Leading Minnesota cannabis company will investigate psychedelic substances


Bethan Rose Jenkins, Cannabis News Writer/Editorial

Psychedelics seem to be all the rage right now, with a handful of U.S. states like Oregon and Washington D.C.. having decriminalized hallucinatory substances.

Now, Minnesota is getting in on the action, with two of the state’s medical cannabis companies embarking on a trip into experimental medicine.

Goodness Growth Inc., which is based in Minneapolis, has revealed its plans to kickstart clinical research efforts into natural plant-based psychedelic treatments. 

Previously known as Vireo Health, the Minnesota cannabis company intends on conducting its psychedelic research efforts through its R&D subsidiary, Resurgent Biosciences.

The main aim of Goodness Growth’s psychedelic research effort in Minnesota is to assess how “naturally derived” psychedelics can help ease the symptoms of widespread psychological disorders.

“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,” said the chairman and CEO of Goodness Growth, Dr. Kyle Kingsley, during a recent interview.

Minnesota cannabis company is first to enter the psychedelics space 

No other cannabis company in the U.S. has entered the fast-progressing psychedelics space. This makes Goodness Growth stand out as a highly innovative and daring legal weed firm. The company is believed to have been considering opportunities in the field of psychedelics for many years.

Although researchers from Goodness Growth have developed an intense interest in trippy substances, Kingsley said that, before taking the leap, he wanted to be patient and wait for substantial evidence to emerge regarding the efficacy of psychedelic drugs.

Thankfully, that evidence has since surfaced, with various studies into psilocybin a naturally-occurring compound contained in more than 200 species of fungi, A.K.A. “magic mushrooms” revealing that the hallucinogenic substance may effectively relieve depression.

This finding was confirmed by researchers from Johns Hopkins University. The researchers released a study in November 2020 demonstrating how the natural chemical compound can significantly enhance mental health in depressed patients who receive controlled doses.

“I wanted to wait for a kind of threshold of evidence to make sure this was a real opportunity, and that it would be real medicine for people,” said Kingsley, who feels that studies like this are helping to set the foundation for exploring the colorful realm of psychedelics. “It’s gone beyond that. It’s really sort of exceeded my expectations as far as the therapeutic potential of psychedelics.”

However, since Goodness remains in the early stages of researching psychedelic substances, the Minnesota cannabis company will not be cultivating, distributing or manufacturing psychedelic drugs; not just yet, anyway.

To begin with, Kingsley says that the company will be focused on “research undertakings.”

Minnesota cannabis company will embark on overseas partnerships 

Based on Goodness Growth’s psychedelics research announcement, the Minnesota cannabis company will expand its focus beyond collaborating alongside other companies in the United States. 

Although specific company names have not yet been divulged by Kingsley, his company is also optimistic about joining forces with organizations abroad.

The company CEO feels confident that psychedelic substances will majorly transform the medical landscape for the treatment of various psychiatric disorders. He likened the outlook of Goodness Growth’s psychedelics research efforts to the outcome that cannabis research has had on chronic pain treatment options.

“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, adding that he is excited about these “paradigm shifts.”

Over the last few years, Goodness has significantly expanded its presence. After introducing four new cannabis retail dispensaries in Minnesota, the company now boasts eight statewide locations. The brand also boasts a footprint in New Mexico, Arizona, and Pennsylvania. 

Moreover, the company has experienced a drastic boost in sales revenue. Last year, revenue amounted to $49.2 million, which is almost double the amount that was pulled in during the entire of 2019