Former cannabis executives are betting psychedelic drugs could be the next big thing. “There’s a lot of untapped value in psychedelic substances because they’re [illegal],” said JR Rahn, founder of Toronto-based MindMed, which counts Canopy founder Bruce Linton and Shark Tank star Kevin O’Leary among its early investors.
If you want to get a feel for the level of anxiety in North America right now, look no further than Xanax prescriptions: They were up nearly 35% in March, according to a recent ExpressScript study. And that’s bad because the drug is highly addictive.
But what if there were a non-addictive alternative to treating mental illness? MindMed says there is. It’s called LSD, and this week, the Canadian health minister approved compassionate access of psilocybin assisted therapy for terminally ill patients.
Rahn added: “Health Canada’s recognition that psychedelic substances have medicinal value and potential benefit for patients is extremely encouraging for all of us in the psychedelic inspired medical space. (We) hope additional clinical trials will compel regulators to further allow psychedelic inspired medicines to help the millions of patients suffering from mental health and addiction.”