CBC News: B.C. company opens Canada’s largest licensed psychedelic mushroom growing facility

Optimi Health set to produce 2,000 kilograms of dried psilocybin mushrooms a month in its Princeton facilities

Brady Strachan · CBC News · 


Optimi Head of Cultivation, Todd Henderson


B.C.-based company Optimi Health has harvested its first cultivation of psilocybin mushrooms at its Health Canada-licensed facilities in Princeton, B.C., positioning itself as a major player in the burgeoning psychedelic sector.

The $14-million venture consists of two 10,000-square-feet facilities with a combined total of 10 growing rooms that can produce approximately 2,000 kilograms of dried psilocybin mushrooms a month, according to Optimi’s head cultivator, Todd Henderson.

“[It’s] a phenomenal scale … There is nobody else in the world doing what [we’re] doing here right now,” Henderson said.

“Thousands of years ago the Chinese and the Indigenous people were using these in solving all kinds of issues on their own and here it is thousands of years later, we are reverting back to it.”

Psilocybin mushrooms, commonly called magic mushrooms, are a controlled substance in Canada, making it illegal to grow, possess or sell unless authorized by Health Canada.

‘Astounding to see what the research is showing’


This month the agency granted Optimi a licence to produce the mushrooms as well as a research exemption to extract the psychedelic components of psilocybin and psilocin for use in clinical trials, according to the company.

Optimi says their facilities are built to meet Good Manufacturing Practice (GMP) requirements, a quality assurance standard required by Health Canada to produce psilocybin for clinical research.

“We are the only GMP organic facility in the world that can supply what we do. We have contacts all over the world for people who would like to do research with psilocybin,” said Leigh Grant, director of operations for Optimi Health.

The idea to build the facility came out of a desire to explore the medicinal benefits of natural products, said Bryan Safarik, chief operating officer.

“It really is astounding to see what the research is showing as far as medicinal benefits [of psilocybin mushrooms] and where this could all go,” Safarik said.

Canadian entrepreneur Chip Wilson, who founded Lululemon, is an advisory to the company and his son, J.J. Wilson is Optimi’s board chair.

The company is also growing non-regulated varieties of fungi including lion’s mane and chaga mushrooms, which are commonly found in health food stores.

Therapeutic benefits


The main product remains psychedelic mushrooms, of which Optimi hopes to position itself as major supplier on the global market for medical grade psilocybin.

In recent years, scientists have been studying the therapeutic benefits of psychedelic mushrooms to treat everything from addiction to easing end-of-life anxiety for terminally ill patients.

University of British Columbia psychology professor Zach Walsh has researched psilocybin for the past decade, including a recent study on microdosing the compound where people took repeated small dosages of mushrooms to treat depression and anxiety.

“There’s some growing evidence that psilocybin can help resolve treatment-resistant depression in a way that’s as effective or perhaps more effective even than traditional anti-depressants,” Walsh said.

“People have mystical experiences on psilocybin … Depression can be a loss of meaning in life and a loss of sense of purpose and so having those kind of profound experiences can really revitalize folks.”

In January, Health Canada restored aspects of its “Special Access Program” — which had been significantly amended under former prime minister Stephen Harper in 2013 — allowing physicians to request access to restricted drugs like psilocybin to treat patients with mental health conditions such as post-traumatic stress disorder, depression and anxiety.

Source: CBC British Columbia





Investor Relations
Email: investors@optimihealth.ca
Phone: +1 (902) 880 6121
Web: www.optimihealth.ca


Optimi Health Corp. is a Canadian-based company licensed by Health Canada to produce and supply natural, EU-GMP grade psilocybin and synthetic psychedelic substances, as well as functional mushrooms that focus on the health and wellness markets. Built with the purpose of producing scalable psychedelic formulations for transformational human experiences, the Company’s goal is to be the number one trusted, compassionate supplier of safe drug products throughout the world. Optimi’s products are grown at its two facilities comprising a total of 20,000 square feet in Princeton, British Columbia, making it the largest psilocybin and MDMA cultivator in North America.


Investor Relations
Email: investors@optimihealth.ca
Phone: +1 (902) 880 6121
Web: www.optimihealth.ca


This news release contains forward‐looking statements and forward‐looking information within the meaning of Canadian securities legislation (collectively, “forward‐looking statements”) that relate to Optimi’s current expectations and views of future events. Any statements that express, or involve discussions as to, expectations, beliefs, plans, objectives, assumptions or future events or performance (often, but not always, through the use of words or phrases such as “will likely result,” “are expected to,” “expects,” “will continue,” “is anticipated,” “anticipates,” “believes,” “estimated,” “intends,” “plans,” “forecast,” “projection,” “strategy,” “objective,” and “outlook”) are not historical facts and may be forward‐looking statements and may involve estimates, assumptions and uncertainties which could cause actual results or outcomes to differ materially from those expressed in such forward‐looking statements. No assurance can be given that these expectations will prove to be correct and such forward‐looking statements included in this news release should not be unduly relied upon. These statements speak only as of the date of this news release. In particular and without limitation, this news release contains forward‐ looking statements pertaining to activities proposed to be conducted under the Company’s dealer’s license and associated business related to Psilocybin and Psilocin and Optimi’s plans, focus and objectives.

Forward‐looking statements are based on a number of assumptions and are subject to a number of risks and uncertainties, many of which are beyond Optimi’s control, which could cause actual results and events to differ materially from those that are disclosed in or implied by such forward‐looking statements. Such risks and uncertainties include, but are not limited to, the impact and progression of the COVID‐19 pandemic and other factors set forth under “Forward‐Looking Statements” and “Risk Factors” in the Company’s Annual information Form dated January 12, 2022, and other continuous disclosure filings available under Optimi’s profile at www.sedar.com. Optimi undertakes no obligation to update or revise any forward‐looking statements, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise, except as may be required by law. New factors emerge from time to time, and it is not possible for Optimi to predict all of them or assess the impact of each such factor or the extent to which any factor, or combination of factors, may cause results to differ materially from those contained in any forward‐looking statement.

Any forward‐looking statements contained in this news release are expressly qualified in their entirety by this cautionary statement.

Products do not contain psilocybin

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