Psychedelic Patents

Cannabis IP Foreshadows Psychedelic IP

The cannabis industry has recently recognized the importance of intellectual property (IP).  Psilocybin mushrooms and other psychedelics will likely follow a similar path.  Some entities, like CaaMTech, COMPASS Pathways, and Paul Stamets have already filed psilocybin patents. Arguably, the “race to patent” psilocybin technology and/or magic mushroom technology is already underway. See Waking Times (“The Race to Patent Magic Mushrooms Heats Up”). Also, see Paul Stamets and COMPASS Pathways.

Proven Importance of Intellectual Property in the Cannabis Industry

On November 9th, Vanmala Subramaniam published an article in the Financial Post explaining how “Cannabis companies race to clinch an edge in pot industry’s next phase of growth: Intellectual property.”

Both the cannabis industry and the psilocybin industry develop pioneering technology related to new forms of natural products. These advances support broad and extremely valuable IP.

The article highlights the “myriad of possibilities when it comes to the intellectual property of cannabis” and the importance of developing an intellectual property (“IP”) strategy early.

Companies at the forefront of IP in the cannabis industry have enjoyed rapid and incredible success.  For example, ebbu LLC was recently acquired by Canopy Growth Corporation for $400MM+ on account of “Intellectual Property (“IP”) and R&D advancements achieved by ebbu’s team.”

As a result of success stories like ebbu, other “firms are rushing to lock in lucrative patents to come out ahead.”

A while back, we published an article connecting the dots between the rapidly growing cannabis industry and the nascent psilocybin mushroom industry. See Cannabis and Magic Mushrooms – A Near Perfect Analogy.  Both industries leverage naturally occurring organisms for purposes of creating new technology.  And both cannabis and magic mushrooms provide their therapeutic benefits via the so-called Entourage Effect.

Future Importance of IP in the Psychedelic Space

Given the similarities between cannabis and magic mushrooms, it stands to reason that the industries will follow similar trajectories.  Here are some high-level similarities:

  1. Improper classification of a naturally occurring organism as a schedule I drug about 50 years ago
  2. Subsequent scientific evidence of safety and efficacy
  3. Gradual enforcement discretion reflecting scientific evidence
  4. Decriminalization
  5. Medical and/or Recreational Legalization; and
  6. Development and evolution of medical can/or recreational products.

With each step along the path of progress, the importance of IP increases.  Here’s why:

  1. Both cannabis and psilocybin innovation were shut down for about 50 years on account of legal barriers to research and development.
  2. Today’s objective interpretation of scientific evidence is changing our stance regarding cannabis and psilocybin mushrooms.  See John’s Hopkin’s Studies.
  3. Changes in regulations lead to new opportunities for research and development in these areas.
  4. New R&D in these areas gives rise to pioneering technology because the space has been long ignored.
  5. Pioneering technology creates opportunities for generating broad and extremely valuable IP.

Exciting Times ahead

Given the explosion of cannabis technology and IP, the future of the psilocybin industry should be fascinating. And, given the similarities between cannabis and magic mushrooms, it is highly likely the IP will play an important role in that story.

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