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Dave HodesMay 19, 2022
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11min170

When looking at the data coming out of psychedelics research, there is tantalizing evidence that the promise of psychedelics is becoming more of a reality every day. 

Companies and organizations such as Compass Pathways NASDAQ: (CMPS) the Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies (MAPS) and Awakn Life Sciences are either planning or working on phase 3 clinical trials, one of the last steps before U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approval.

And these are not just clinical trials with positive outcomes that last for a few weeks. Studies of psilocybin, ayahuasca and lysergic acid diethylamide (LSD) on psychiatric diseases and addictions found a quick response after psychedelic administration that lasted for several months, even after a single dose. 

In light of this seemingly diminishing risk of investing in a psychedelics drug, it’s no wonder that institutional investors are taking a closer look as the industry matures into mainstream investor territory with more psychedelics companies going public. 

Going public can help make a company more attractive to an institutional investor because it helps generate capital for the company to expand, and requires the company to provide detailed disclosures about their operations.

There are now 48 publicly traded psychedelics companies: most are on the Canadian Securities Exchange (CSE); eight on NASDAQ; and one, (Cybin, Inc.), is traded on the New York Stock Exchange. 

Cybin Inc. has 55 institutional owners and shareholders, holding a total of 16,411,827 shares. 

Atai Life Sciences has 105 institutional investors. GH Research has 36 institutional investors who own almost all of the available stock (61.72%), with six new institutional investors all coming three days after the company’s 2021 full-year report to investors in March 2022, where company executives showed a significant cash position of $276.8 million to fund operations into 2025.

In fact, this year’s first-quarter reporting on the results of 2021 for various psychedelics companies was the catalyst for serious institutional investment movement. One example: Of the 205 institutional investors listed for MindMed, 31 are new investors who jumped in at the end of March, 2022. Those included heavy hitters like Barclays and Oppenheimer and Company.

Huge institutional investors like BlackRock, the world’s strongest asset management brand according to the 2021 Fund Brand 50 study, an annual dataset from Broadridge Financial Solutions, are a big part of the investment picture in psychedelics. BlackRock holds shares in MindMed, Cybin, Atai, Compass Pathways, Seelos Therapeutics, and GH Research. All are listed as stocks to watch by U.S. News

How can an institutional investor choose a psychedelics company to invest in? A securities lawyer told the Canadian Investment Review that he advises that psychedelics institutional investors focus on identifying sophisticated management teams inside companies who have a deep understanding of the regulatory framework, and an ability to map out a path through drug development to commercialization. He added that any potential investment should also be backed by strong science and medical advisors.

Psychedelics investment opportunities are broadening.

The psychedelic sector includes the full biopharmaceutical and healthcare value chain. According to a global business strategy company, LEK, while investment has traditionally focused on biopharmaceutical research and development, there is now an increasing trend to distribute funding across the value chain more broadly. 

Some psychedelics companies primarily focused on development are using this strategy by establishing clinic networks and digital platforms to create the infrastructure for clinical trials they need, and the delivery of psychedelic-assisted psychotherapies. 

“This approach has two immediate advantages,” according to an LEK executive insight finding. “Firstly, it generates short-term revenue through other applications for these assets. Secondly, it allows companies and investors to reduce the level of risk inherent in developing new drug therapies.”

That’s just the sort of reassurance that institutional investors need today for getting involved in an emerging, risky industry dealing with drug discovery and development that has to deal with more uncertainty than other healthcare-related companies. 

Investors today in general are bracing for increased volatility, higher inflation, and upward pressure on interest rates. These conditions reflect a fundamental change from what investors working with institutions have experienced over the past several decades, according to a 2022 global investment study by Nuveen, a global investment management company. “As plan sponsors and asset allocators, we’re tasked with achieving these lofty return expectations, north of 7%, all within the parameters of prudent risk management,” a U.S. public pension investment officer reported in the study. “Those two things are becoming incongruent. … It’s challenging conventional wisdom, for sure.”

Still.. psychedelics are looking more and more like a sure thing for institutional investors today.

Ben Bei, director and product strategist on the Global Emerging Markets Equities Team within BlackRock’s Active Equity Group, wrote in an investment insight article that, compared to other sectors, demand for healthcare is resilient and less impacted by economic swings. “Historically, the sector has been the strongest performer in late cycle and recessionary periods, suggesting this may be an area investors should look into amid uncertainty over the broader macroeconomic outlook,” Bei wrote. “This sector is also a greenhouse  of innovation: an array of R&D companies constantly delivers new products to fulfil unmet demand, which, we believe, act as a long-term driver for the sector’s growth.”


