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Don’t Laugh But Psychedelics May Be Legalized Before Cannabis in America



The demand for psychedelic substances has been growing gradually over the past few years, and it is anticipated to accelerate exponentially in the next few years. The main factors driving market demand during this projection period are the increased incidence of mental depression and anxiety and the accessibility to off-label medications. The cannabis sector, though, looks to be undergoing a reset and cannot boast of a heightened demand or special market actions at this time.


While both businesses have their limitations, the psychedelics industry is moving toward widespread acceptability more quickly than cannabis did in its early years. As it emphasizes how much it may aid in treating mental health disorders, psychedelics remain loyal to their medicinal beginnings. On the other side, cannabis’ focus appears to be split between medicinal and recreational usage, with the desire to experience high taking precedence merely.

America’s Psychedelic Industry

In the United States, other names for psychedelic drugs include dots, blotter, acid, sugar, trips, and LSD (lysergic acid derivative). Psychedelic substances can alter or improve one’s sensory impressions, mental processes, level of energy and have even been shown to increase spiritual experiences. Drugs that are empathogens, dissociative (like PCP), and serotonergic (classic hallucinogens) like LSD are all examples of psychedelics. Generally, there are two sorts of psychedelic drugs: natural and synthetic. Severe depression, post-traumatic stress disorder, anxiety, treatment-resistant depression, and opiate addiction are just a few of the conditions these medications treat. SIGA Technologies Inc., Intercept Pharmaceuticals, SciSparc Ltd., Cassava Sciences, Inc., AbbVie, Jazz Pharmaceuticals, Inc., COMPASS, Hoffmann-La Roche Ltd, Hikma Pharmaceuticals PLC, NeuroRx, Inc., PharmaTher Inc., Mind Medicine, Inc., Cybin Corp., GABA Therapeutics, Inc., EmpathBio, DemeRx are active companies in the market today.


As efforts to decriminalize psychedelics across the US continue and larger psychedelics legalization movements accelerate, the psychedelics sector continues to draw entrepreneurs with substantial capital.

Setbacks in the Cannabis Industry

The cannabis sector is experiencing some of the same challenges that every developing, maturing company does, including hostile takeovers, unclear legislation, especially crucial political problems pertaining to who controls and regulates the market, and an expanding number of litigation. It is already over ten years since Colorado and Washington became the first states to establish legal marketplaces for anybody at least 21 years old. Yet, most cannabis businesses are still bleeding cash. The major publicly traded U.S. operators, according to an examination of their financial reports, lost more than $550 million in total in the first half of 2022 while having around $4.5 billion in sales.


According to the reports from Politico, cannabis businesses invested extensively in capacity expansion in 2020 and 2021 because they were mistakenly optimistic about the likelihood that federal marijuana laws would be relaxed after Democrats took control of Congress and the White House. In several of the biggest state marketplaces, including California, Colorado, Massachusetts, and Michigan, there was a surplus of products, which caused prices to fall.


It is worth emphasizing that the cannabis black market remains a major stumbling block to the success of the cannabis industry, particularly in California. According to estimations, the illegal cannabis industry in that state alone generated sales of over $8.7 billion in 2019, while the legal cannabis business generated less than 50 percent of this with about $3.1 billion, per Statista.


As psychedelics decriminalization campaigns continue across the U.S. and broader psychedelics legalization efforts accelerate in states like Colorado. Several states, including Colorado, included cannabis reform measures in the ballots in the just-concluded mid-term elections. This could spur even faster growth for the U.S cannabis market while the psychedelics industry continues to draw investors with similar bankrolls.

Support For Psychedelics

From 2006 through 2020, the National Institutes of Health mostly disregarded psychedelics, but as of October 2021, the American government seems to be fully behind the development of psychedelics as the national health department stepped in by awarding Johns Hopkins a $4 million grant (financed by the NIH’s National Institute on Drug Abuse) to investigate psilocybin and tobacco addiction. Other instances of government and business focusing on developing the psychedelics sector as the cannabis sector struggles can be found. Still, many of these issues will be resolved over the next two years as a series of advancing psychedelics clinical trials could swiftly result in FDA approval and drug development by late 2024.


Another credible instance is when the University of North Carolina and Dr. Bryan L. Roth (with the UNC Eshelman School of Pharmacy) received a nearly $27 million grant from the U.S. Defense Advanced Research Project Agency (DARPA) in to develop better drugs for treating mental illness using psychedelics and other psychoactive molecules. The project will build on ongoing research at UNC to provide new methods for completely comprehending how medications could alter cellular signaling pathways and produce more potent drugs.

