria Diamond facility, which more than doubles our Canadian production capacity," said Irwin D. Simon. "Reaching industry-leading production levels coinciding with the expansion into new categories and new opportunities for cannabis in Canada and around the world is a transformative moment for Aphria Inc."
Organigram Holdings Inc. (NASDAQ: OGI) (TSX: OGI), the parent company of Organigram Inc., a leading licensed producer of cannabis, announced earlier this year that the Company had received Health Canada's approval for the licensing of the remainder of its Phase 5 expansion together with the renewal of its licenses for standard cultivation, standard processing and sale for medical purposes under the Cannabis Regulations. The renewed and expanded licenses are effective as of March 20th, 2020. The terms of the licenses include approval of a two-floor production facility designed to support all processing activity as well as dedicated spaces for packaging of flower, pre-rolls, vape pens and powdered beverages. The Phase 5 expansion also includes a new extraction facility with increased capacity for CO2 extraction, and winterization as well as new capabilities designed for future product development.
Neptune Wellness Solutions Inc. (NASDAQ: NEPT) (TSX: NEPT) specializes in the extraction, purification and formulation of health and wellness products. The Company has in excess of 100 customers across several verticals including legal cannabis and hemp, nutraceutical and consumer packaged goods. Late last year the Company announced that it had entered into a collaboration agreement with International Flavors & Fragrances Inc. (IFF) to co-develop hemp-derived CBD products for the mass retail and health & wellness markets. App Connect Service, Inc. is also a party to the agreement to provide related branding strategies and promotional activities. "We are pleased to enter this strategic partnership and drive innovation that satisfies customers' demands for quality, sustainability and traceability," said Nicolas Mirzayantz, Divisional CEO, Scent at IFF. "The hemp-derived CBD products we are developing will target consumer preference towards natural health & wellness products."
Green Thumb Industries Inc. (OTCQX: GTBIF) (CSE: GTII) cannabis consumer packaged goods company and owner of Rise™ and Essence retail stores, announced recently that it is opening its 43rd location, Rise Lakewood, on April 13th. This is the fifth Rise™ store in Ohio and the second Rise™ location in Lakewood. "As a designated essential business during the ongoing COVID-19 crisis, we are honored to provide cannabis to more members of the community with a second location in Lakewood," said GTI Founder and Chief Executive Officer Ben Kovler. "We are grateful to be able to promote well-being through the power of cannabis, especially during these stressful and uncertain times."
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