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Mon. 11 Oct 2021, 2:21pm ETBenzinga
In: Cannabis, Penny Stocks, Small Cap, Markets

The Week In Psychedelics

  1. Seattle Decriminalizes Psychedelics Along With California City
  2. Novamind Launches Program For End-Of-Life And Palliative Care Patients
  3. MindMed Teams Up With Sphere Health 
  4. Former Tilray CEO Joins Psychedelics Company
  5. House Representative Promises A Psychedelics Bill Before 2022
  6. Study: Psilocybin Increases Emotional Response To Music
  7. The Milestone Round

Seattle Decriminalizes Psychedelics Along With California City

Last Monday, Seattle became the largest U.S. city to decriminalize psychedelic substances, with the passage of Resolution 32021. The measure, approved unanimously, concluded that “the investigation, arrest, and prosecution of anyone engaging in entheogen-related activities should be among Seattle’s lowest law enforcement priorities.”

This measure follows current enforcement rules of the Seattle Police Department that disallow the detention or arrest of individuals or confiscation of drugs simply on suspicion of possessing psychedelics. The new rules aim to protect “individuals who cultivate entheogens for use in religious, spiritual, healing, or personal growth practices.”

Councilmember Andrew J. Lewis, who introduced the measure, thanked his colleagues who voted for the measure. 

“It is a long-overdue conversation to decriminalize these non-addictive natural substances,” Lewis said. “Our law enforcement officials certainly have more important things to do than arrest people for possession of entheogens, and this resolution affirms that.” 

Days after Seattle, the city of Arcata in California passed a similar measure.

The City Council of Arcata unanimously voted on a resolution “To Decriminalize Entheogens in Arcata.”

“The investigation and arrest of individuals twenty-one years of age and older involved with the adult personal use, cultivation and possession of entheogenic plants and fungi listed on the Federal Schedule 1 list, not be a priority for the City of Arcata,” agreed the council. 

Novamind Launches Program For End-Of-Life And Palliative Care Patients

Novamind (Canadian:NM) (OTCQB:NVMDF) announced a new program for palliative care patients experiencing chronic and serious illnesses.

The program will take place at Novamind’s recently-opened clinic and research site in Murray, Utah where it will welcome family members of the patients.

Initially, the program will combine ketamine treatment with psychotherapy, workshops, multi-day immersive retreats and group support. 

Novamind plans to introduce psilocybin as a treatment option in the near future.

Dr. Paul Thielking, chief scientific officer (CSO) of Novamind told Benzinga in an email that the facility is in the process of becoming a research site for psilocybin clinical trials, which would allow it to eventually offer psilocybin to patients in a legal manner.

“Eligible patients at Novamind will have the opportunity to be enrolled in clinical trials for psilocybin which we anticipate opening in 2022,” Thielking said.

MindMed Teams Up With Sphere Health 

Mind Medicine Inc. (NASDAQ:MNMD) disclosed on Tuesday it has partnered with Sphere Health to collect and analyze data to better understand a variety of biomarkers associated with mental illness.

Under the strategic research collaboration, the companies are launching a project to develop more accurate machine learning tools to identify biomarkers that show association with symptoms of anxiety and affective disorders.

Sphere Health is a physician-founded employee benefits provider targeting treatments for people with severe mental illness.

“The use of technology has the potential to offer a level of sensitivity and precision which does not currently exist in our models of these disorders and, we hope, will ultimately lead to better outcomes in our ability to help the folks who suffer from them,” said Daniel R. Karlin, chief medical officer of MindMed. 

Former Tilray CEO Joins Psychedelics Company

More big names in cannabis are switching to psychedelics.

Greg Engel, former CEO of Tilray (NASDAQ:TLRY) and Organigram Holdings (NASDAQ:OGI) has become the latest cannabis veteran to join the psychedelics industry, taking on the role of director at Clairvoyant Therapeutics.

Clairvoyant is a Canadian biotech company focused on the clinical validation of psilocybin in the Canadian, U.K. and European Union markets.

The company is currently on the road to receiving approval to begin a phase 2 trial on psilocybin for the treatment of alcohol use disorder.

Previously, Engel also served as the Canadian general manager for Forest Laboratories, now part of AbbVie (NYSE:ABBV) and Encysive, now part of Pfizer (NYSE:PFE).

House Representative Promises A Psychedelics Bill Before 2022

Long-time cannabis reform supporter Rep. Earl Blumenauer said at a symposium on psychedelics policy hosted by Harvard Law School on Wednesday that he intends to help bring the psychedelics reform movement to Capitol Hill this year, reported Marijuana Moment.

“I promise you I will do my part—not only assisting in the evolution of the Oregon [psilocybin] program, but I plan on bringing this movement to Capitol Hill this year in the same way we developed the foundation for the support of our cannabis work,” Blumenauer said at Harvard’s Project on Psychedelics Law and Regulation.

“I want to introduce the results of our work in Oregon and around the country, and I would like your center to be able to help raise awareness on Capitol Hill at this critical time in drug reform to help the federal government catch up to where the rest of America is.”

Study: Psilocybin Increases Emotional Response To Music

A study led by Dea Siggaard Stenbæk at the University of Copenhagen found that psilocybin can affect the way humans emotionally respond to music, Science Focus reported.

In the study, 20 healthy volunteers listened to a short program of music from Elgar’s Enigma Variations and Mozart’s Laudate Dominum, before and after dose of psilocybin. 

After each play, the test subjects rated their emotional responses based on the Geneva Emotional Music Scale, a questionnaire made to analyze emotions evoked by music by rating responses into categories such as wonder, transcendence and peacefulness.

The scientists found that psilocybin increased the participants’ reported emotional response to the music by an average of 60%

“This shows that the combination of psilocybin and music has a strong emotional effect, and we believe that this will be important for the therapeutic application of psychedelics if they are approved for clinical use,” said Stenbæk.

The Milestone Round

PharmaTher Holdings Ltd. (OTCQB:PHRRF) (CSE:PHRM), has initiated its Phase 2 clinical trial of Ketamine for the treatment of levodopa-induced dyskinesia in subjects with Parkinson’s Disease. Patient screening and enrollment are expected to begin in October 2021 with data anticipated by the end of 2021.

Numinus Wellness Inc. (TSXV:NUMI) announced the expansion of its psychedelics research facility with an additional lab housed in an existing Numinus-leased building adjacent to the current lab. The Company submitted an application to Health Canada for a second Dealer's License, for an additional 7,500 square feet, slated for completion in summer 2022.

Lobe Sciences (CSE:LOBE) (OTC:GTSIF) announced plans to develop and launch a global registry for the identification and long-term management of current and former boxers with traumatic brain injury and PTSD in partnership with the World Boxing Association.