Edmonton, May 28-30, 2023

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She's 28, a serial cannabis entrepreneur, and on Forbes 30 under 30 list

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Week in weed: Pfizer’s billion-dollar entry into marijuana, three Canadians granted access to psilocybin mushrooms, and how the gift of weed is budget-friendly with these ideas

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In a landmark decision, three Canadians struggling with mental health conditions were granted access to psilocybin-assisted psychotherapy by the federal Minister of Health Jean-Yves Duclos recently. The exemption comes following a wait of 283 days and was aided by B.C.-based TheraPsil.


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The non-profit coalition has been leading the charge in getting Canadians legal access to psilocybin therapy since 2019. So far, the company has helped 47 patients.

Canada's Minister of Health Jean-Yves Duclos attends a conference in Ottawa, Canada.
These are the first exemptions granted for mental health reasons by the new Minister of Health, Jean-Yves Duclos. Photo by REUTERS/Blair Gable

In this exclusive,  The GrowthOp’s Sam Riches deep dives into the patients’ journey and how the “system is still broken.”

“I’m sure Health Canada is just ceding some ground to us here slowly. But we’re going to be pressing forward,” Spencer Hawskell, CEO of TheraPsil, tells TGO .

There are at least 15 other applicants in the queue, writes Riches, some of whom have been waiting well over 200 days.

Newsmaker: Anna-Sophia Kouparanis

Anna-Sophia Kouparanis, 28, wears many hats; being on the Forbes 30 under 30 list this year is one of them.

In 2019, Kouparanis founded  Ilios Santé and came to be known “as the first woman in Germany to be a licensed wholesaler for cannabis,”  Forbes  reports. Then came Bloomwell Group a year later. A holding company that invests and builds other companies in the healthcare sector, Bloomwell also includes Algea Care, a telemedicine company for cannabis.

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Her goal is to “revolutionize the pharmaceutical industry through natural medicines and digitization, which is long overdue,”  Forbes  reports.

If that’s not all, Kouparanis is considered to be one of the leading experts in the medical space in Germany and works as a lecturer at the EADA Business School.

$6.7 billion

That’s the price tag on Pfizer’s entry into the cannabis space following the acquisition of California-based Arena Pharmaceuticals earlier this week.


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Buy weed on Metaverse

Cannabis gummies start-up that claims to be the first weed company to advertise in the Metaverse owns up to the fact that their advertised product “don’t taste the best. But they work.”

Florida-based Kandy Girl offers eight THC gummy products , each packing a 10 mg THC punch. Full refunds are promised if the product does not live up to its appeal. TGO’s Angela Stelmakovich gives you the 101.

Another company going digital is Indiana-based Higher Life CBD that launched a CBD pot shop in the Ethereum-powered virtual world , Cryptovoxels. The platform offers customers “a gamified shopping experience that then translates into a tangible product delivered to your doorstep in all U.S. states,” writes Javier Hasse for Forbes .


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Budget-friendly gift guide

TGO  has put together a gift guide for those who would like to save a little as they give from the comfort of their homes. From self-care products to edible treats, these gift suggestions are all under $50.

Cannabis inspired Christmas gift ideas.
The world’s largest cannabis buyer, the Ontario Cannabis Store launched more than 120 new products last month. Photo by Getty Images

Goodbye munchies

Everybody knows smoking weed can give you the munchies — that uncontrollable urge to eat your weight in food. How to survive it or even avoid it is often a mystery.

In  The Fresh Toast’s latest story, writer Jordan Smith quotes a study that attributes lack of sleep to be the culprit. Inadequate sleep messes up the body’s wellness system, aka the endocannabinoid system, which results in hunger pangs and cravings for high-calorie food.

“Our results elaborate on the effects of sleep deprivation on the human brain, suggesting that neural processing of odours is enhanced in primary olfactory brain areas after sleep restriction,” reads an excerpt from the study published in eLife. 

Smith further talks about the science behind munchies, and the role THC plays in stimulating appetite .  

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