After weed blossomed from its shrouded past to become a heavily regulated multibillion dollar industry, Shark Tank’s Kevin O’Leary and the co-founder of the world’s largest cannabis company are betting psychedelics could be next.
The duo teamed up to back Mind Med, a startup that debuted Tuesday on Toronto’s NEO stock exchange that seeks to use compounds from psychedelics like magic mushrooms or LSD for novel treatments to fix everything from addiction to depression, to ADHD.
For Bruce Linton, the co-founder of the world’s largest cannabis company Canopy Growth, the idea that a once frowned-upon drug might be regulated to eventually be looked at as a viable medical alternative for good isn’t so far fetched.
“They are called psychedelics or psychoactives because they in fact have a neural effect,” Linton told Yahoo Finance’s YFi PM. “What they haven’t been through is a protocol to determine what indications could they most be effective at remedying, and what dosage and what delivery methods.”
Linton joined the company as a director last year after parting ways with Canopy Growth while O’Leary joined on as an investor before Mind Med closed its $24.2 million funding round before going public. The company, which acquired others working on similar efforts to popularize psychedelics for medical purposes, boasts a few clinical trials including a Phase II clinical trial in Europe to explore the impact LSD might have on adults suffering from ADHD.
Sill, despite hopes that the company will pioneer psychedelics for medical purposes, Linton caveated that he didn’t see Mind Med as a traditional biotech company.
“I would say it’s a bit disconnected from the traditional biotech because they invent the molecule and wonder if it will work,” he said. “We know it works.”
Whether or not regulators agree remains to be seen.