- Psychedelics Companies That Own Clinics May Hold the Answer to One of the Top Investor Questions: “How Will Individual Firms Generate Meaningful Revenue?”
- As We Know, the Business of Biotech and Pharma Can Be Expensive, With Potential Revenues Sometimes Years Away
- For Serious Investors, Here’s Why Psychedelic Stocks That Own Clinics May Hold a Big Advantage Over the Field
The therapeutic psychedelic experience is usually discussed as a profound journey—to the inside of self, to discoveries about what is holding you back from getting to a better place in your life, to the very core of what makes you the person you are.
And it’s that power of psychedelics to transform a person’s very way of thinking that creates the need for a specially trained therapist to watch over them and be their guide. People experiencing a psychedelic experience need to be in a safe, controlled environment while they experience wherever the experience takes them.
That’s why there are more and more psychotherapy clinics popping up across the country now beginning to use or add psychedelics as a treatment method, and more focus on training.
Some are called healing centers, wellness centers or wholeness centers. Some are just about a particular psychedelic substance used in the therapy: ayahuasca, ketamine, psilocybin, or ibogaine.
One example is The Center for Medicinal Mindfulness, which works in cannabis-assisted psychedelic therapy and other psychotherapeutic substances, such as ketamine.
To utilize ketamine in a clinical setting for low dose ketamine treatment, for example, the most commonly used model is treatment twice a week for three weeks, 40 minutes long, in a clinical setting with a psychotherapist present within a psychotherapeutic model. “It’s used in a medical setting with medical monitoring, and the experience is mild intoxication but not psychedelic,” Dr. Mark Braunstein, a psychiatrist working with the Boulder, Colorado-based center, said. “This is a biologic model, and it shows benefit.”
Clinics Can Provide Vital Revenue Stream
Investment opportunities in the form of ‘Psychedelic Stocks’ are starting to appear more frequently. The emerging sector is already attracting investments from heavy-hitters such as PayPal co-founder Peter Thiel, as well as Shark Tank Billionaire Kevin O’Leary and Canopy Growth (TSX: WEED) (NYSE: CGC) (FRA: 11L1) founder Bruce Linton. Both O’Leary and Linton are early investors in MindMed (NEO: MMED) (OTC: MMEDF) (FRA: BGHM).
For individual companies, psychedelics-based psychotherapy clinics answer one of the top investor questions, which is, how will psychedelics firms generate meaningful revenue? As we know, the business of biotech and pharma can be expensive, and any potential revenues likely won’t come for years.
Champignon Brands (CSE: SHRM) (OTCQB: SHRMF) (FRA: 496) is a prime example of a public company that understands the importance of owning revenue-generating assets and is currently executing on its North American clinic expansion strategy. In addition to the Canadian Rapid Treatment Centre of Excellence (CRTCE), which the company acquired via the AltMed deal, Champignon is also acquiring the California-based Ketamine Wellness Clinic of Orange County. In 2020, Champignon intents to open or acquire at least five new psychedelic clinics and is targeting major U.S. markets like New York, Florida and California.
Dr. Roger McIntyre, the world’s top depression researcher and CEO of Champignon Brands, is the founder and operator of the CRTCE clinic, which is currently treating patients using ketamine and psilocybin. The CRTCE is the only clinic licensed for psilocybin in Canada, and, on top of that, the first clinic to conduct randomized controlled trials under Health Canada approval.
The state-of-the-art Wellness Clinic of Orange County offers ketamine infusion therapy, and its also a certified Spravato treatment center. Spravato, which was approved by the FDA in 2019 for depression, utilizes a more potent version of ketamine called esketamine and can only be administered by a certified treatment center.
Thousands of New Psychotherapy Clinics on the Horizon
These clinics are beginning to get better organized and operational, ramping up research into practical applications, and transforming to psychedelic-based psychotherapy clinics as millions of dollars of investor money continues to pour into the emerging psychedelics industry.
As they take shape, there are growing concerns about what these clinics should do, and how they should operate, in providing care for people suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder, or narcolepsy, or drug addiction, or other conditions where psychedelics have proven to be effective.
These for-profit companies have to work within a regulatory structure that is not in place yet. But they exist to make money and have the advantage of dramatically advancing this kind of mental health treatment.
The Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies (MAPS), one of the first non-profits to do psychedelic research, does not oppose for-profit psychedelic drug development and services.
In fact, Rick Doblin, founder and executive director of MAPS, says that the work of MAPS has, in part, paved the way for these for-profit efforts. “We feel that non-profit and public benefit companies can help keep for-profits from focusing solely on profit-maximization in the short-term,” he wrote in the MAPS 2020 Bulletin, calling on collaborators in the field to “move forward with ethics and accessibility at the forefront of their minds.”
Speaking at the recent virtual PsyTech Summit to an audience of over 1,400 from 20 countries about the therapy work of MAPS and MDMA, Doblin said that MAPS is not doing what they do to maximize profits but to “maximize mass mental health.”
He said that there will be “thousands and thousands of psychotherapy clinics” to come by 2030, predicting “6,000 clinics with 200,000 staff – a major jobs program.”
A key element for these clinics to succeed is certified training in psychedelic therapy, and how to scale that up. “That is the key question,” he said. “We really are focusing on quality, not quantity in our training initially. We are trying to train more trainers.”
He says that the training for MDMA therapists, which is the focus of MAPS training, will take six months or so as their program is designed now. “We will accept anybody into the training, but at the initial stages, we will prioritize therapists.”
“Everybody who is going to treat people has to be trained by the sponsor,” like Compass Pathways (which focuses on psilocybin) or other organizations that provide mental healthcare, he said. “But if we certify them, that means that when you go to one of these clinics, you know what you are getting in for and that they will be delivering the treatment method that is in the manual of the sponsors, which is the one that was used to approve the drug.”
This will all come about once full medical legalization happens for psychedelics, something he saw in the cannabis industry beginning in the mid-90s when California legalized medical marijuana. “When the public begins to see that the benefits of psychedelics outweigh the risks, then legalization will follow medicalization,” he said. “We need to develop a licensed legalization system that will probably follow the setting up of clinics.”
He said that he didn’t think there would be a network of MAPS-specific clinics, or Compass clinics or other psychedelic business-specific facilities. “Care providers will be cross-trained in multiple different modalities, and these will really be psychedelic psychotherapy clinics,” he said. “That is what the future will hold for us.”
Champignon Brands is a paid client of The Cannabis Investor. The Cannabis Investor holds a position in Champignon Brands.
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