Vancouver Company Completes First Legal Harvest of Psilocybe Mushrooms


Vancouver-based Numinus Wellness Inc. has completed its first legal harvest of psilocybe mushrooms, said to be the most common psilocybin-containing mushroom. In June, Numinus became the first publicly traded company to be issued a licence from Health Canada to produce and extract psilocybin from mushrooms.

Numinus is focused on the development of psychedelic-assisted therapies, including psilocybin, MDMA (ecstasy/molly), DMT (a hallucinogenic tryptamine drug)and mescaline. The company also operates Numinus Bioscience, an analytics and research library.

The harvest is “a significant milestone for the whole industry,” Michael Tan, the company’s chief operating officer, claims in a statement. “Now, we can progress with research and development of standardized cultivation, extraction and testing methods, and exploring product formulations to support safe, evidence-based, accessible psychedelic-assisted psychotherapy, as well as build a sequenced spore library,” Tan said.

Famed ethnopharmacologist Dennis McKenna, a member of the company’s advisory council, said that while there is a place for synthetic psilocybin, natural mushrooms extracts are closer to ancient traditions and are likely to be more affordable for patients.

“Mushrooms have been used in traditional medicine for literally thousands of years, and, hence, they are just that much closer to these ancient traditions,” McKenna said. “Cost should not be a barrier to access these medicines, and the use of mushroom extracts will help ensure those who need them most can benefit from psilocybin therapies,” he added.

In August, four Canadians were granted exemptions to the Controlled Drugs and Substances Act to pursue psilocybin therapy, becoming the first known patients to legally use psilocybin since it was made illegal in the early 1970s.

Since then, at least two additional exceptions have been granted and Therapsil, the company that helped the individuals apply for the exceptions, is now advocating for doctors, therapists and counsellors to secure their own exemptions for training purposes.

Numinus has also applied for a licence amendment that would permit the sale of psilocybe mushroom fruiting bodies and extract for clinical research protocols.

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