Recent Developments and Projections For The Psychedelics Market

The Centre for Mental Health Research and Innovation (“the Centre”) got established by COMPASS Pathways plc in March 2022 to advance psychedelic research and generate new methods for treating mental illness. The Center’s mission can promote the development of psychedelic therapies, advance therapist education and certification, assess empirical data, and develop digital tools to support customized, authoritarian, and preventive care models. Additionally,  an exclusive licensing contract was signed by iX Biopharma Ltd. and Seelos Therapeutics, Inc. in November 2021.


During the projection period of 2022-2029, the market for psychedelic drugs is anticipated to increase. According to Data Bridge Market Research’s analysis, the market is predicted to increase by 13.3% between 2022 and 2029, from $2.4 billion in 2021 to $6.5 billion in 2029.

Last words

Although the cannabis industry is shaky at the moment, there’s no doubt that it has established itself as one of the fastest-growing industries worldwide. Investors have observed the same trajectory playing out in the psychedelics industry and are moving in droves to take advantage of this opportunity. Thanks to the global need for effective mental health medications, widespread public support, and emerging psychedelics and cannabis legislation, investors are hopeful that the industry can meet the projections.






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What Can Other Countries Learn from First-Mover Canada’s Shrinking Medical Marijuana Industry?




Canadian medical market shrinking

Since its peak, the regulated medical cannabis industry in Canada has declined a bigger rate than most people thought would happen with recreational legalization. This decline began even before the legalization of recreational marijuana in October 2018 to be precise, and has continued as adult-use sales have replaced controlled medical cannabis purchases.


According to experts, the ease of purchasing from adult-use retailers, difficulties for doctors in approving medical cannabis, a lack of tax benefits for medical cannabis consumers and producers, and the fact that THC potency thresholds apply to both medicinal and recreational cannabis products are all contributing factors to the medical market’s decline.


Those problems could serve as lessons for other countries and regions that approve medical marijuana first before legalizing it for adult usage.




According to data from Statistics Canada, medical cannabis spending in Canada peaked in the fourth quarter of 2017, at 161 million Canadian dollars, nearly a year before recreational marijuana sales started.


The most current statistics indicate that medicinal marijuana sales increased to CA$109 million during the second quarter of 2022 from a low of CA$104 million in the first. According to Brett Zettl, president and CEO of Zyus Life Sciences, a medical marijuana business based in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, which is getting ready to go public through a reverse takeover, patients are currently just giving up and buying stuff from an adult-use store.


Canada was the first significant economy in the world to federally legalize recreational marijuana use. But established marijuana markets in the US, like Colorado, have shown a similar tendency, with medical markets contracting after recreational legalization.


If Germany implements its proposal to legalize adult use, these tendencies make it uncertain if the country’s largest cannabis market in Europe will experience a similar medicinal market drop.


According to Deepak Anand, a top executive of the charitable advocacy group Medical Cannabis Canada and a consultant on cannabis laws for several international governments, some Germans purchase medical marijuana out of their own pockets, and that segment of the market stands to be impacted by the legalization of adult use.


Anand said that the public health system reimburses about 40% of all German medicinal marijuana prescriptions.


“I don’t think the pattern that we’ve seen in legal markets—where, basically, after recreational legalization, we see medicinal sales have declined—will necessarily continue in Germany,” Anand added.




To obtain dried marijuana, oils, edibles, or topicals through the government’s system, Canadians need a prescription from a doctor or nurse practitioner. This allows people to purchase marijuana straight from licensed dealers for mail delivery.


Both growing medical marijuana at home and purchasing it from a certified grower are acceptable.


As of the end of 2021, just 42,000 people were producing medical marijuana for personal use or others, according to Health Canada.


Comparatively, over 257,000 people registered to purchase cannabis from a commercial grower.


Zettl, a veteran participant in Canada’s regulated MMJ market, suggests that several causes could account for the market’s fall since its 2017 peak.  Zettl stated that the Canadian medical cannabis patient group contained both “genuine medicinal users” and some casual users before the legalization of recreational use in October 2018.  They would attempt to obtain it legally while continuing to take it recreationally, according to Zettl.


Now, he claimed, purchasing marijuana at an adult-use store is easier than utilizing the legal medical marijuana system.


