Based in Princeton, B.C., Optimi Health (CNSX: OPTI | OTCMKTS: OPTHF | FRA: 8BN) is one of a handful of Health Canada-licensed companies focusing on the production of psilocybin, but there are a few things that set it apart from the rest.
Last week, The Dales Report sat down with Optimi’s co-founder, director, and chief marketing officer Dane Stevens to learn more about the newly licensed company and how it plans to differentiate itself from other companies, by becoming the first to produce large quantities of natural psilocybin.
Stevens, who is also the president and director of Vancouver boutique jewelry store Cavalier, became immersed in the industry after having a personal experience with magic mushrooms.
“I had a really positive interaction with them, and it set the stage for the last three years of my life,” he says, noting that the leadership team’s personal history with psychedelics has a lot to do with why Optimi is choosing to focus exclusively on naturally derived psilocybin.
Why Optimi Is Focused On Natural Psilocybin
“We looked at what we were passionate about and our personal history that had got us to that point, and it’s all been natural,” he says. “For thousands of years, people have been using natural psychedelics, and it’s only recently that the synthetics had come aboard. We see that as the biggest opportunity to help people.”
Where a drug development company might take eight to ten years to create a drug appropriate for a prescription model, says Stevens, working with natural psilocybin gives the company an opportunity “to help people today.”
While synthetic and natural psilocybin are identical compounds, Stevens and team are strong believers that if given the choice, most people would opt for the latter, especially given consumer narratives around ‘natural’ products: “Where our culture is at, I think that having something natural is going to get the attention,” he says.
Optimi’s Functional Mushrooms Line
When it comes to product development, Optimi is currently working on a proprietary psilocybin extraction method. It also recently launched a line of ‘functional’ mushrooms supplements, non-psychedelic products containing mushrooms such as Lion’s Mane and Reishi, that are intended to be used daily.
“It’s really important for Optimi to have revenue. I think that’s a key differentiator as well… we don’t want to have to keep going back to our shareholders and asking for more money,” he says. “At the end of the day, we want to be self-sustainable.”
Large-Scale Production In The Works
Optimi has also been named a supplier to Health Canada’s Special Access Program. Magic mushrooms are cultivated in its two 10,000-square-foot facilities, a capacity that is (so far) unmatched by other licensed dealers of psilocybin.
“We’re working with different physicians who will actually be the ones buying this from us, and then administering to patients,” says Stevens. “That’s the next step, and we fit really well into that ecosystem, where, to my knowledge, we are the only large-scale supplier of GMP-grade natural psilocybin mushrooms.”
To learn more about Optimi’s focus on natural psilocybin and its role in the Special Access Program, watch my interview with Dane Stevens.