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Psyched: Boston Suburbs Decriminalize Psilocybin, Delic Begins Psychedelic Treatments, Australia Denies Legalization

Natan Ponieman
·6 min read

Boston Suburbs Look To Decriminalize Natural Psychedelics

Two Boston suburbs are the latest U.S. jurisdictions to eliminate penalties on the possession and cultivation of entheogenic plants and fungi.

That includes psilocybin mushrooms, ayahuasca, the peyote cacti and the iboga plant.

On Wednesday, Cambridge, Massachusetts voted 8 to 1 in its City Council to decriminalize “all Entheogenic Plants and plant-based compounds,” making them a lowest law enforcement priority (h/t Marijuana Moment).

Three weeks earlier, Somerville passed a similar measure with unanimous votes from its City Council.

Cambridge and Somerville have a population of over 105,000 and 80,000, respectively.

The Cambridge resolution makes notice of the fact that the so-called War on Drugs “has historically led to unnecessary penalization, arrest, and incarceration of vulnerable people, particularly people of color and of limited financial means.”

The measure calls upon the County District Attorney to cease prosecution of persons involved in the use, possession, or distribution of entheogenic plants.

Following momentum on psychedelics decriminalization, State Representative Mike Connolly told the Boston Globe that he’s planning to introduce a bill meant to create a committee of experts “to study whether Massachusetts should decriminalize natural psychedelics and legalize their administration in therapeutic settings statewide.”

Delic Enters Psychedelic Treatment With New Acquisition, Names New CEO

Psychedelics media and events company Delic Holdings (CSE:DELC) (OTCQB:DELCF) is taking its first steps into patient treatment with the acquisition of two ketamine infusion treatment clinics.

The clinics are operated by Ketamine Infusion Centers LLC, and located in Phoenix, Arizona and Bakersfield, California.

On Thursday, Delic entered into a binding letter agreement to purchase Ketamine Infusion Centers LLC. "We publicly listed DELIC with the intent of buying cash-flowing, scalable companies and that is exactly what [Ketamine Infusion Centers] represents,” said CEO Matt Stang.

The clinics have generated revenues north of $1.5 million since 2019.

The acquisition will be done through an all-stock transaction equivalent to $2.25 million.

Earlier this week, Delic also confirmed that co-founder Matt Stang has been appointed as Chairman and CEO, in replacement of Jackee Stang, who will continue to serve as Chief Creative Officer.

Algernon To Begin Studying DMT For Stroke Treatment

Clinical stage pharmaceutical development company Algernon Pharmaceuticals (OTCQ: AGNPF) announced this week it has established a clinical research program for the treatment of stroke, using the psychedelic molecule DMT.

Animal studies have found that DMT can help promote neurogenesis as well as structural and functional neural plasticity. Helping the brain to form and reorganize synaptic connections can have healing effects after a brain injury.

The company will be exploring microdoses of DMT, a dosage level that doesn’t reach a perceivable hallucinogenic effect on the patient.

“Algernon will be working to unlock DMT’s non-psychedelic potential to help promote healing and recovery in the brain from a stroke, one of the most devastating injuries a human being can experience,” said Algernon Pharmaceuticals CEO Christopher Moreau.

The company is getting ready to submit requests for the necessary authorizations to begin clinical trials, including a pre-IND (Investigational New Drug) meeting request with the FDA and a Clinical Trial Application with Health Canada.

Compass’ Training Program For Psilocybin Therapy Gets Published

A new paper published in Frontiers in Psychiatry by a group of global researchers in psychedelics describes the method currently being used to train therapists who are part of Compass Pathways' (NASDAQ: CMPS) phase 2b clinical trial of psilocybin for treatment-resistant depression.

“There is an increased need for specially trained therapists who can provide high-quality care to participants in clinical studies,” reads the paper, which describes “the development and practical implementation of a therapist training program of psychological support” for psilocybin therapy.

Bright Minds To Go Public Next Week

Psychedelics Biotech company Bright Minds announced it’ll start trading on the Canadian Securities Exchange on February 8 under the symbol ‘DRUG.’

The company is currently researching and developing a library of proprietary “second-generation” psychedelic drugs engineered to interact with specific serotonin receptors.

“The next 12-24 months will be an exciting and active time for us, as we advance our lead product through the pre-clinical process and into human trials,” said CEO Ian McDonald.

Australia Says No To Psilocybin And MDMA Legalization

In July 2020, Mind Medicine Australia — an NGO working to expand access to psychedelics-assisted therapy in the land down under — presented an application with the country’s Therapeutic Goods Administration to reschedule MDMA and Psilocybin.

The change would have allowed physicians in Australia to prescribe psychiatric treatment with these drugs.

After months of suspense, the country’s drug authority gave its final verdict this week: the compounds would not be moved from a schedule 9 (prohibited substance) to a schedule 8 (controlled medicine).

The NGO said they will continue efforts to realize the rescheduling.

“Whilst we are disappointed, we have to remember that these are only interim decisions," said Peter Hunt, Chairman of Mind Medicine Australia. "The enormous benefit that we now have is that the Secretary of the Department of Health has had to publish his reasons for making these interim decisions. Under the rescheduling process we now have the opportunity to address each of those stated reasons in our final submissions.”

This Week’s Milestones Round

Cybin Inc. (NEO:CYBN) closed an upsized offering for gross proceeds of CA$34.3 million ($26.9 million).

“[The raise] provides us important capital to fund a number of significant programs in parallel this year, including the acceleration of our first two deuterated tryptamine drug development candidates, the expansion of our phenethylamine program, development of our digital therapy support platform and the initiation of psychedelic studies including the Kernel Flow technology,” said Cybin CEO Doug Drysdale.

Biotech company Diamond Therapeutics announced an agreement with Montreal's McGill University for the exclusive use of Dr. Gabriella Gobbi’s studies on the use of low doses of LSD for disorders related to social impairment, such as autism spectrum disorder and social anxiety disorder.

Silo Wellness has closed a private placement for gross proceeds of approximately CA$2.5 million ($1.9 million). The company is currently conducting another raise for gross proceeds of approximately $2.4 million.

“Total gross proceeds of CA$4.9 million from the Financing will position Silo Wellness to be able to scale its ketamine nature retreat held in Oregon and Jamaican psilocybin mushroom wellness retreats,” Silo CEO Douglas Gordon said.

Gordon told Benzinga that his company has completed filings with the CSE to go public through a reverse take-over with Yukoterre Resources, which is expected to go live within the next two to three weeks.

Havn Life Sciences (CSE: HAVN) (PINK: HAVLF) partnered with neuroscience and technology company HealthTech Connex Inc. to provide a supply of naturally-derived psychedelic compounds for future clinical trials launched by HealthTech.

The partnership will allow HealthTech to use the NeuroCatch Platform, a medical device that conducts a rapid scan on cognitive brain function, with patients under the effects psilocybin in future clinical trials.

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