Zettl also thinks that doctors might be reluctant to waste hours filling out medical marijuana permission paperwork and that medical-certification agencies may audit doctors who approve cannabis for an excessive number of patients.


People simply don’t want the inconvenience element, according to Zettl. The hassle aspect is not desired by the doctors.


Following the legalization of cannabis for adult use, new cannabis products, such as edibles, entered the market. However, medical cannabis products are still subject to the same laws as recreational cannabis, including THC limitations on goods like edibles.


Anand said that it would be incorrect to hold recreational and medical marijuana to equal standards, concerning imposing limitations for high THC, for example.


He contends that due to Canada’s preoccupation with legalizing marijuana for recreational use, not just have patients been overlooked, but also regulating policy has been disregarded to a significant degree.”


The patient is going to the illegal market to be able to acquire their products, as we observed and are still experiencing, he continued.


Another historical obstacle for the medical market was the cost of cannabis, according to Anand.  That has improved since recreational use was legalized.


Although it does allow registered patients to deduct medical marijuana costs on their yearly tax returns, Canada does not provide registered medical cannabis users with any special tax treatment.


Patients who purchase medical marijuana pay retail taxes, just like they would at a store selling recreational goods, and growers pay the same excise taxes as those on cannabis for adult use.


Anand stated that it simply doesn’t make sense since, in Canada, there is no tax on any other medicinal products.




To get Canada’s medical marijuana business thriving once more, Anand advocated for legislative changes.


It should be done right away, he argued, to permit pharmacists to administer medical cannabis.  We should also immediately remove taxes and potency restrictions.


The Canadian cannabis sector is hoping for changes to the federal Cannabis Act, which is presently being reviewed.


One of the key subjects for the review, according to the government, is the effect of regulation and legalization of cannabis on accessibility to marijuana for medical purposes.


According to Zyus’ Zettl, the government is utilizing “this recreational-style statute to control and regulate the medical side – and it’s coming at a great disservice for the medicinal usage, on both the doctors’ side and the patient side.


Zettl stated that Zyus is creating three cannabis drug-product candidates to expand the country’s medicinal marijuana industry and anticipates eventually obtaining official Drug Identification Numbers (DINs) from Health Canada.


Because they could be included in insurance companies’ formularies for prescription drugs and doctors could recommend them without worrying about being scrutinized by regulators.


Zettl acknowledged the long-term nature of obtaining DINs for herbal cannabis products.


Therefore, medical marijuana must, in the interim, find methods to appeal to those who are really, honestly utilizing it for medical purposes and offer them a reason to continue using it rather than giving up and only purchasing it (from recreational businesses).



Other countries looking to make recreational cannabis legal at the federal level can take a look at what the move did to the Canadian cannabis market and work on policies and regulations that will be better for the country before legalization takes place.





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Don’t Miss! New York Retail Dispensary Guidelines: What Every CAURD Applicant Needs to Know




Register Here

Date: December 7th, 2022

Time: 2 – 3pm EST

New York recently released its adult-use cannabis retail dispensary guidelines and there is a lot to unpack. We will likely see additional changes to New York’s rules and regulations, but the released guidelines provide a robust initial framework for applicants (past and future) to follow.

Join Harris Bricken’s lead New York cannabis attorneys, Simon Malinowski and Matthew Schwartz as they analyze the recently released regulations.

Simon and Matt will cover operating requirements, employee training, and marketing rules, among many other topics covered in New York’s retail dispensary guidelines.

Check out some of our past Canna Law Blog posts on New York’s cannabis regulation updates:

  1. BREAKING: NY Federal Judge Blocks CAURD Licensing in Five Regions
  2. New York’s Cannabis Retail Dispensary Regulations Are Here!
  3. New York’s Cannabis Retail Dispensary Regulations, Part 1: Dispensary Operations

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CBD is Coming to Your Dentist’s Office




cbd for dentists

The Therapeutic Benefits of CBD for Dentistry and Oral Health


Cannabidiol (CBD) is among the most important compounds in marijuana.


CBD products are typically derived from hemp plants, which contain only trace amounts of THC, the psychoactive compound in marijuana which causes a high. CBD has numerous valuable applications in medicine, with the potential of its use in various medical fields growing each year thanks to an increasing body of research.


CBD works with the endocannabinoid system, which features receptors all over the body. It’s widely used for treating anxiety, pain, epilepsy, and many other illnesses with little to no side effects.


