An Osoyoos-based company has received approval to start research into magic mushrooms.
Way2Grow Biopharma Corp. was given the green light from Health Canada to build a psilocybin production facility, allowing them to procure psychedelics as well as propagate, cultivate, harvest and sell psychedelics to pharmacies, clinics and other licensed research facilities for allowable research purposes.
Their new building will be on the same property located in the Osoyoos industrial park that houses the business’s cannabis operations, which launched in 2018.
Plans are for the engineering and drafting of the building design to be completed through December, and then move into construction into January, hoping to complete building by the end of February, according to company CEO Jamie Filipuzzi.
“It's mostly at the start going to be used for research, there's only a few doctors right now that are working on it with patients,” he explained.
“There are 15 doctors, I believe, in Canada that are allowed to work with it, but solely on themselves while they figure it out before it goes out to patients and then hospitals.”
Since the company got its start with research focused on cannabis and extraction, along with medical sales, Filipuzzi explained that it seemed natural to move into magic mushrooms as their expertise focuses on cultivation science and the plant science.
“We're more focused just on plant science and development of the fungi and cannabis.
I think for ourselves, it is just a natural fit into organics with what we're doing and moving into biosynthetic and biotherapeutics to combine therapies.”
For now, the company will not be able to selling their products to anyone other than medical doctors, the hospitals and research centres.
“In the responses from everybody that wants to try it, to be able to microdose we've heard that and we're seeing the interest.”
Filipuzzi also commented that there really hasn’t been a problem with stigmatization of the hallucinogens locally.
“I think we've been fairly welcomed, and we haven't had any pushback from anybody or any government. Everybody's very eager to help and to move this new industry kind of ahead down in the Osoyoos area.”