Canadian company enters Jamaica's magic mushroom market
SINGH...Jamaica provides a favourableregulatory and economic environment tosupport our endeavours
...entity said to be investing millions into psychedelic plant in Westmoreland

The vast economic potential of Jamaica's magic mushroom market has caught the eyes of foreigners who are now seeking to make use of that market.

Already one Canadian company, Canbud Distribution Corporation, is currently investing millions of dollars in setting up operations in Jamaica, while another, Psyence Group Inc, has entered into a research collaboration agreement to study psilocybin-assisted therapeutic retreat experiences in Jamaica.

Canbud Distribution Corporation, which is a Canadian science and technology health and wellness company, is developing a magic mushroom cultivation and processing plant in Westmoreland. The company has announced that it will shortly be starting psychedelics-related activity in Jamaica.

Psychedelics (also known as hallucinogens) are a class of psychoactive substances that produce changes in perception, mood and cognitive processes of which magic mushrooms are among those hallucinogens. There are many different kinds of psychedelics. Some occur naturally in trees, vines, seeds, fungi and leaves, while others are made in laboratories.

Canbud Distribution, which is listed on the Canadian Stock Exchange, has already acquired a property in Westmoreland to start phase one of its operations in Jamaica. The company reports that, “construction has started on the psilocybin facility which will allow for cultivation and extraction. The plan is to build modular facilities that enable cultivation of psychedelic mushrooms (also known as magic mushrooms) and extraction in the most cost-efficient manner.”

PSYCHEDELICS BEING PRODUCED FOR LOCAL AND INTERNATIONAL EXPORTS

Chief executive officer of Canbud Distribution Steve Singh disclosed that the company, which is also involved with and hemp cannabinoids (CBD), will be producing psychedelics for local and international exports. He explains that “Jamaica provides a favourable regulatory and economic environment to support our endeavours. Psilocybin is showing considerable promise as a therapeutic intervention for neuropsychiatric disorders including depression, anxiety, and addiction.”

Pointing to compelling evidence of the therapeutic benefits of psychedelic drugs in multiple scientific studies, Singh states that, “it is intended that our Jamaican cultivation and extraction facilities will assist and support valuable research and development in this regard.” Psilocybin is a naturally occurring psychedelic prodrug compound produced by more than 200 species of fungus.

As a prodrug, psilocybin is quickly converted by the body to psilocin, which has mind-altering effects. Psilocybin is considered to have extremely low toxicity and a favourable safety profile.

As a result, considerable research, development and testing is taking place to enable targeted usage for individuals suffering from anxiety, depression, and PTSD. Individuals use psilocybin as a recreational drug. It provides feelings of euphoria and sensory distortion that are common to hallucinogenic drugs, such as Lysergic Acid Diethylamide, which is an extremely potent hallucinogen.

EXAMINING PSILOCYBIN-ASSISTED THERAPEUTIC RETREAT EXPERIENCES IN JAMAICA

In the meantime, Canadian-based Psyence Group Inc, through its wholly-owned subsidiary Psyence Therapeutics Corporation, has entered into a research collaboration agreement with MycoMeditations to conduct an observational study of the efficacy of naturally derived psilocybin. The Psyence Group is a leading platform in naturally derived psychedelic therapy and the development and commercialisation of related technologies and products while MycoMeditations is the leading global provider of psilocybin-assisted therapeutic retreat experiences in Jamaica.

The entity has a record of more than 750 guests successfully completing its psilocybin-assisted retreat programme. MycoMeditations organises a week-long psilocybin-assisted retreat programme operated in Jamaica.

Commenting on the research collaboration, CEO of MycoMeditations Justin Townsend states that, “based on Psyence's experience, scientific focus, and commitment to Jamaica, we are pleased to partner with Psyence to advance research in the area of psilocybin-assisted therapy…We look forward to working with the Psyence team and toward evolving into a centre of excellence in research and therapeutic retreats as well as the future expansion of our offerings in this emerging field.”

The initial retrospective study will investigate a cohort of 30 people who have participated in a MycoMeditations retreat in the past six months in Jamaica and had reported suffering psychological trauma prior to their visit. This will be the first in a series of studies Psyence intends to carry out that investigate the efficacy of naturally derived compounds in comparison to studies undertaken using synthetically produced molecules.

BY DURRANT PATE Observer business writer

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