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Psychedelics Take Different Commercialization Approach from Marijuana

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The growing psychedelic industry is charting its own path to commercialization instead of following cannabis’ footprints. The psychedelics industry is basing its approach on facts and research, unlike cannabis, which centered on legalization.

Experts in the psychedelic field have been conducting research on the substances for decades now, which has led to the discovery of various benefits that psychedelics hold. Researchers started studying psychedelics in the 1950s, until two decades later when the Controlled Substances Act came into effect. This act made it illegal to hold, much less carry out research on these compounds, which were classified into different schedules.

It wasn’t until the early 2000s that scientists from John Hopkins University acquired regulatory approval to recommence studies into the substances. In 2006, one study determined that one dose of psilocybin was safe for administration and held long-term benefits. Psilocybin is a naturally occurring psychoactive compound found in hallucinogenic mushrooms. Since then, over 150 peer-reviewed articles on psychedelics have been published in scientific journals.

Institutions such as Stanford University have become research pioneers in the burgeoning field while others, including the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine, have launched the Center for Psychedelic & Consciousness Research. This center is dedicated to advancing the scientific understanding of psychedelics and their potential for treating mental-health conditions, expanding understanding of consciousness and improving well-being.

Healthcare professionals haven’t been left behind either. Dr. Lynn Marie Morski, a former VA physician, helped set up the Psychedelic Medicine Association. This organization is focused on narrowing the gap between psychedelic therapies and conventional medical care through education, research and data.

The private sector is also helping advance psychedelic research, funding new research and commercializing therapies that incorporate psilocybin, MDMA and ketamine. Major players in the field include Lykos Therapeutics, a company based in California that has concluded two phase 3 trials for post-traumatic stress disorder. The company has also submitted a new drug application to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for MDMA for use in combination with psychological intervention administered by qualified healthcare practitioners. The FDA is expected to finish its review later this year.

The drug’s approval would lead to the rescheduling of MDMA to allow for medical use.

Currently, however, it remains classified under Schedule I. Substances under this classification are said to have a high potential for abuse and no accepted medical use.

MAPS’ director of communications Betty Aldworth believes the private industry will play a crucial role in this growing sector. This view is supported by the R&D efforts currently being undertaken by for-profit entities such as Mind Medicine Inc. (NASDAQ: MNMD) (NEO: MMED) (DE: MMQ) that are geared at taking psychedelic drug candidates through the FDA approval process.

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