Video StaffSeptember 10, 2018

3min40

Green Table Global recently held an event in Southampton NY bringing together cannabis companies and cannabis investors. It was a beautiful evening and even though it was a Sunday night, there was plenty of interest. Investors listened to presentations from Matt Karnes of GreenWave Advisors, Multiverse Capital, Green Revolution, Franki Global, and Kannalife.

Multiverse Capital is a Venture Capital Firm Investing in all Sectors of the Global Cannabis Industry. The Multiverse name is reflective of our broad-based strategy since it invests in both private and public cannabis companies, globally. Multiverse Capital has 3 distinct cannabis investment venture funds: medicinal, adult use (recreational), and ancillary (real estate, ancillary products & services, and biotech). Multiverse Capital management and advisors have worked with hundreds of private and public cannabis companies in over 15 countries and have a combined 16 years of commercial cannabis and industrial hemp experience.

Green Revolution is the first crossover cannabis health and lifestyle brand in the country. At Green Revolution, the company has created a family of cannabis-based products for all vital dimensions of your life. By using the latest scientific methods and innovative technologies, Green Revolution has become a recognized leader in multiple product categories within the cannabis industry and is poised for national expansion. Its products serve a broad demographic from 21 to 80 and have consistently proven to be the go to option for veteran users as well as people experiencing cannabis for the very first time.

Franki Global Inc. is a unique video-based social media experience via its brand “franki”. franki connects consumers and businesses through an authentic social video review experience. Unlike other review apps, franki invites consumers to create video reviews that share their true opinion and allowing franki users to discover their next adventure – all whilst giving businesses and brands valuable feedback on their products and services.

Kannalife Sciences, based at the Pennsylvania Biotechnology Center is a pharmaceutical and phyto-medical company involved in the research and development of novel therapeutic agents designed to reduce oxidative stress, and act as immuno-modulators and neuroprotectants. Kannalife holds an exclusive license with NIH for the commercialization of US Patent #6630507, “Cannabinoids as Antioxidants and Neuroprotectants” to treat Hepatic Encephalopathy (HE) and an additional license to treat Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy (CTE).


StaffSeptember 20, 2017
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4min50

Several themes emerged from this week’s meeting of the cannabis financial minds at the CannaBrunch yearly event. One thing that these investors agreed upon was that investing in Colorado or California was out. What these cannabis investors wanted were emerging states.

I’m staying out of Colorado and California because there’s too much competition. I prefer a limited environment like Pennsylvania,” said Ryan Ansin of Ansin Investments an early stage investor. Ansin echoed what others were saying with regards to the crowded fields of these states and the higher valuations on companies. Many preferred states like Illinois and Pennsylvania because there were fewer licenses and a better chance for cannabis businesses to be profitable.

Others pointed out that states like Florida had approved of too many licenses, which has too many dispensaries for the patient population. Washington was also mentioned for its over-supply of cannabis with pounds of product per person being produced.

One of the pitch companies GTI a Chicago-based cannabis company also said it focuses on states where they can be the big fish in a small pond. Chairman Ben Kovler said he likes the states that other larger companies have ignored. Although the work to get these businesses established is extreme, he feels the payoff is better in a state where they are fewer players.

Another theme was one that has been playing out over the past couple of years and that is more investment money than quality investment deals. Eric Shoemaker a founder of Swell Companies said, “I can raise $50 million, but it’s hard to put it to work.” Swell is one of the leading cannabis processing companies in the country. He noted that the industry has had a dearth of exits and that doesn’t present very many opportunities for others to come in. “The biggest exits don’t seem to come with a lot of cash attached to them,” he said.

Ralph Amato CEO of Ventana Capital Partners said, “It’s hard to find quality deals and companies with people who have strong backgrounds and good experience.” He said that any deal they do, his company insists on complete financial control over the company.

Many of these smaller investors agreed that they were happy that bigger players like Goldman Sachs were staying out of the cannabis industry and giving them a chance to make some choice investments. So, while President Clinton might have been good for legalization, it wouldn’t have been so great for these investors.

Established investment funds seem very interested in the cannabis industry, but many are still wary of investing in an industry that is still federally illegal. What does seem to be a trend is that the fund and family office founders are putting their own personal money to work. They may not feel comfortable putting client money in a highly risky investment, but they are personally fascinated and want to be a part of the emerging industry.

Somme investments there were also mentioned included platforms to address deal making due to an oversupply of product. There was also interest in the company that won the pitch contest, Go Fire a digital health company that collects user data based on patient experience and Green Rush a mobile platform that powers the online connection between dispensary and customer.


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The Green Market Report focuses on the financial news of the rapidly growing cannabis industry. Our target approach filters out the daily noise and does a deep dive into the financial, business and economic side of the cannabis industry. Our team is cultivating the industry’s critical news into one source and providing open source insights and data analysis


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