Many dentists these days, aside from doctors, are seeing the potential of using CBD in their field. In fact, there are even specific CBD products developed for oral health, such as toothpastes, mouthwash, mouth sprays, and creams.


Dental Applications of CBD


There are several ways CBD can be used in dentistry. These include:


  • Post-operative inflammation: Studies show that CBD has powerful anti-inflammatory properties. Because of this, dentists may be able to prescribe CBD to reduce the inflammation experienced by patients following oral surgery, root canals, and other procedures.


  • Dental pain: CBD has potent pain-relieving properties, making it a safer, natural alternative to pharmaceutical drugs when it comes to dental pain. Patients may be able to take CBD products to minimize pain before or after certain procedures. Conventional painkillers such as opiates are addictive and cause side effects to patients, while CBD is free of these unwanted side effects.


  • Better sleep: Oral discomfort due to problems and procedures in your teeth and gums can make it difficult to fall asleep. However, proper rest is essential for healing any conditions no matter where in the body. CBD has been known as an effective sleep aid, making it easier for patients to get much-needed sleep following a procedure that may still leave them in discomfort for days after.


CBD For Oral Health


The vast array of CBD’s therapeutic benefits can help individuals improve overall oral health, reducing the need to visit the dentist for treatments.


In a 2020 study by Belgian researchers, they found that cannabinoids were more effective in eliminating the quantity of bacteria that causes dental plaque, when compared to conventional and established oral products like Colgate and Oral B. They followed it up with another study, which revealed that cannabinoid-infused mouthwashes with both CBD and CBG were just as effective when compared to 0.2% chlorhexidine mouthwashes for the reduction of dental plaque.


These findings are significant because chlorhexidine mouthwashes have long been considered as the most effective when it comes to reducing plaque.


However, looking deeper, chlorhexidine does have some side effects. These include possible staining of tooth restorations and surfaces, allergic reactions, light-headedness, mouth sores, gingivitis, tartar, throat and mouth irritation, tongue swelling, change in taste, unpleasant taste, mouth ulcers, and much more.


Other benefits of CBD for oral health include:


  • Treatment of TMJ: TMJ (temporomandibular joint) disorder is characterized by tenderness or pain along the jaw, in one or both temporomandibular joints. This joint connects the skull to the jaw, which is why it can result in serious discomfort in this part of the head. It can also cause severe pain in and around the ear, difficulty chewing, facial pain, and lock jaw. Conventional treatments for TMJ include pain relievers, antidepressants, and muscle relaxants.


Without effective treatment, some patients may even experience total jaw displacement and chronic pain. However, studies have shown that CBD can be effective in treating the symptoms of TMJ in patients.


  • Prevent tooth decay: Too much bacteria in the mouth produces plaque acids, especially after eating sugar or starches. These bacteria, called Streptococcus mutans, causes enamel erosion and thus, gives you cavities. When cavities grow bigger, it makes it easier for other harmful bacteria to reach deeper in the mouth and cause infections.


As proven by the study by researchers in Belgium, CBD is just as effective as conventional dental care products in protecting your teeth. It can keep your mouth free of the harmful bacteria while ensuring the healthy bacteria still thrive, protecting both your teeth and your gums for healthy oral health.


  • Prevent gum disease: Poor oral hygiene is the number one cause of gum disease. However, genetics can also play a role. Regardless of the cause, gum disease can cause irritation and inflammation in the gums and eventually lead to gingivitis. When gingivitis isn’t addressed, it can evolve to a more serious condition called periodontitis, which compromises the tooth as well as the bone that holds it in place.


Consuming CBD-infused oral health products can prevent inflammation and reduce the damage caused by gum disease.




Just like with other medications, CBD should be used with caution (or avoided altogether) if you are taking prescription drugs. The same is true for anesthesia, since CBD users may need more anesthesia for it to work, especially if it contains epinephrine. Patients who consume CBD (and THC) regularly should always inform their doctor ahead of time. You may be asked to abstain from consumption 2 days before surgery.




More research would certainly be beneficial for backing up the efficacy and safe use of CBD in dentistry. It already clearly has so much potential helping both dentists and patients especially for alleviating anxiety, inflammation, and pain. We expect to see more dental-specific products developed over the next few years to help countless people improve oral health safely with the help of CBD.


Last but not least, CBD should not be seen as a dental cure-all: it’s still important to maintain proper oral hygiene, brush your teeth, and floss regularly.





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