Last month, a hemp dispensary located in Florida began to sell psychedelic mushrooms. The dispensary, Chillum, was founded by Carlos Hermida in 2018. Hermida is pushing legal boundaries because psilocybin is still illegal in the county due to its Schedule I classification under the Controlled Substances Act. Drugs under this classification have no legal medical purpose and a high potential for abuse. Other drugs under this schedule include LSD and heroin.
Hermida is basing his sales on a legal loophole that allows him to sell Amanita muscaria mushrooms that do not contain psilocybin. This makes them legal under federal law. Additionally, this red-and-white mushroom is legal in all states in the country except for Louisiana.
To sell the shrooms, Hermida doesn’t call them magic mushrooms, because this term is associated with psilocybin, the primary psychedelic compound found in traditional hallucinogenic mushrooms. He argues that only when drugs are a problem are they banned, noting that muscaria’s low uptake had protected it from regulation.
The Amanita muscaria mushroom is usually used for its psychedelic properties. However, it is poisonous, with one review from the National Library of Medicine showing one patient who fell into a coma after accidentally ingesting it. Additionally, the mushroom may cause diarrhea and vomiting if consumed raw.
To avoid these effects, Hermida reveals that he cooks then treats these mushrooms. This, he says, decreases their toxicity.
Chillum sells the mushroom strain in powders, gummies and capsules. The dispensary also provides mycology growth kits that could, in theory, allow an individual to make their own psilocybin. However, Hermida usually asks customers to sign a form agreeing that they will not do so.
Hermida built his business on loosening restrictions, having fought for the legalization of medical cannabis in the state. In his interview, he revealed that he hadn’t observed a significant increase in traffic since he added the Amanita muscaria mushrooms to his product line.
Advocates are pushing for psychedelic drugs for medical purposes to be made more accessible, as the use of recreational cannabis increases across states in the country. Hermida noted that he’s made preparations in the event that the law which bans the use of psilocybin is lifted, noting that he also plans to establish more dispensary branches. His experiment is only one among many others being held by dispensaries in North America that are pushing back against outdated drug laws hoping for reforms.
For companies such as Silo Pharma Inc. (NASDAQ: SILO), the approach of taking therapeutic formulations through the preclinical and clinical research process leading to FDA approval is the preferred way to see psychedelic treatments available to patients who desperately need alternatives to what is currently available for managing their ailments.
NOTE TO INVESTORS: The latest news and updates relating to Silo Pharma Inc. (NASDAQ: SILO) are available in the company’s newsroom at https://ibn.fm/SILO
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