Welcome to the Cannabis Countdown. In This Week’s Edition, We Recap and Countdown the Top 10 Marijuana and Psychedelics Industry News Stories for the Week of December 28th, 2020 – January 3rd, 2021.
Without further ado, let’s get started.
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2020 Has Indeed Brought Forth Unforeseen Challenges Into the World Due to the Global Coronavirus Pandemic
Fortunately, between the groundbreaking clinical research into Psychedelic medicine at leading universities and institutions and the incredible amount of capital flowing into the space, one thing is clear: Psychedelics are making a massive comeback. Here are some of the major highlights and victories witnessed by the psychedelic renaissance in this otherwise challenging year.
This Year Was a Rollercoaster Ride for the Cannabis Industry, Which Had its Fair Share of Highs and Lows
There were legalization breakthroughs, while various Cannabis companies enforced massive layoffs. However, there were also those that did quite a bit of hiring. What’s interesting is that many companies at both ends cited the COVID-19 pandemic as one of the reasons for their actions.
The Current Pharmaceutical Regulatory Process is, to Say the Least, Inherently Daunting for Most Drug Development Efforts
The drug discovery and development pipeline can take up to 15 years to complete. Even then, only 14% of drugs that make it to their respective clinical trials will gain regulatory approval, and a large amount of money is spent whether that drug reaches approval or not. The regulatory restrictions behind the high cost and high failure rate of drug approvals also apply to the emerging Psychedelic medicine industry.
As We Entered 2020, Limited Access to Capital Was Top of Mind Following the Vaping Crisis in Late 2019, an Obstacle to Growth That Was Compounded By the Pandemic Initially
One of the highlights of the sector this year was the beginning of institutional investment. We have seen well-known funds begin to take equity stakes in several of the leading Multi-State Operator (MSOs), and many investors are providing debt capital. Family office CapStone Holdings, for example, recently disclosed that it purchased $25 million of TerrAscend’s (CSE: TER) (OTCQX: TRSSF) $120 million debt offering and also bought $50 million of Curaleaf’s (CSE: CURA) (OTCQX: CURLF) $300 deal. These investors aren’t waiting for higher exchange listings, and it’s encouraging to see compliance departments become more comfortable with the sector.
Just One Psychedelic Experience Could Help to Lessen Trauma Associated With Racial Injustice in Black, Indigenous, and People of Colour, According to a New Study
Researchers at Ohio State University report that their retroactive study found participants who used Psychedelic compounds – including psilocybin, LSD, or MDMA – felt reduced levels of trauma symptoms, including stress, depression, and anxiety related to acts of racism in the month following their experience.
Cannabis May Be Entering a New Era, for, in One Week’s Time, Georgia Will be Holding Two Runoff Elections for U.S. Senate
On January 5, Democrats Jon Ossoff and Rev. Raphael Warnock will challenge incumbent Republican Senators David Perdue and Kelly Loeffler, respectively. Should the Democrats win both seats in Georgia, it could open the floodgates for sweeping regulatory reform.
Mainstream Mental-Health Care Will Embrace Alternative Active Substances Such as Psilocybin
Psychedelic medicine will begin to cross over into the mental health mainstream in 2021. In both Europe and the US, medicines regulators have eased restrictions on using MDMA to treat PTSD, and on Psilocybin – the active substance in Magic Mushrooms – to treat depression.
State Completes the Legal Process Four Years Ahead of 2025 Deadline
The governor of Illinois has erased nearly 500,000 cannabis-related criminal records in the state. J.B. Pritzker cleared the state’s non-felony Marijuana cases, along with 9,219 low-level Cannabis convictions to start 2021.
Alberta Man Facing Incurable Cancer Approved for Innovative Psychedelic-Assisted Therapy for End-of-Life Mental Health Challenges
SYNTAC Institute, an Alberta-based non-profit organization dedicated to bringing legal Psychedelic-assisted therapy to Canadians, is pleased to confirm that it has facilitated the first announced approval from Health Canada for an Alberta-based patient facing a terminal illness diagnosis.
Cannabis Was Already the Country’s Fastest-Growing Industry, But 2020 Has Taken the Space to Another Level
A record-high percentage of Americans now support Cannabis Legalization. By all accounts, Cannabis was one of the biggest winners on Election Day, with legalization passing in Arizona, Montana, Missouri, New Jersey and South Dakota. More than one-third of the country — over 111 million people — now live in a state with legal recreational Marijuana. By 2021, the legal industry is expected to be worth $24.5 billion.