Could Canada Be the Next Country to Legalize Psychedelics?

Canada has made significant strides in its health policies, having allowed psychedelics to be administered to four cancer patients in their end-of-life treatments, and established and implemented a health-care program that’s publicly funded, in addition to becoming the first G7 nation to legalize marijuana in 2018.

While there’s a lot the country can be commended for, some of the regulations that govern restricted substances are out-of-date. In a bid to change that, a few patients along with therapists and doctors have been allowed to use psilocybin, with the country’s federal agency looking into amending some of the existing policies, which would pave the way for more than just psilocybin mushrooms.

Last year, publicly traded firms and not-for-profit organizations collaborated with Health Canada to champion for greater access to not only psilocybin therapy but other psychedelic therapies as well. An example of such an organization is TheraPsil, a not-for-profit that has to date helped clinically depressed and terminally ill patients access psilocybin therapy. In addition to this, the organization has also helped therapists and doctors in their exemption applications to be allowed to use the psychedelic substance for scientific and medical purposes.

Their reasons for doing so are supported by ample research conducted in the recent years that explores the potential and benefits of various psychedelic substances. One such study was carried out at the Johns Hopkins University in 2016. The study looked into how psilocybin affected anxiety and depression in patients suffering from life-threatening cancers. The study findings demonstrated that one dose of psilocybin left the participants with lasting relief, with 83% of them experiencing lower anxiety rates and 78% experiencing lower depression rates six months after the treatment had been administered.

Among the 16 social workers, therapists, nurses and doctors who were allowed exemptions to take psilocybin for work with patients is TheraPsil’s co-chair of research, Dr. Emma Hapke. Hapke is a part of the organization’s committee currently working on developing a training program that focuses on psychedelic-assisted therapy. The program may be launched this year.

Apart from this progress, the Special Access Program by Health Canada also allows health-care professionals to ask for unavailable or restricted drugs for patients who have tried current treatments and found them ineffective. This means that in theory the program allows doctors to request access to drugs such as LSD, MDMA and psilocybin.

While making such requests has been prohibited since 2013, Health Canada announced last year that it would be working on reversing this ban. Despite many arguing that the next step after this would be decriminalization, Health Canada states that all exemption requests will be reviewed on a case-by-case basis as more research is done on the risks that psychedelic substances may pose.

The growing awareness about the potential therapeutic benefits of psychedelics and functional mushrooms has encouraged a number of companies to invest in these products. One such company is Canada-based Pure Extracts Technologies Corp. (CSE: PULL) (OTC: PRXTF),  which is taking full advantage of its plant extraction technologies to be a fast actor within the psychedelics industry.

NOTE TO INVESTORS: The latest news and updates relating to Pure Extracts Technologies Corp. (CSE: PULL) (OTC: PRXTF) are available in the company’s newsroom at https://ibn.fm/PULL

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