Minneapolis-based cannabis company Goodness Growth Inc., formerly known as Vireo Health, is dipping its hands into the realm of psychedelic medicine, as it announced plans to start clinical research into plant-based psychedelic medicine.
The research efforts will be carried out through Resurgent Biosciences, the Goodness Growth’s research and development subsidiary company, and it plans to target “naturally derived” psychedelics for the treatments of a variety of psychological disorders.
Goodness Growth Chairman and CEO Dr. Kyle Kingsley spoke more about the decision. “I believe that psychedelics may transform psychiatric medicine over the next few decades, and I’m very inclined to give my team at Resurgent the chance to pursue opportunities in that space.”
Goodness Growth is the first-known cannabis manufacturer to move into the psychedelic medicine realm, and they have kept an eye out for opportunities to grow in that industry for years now. Kingsley says he wanted to hold off until there was ample evidence regarding the effectiveness of the drugs. There have been a number of studies around psilocybin (the natural psychedelic derived from certain types of mushrooms) that have confirmed significant improvement among people with depression who were treated with doses of psilocybin.
While the company will initially be involved in “research undertakings,” according to Kingsley, Goodness Growth will not be growing, manufacturing or distributing any psychedelic drugs at this stage. The research will likely involve partnerships and other companies in the US and elsewhere, though there was no mention of specific names at this time.
Goodness Growth has grown substantially over the last several years, recently adding four new dispensaries in Minnesota, with other shops in New Mexico, Arizona and Pennsylvania. It aims to embrace this industry in hopes that it helps shift in the landscape of treating psychiatrist disorders, just like cannabis has been huge in treating ailments like chronic pain.
“It could change the paradigm from people taking a pill every day or multiple times a day to just sort of a few therapeutic interventions—as few as maybe one or two a year,” he said. “That’s what I’m excited about—these paradigm shifts.”