Some critics in the psychedelics space have argued that for the best results, companies ought to conduct research and development in Canada and the United States, where no doubt, some of the most innovative work in the space is taking place.
Others, however, have seen opportunity in countries like Jamaica, where legislation does not have the same limitations on cultivation and production as it does elsewhere.
The Right Approach To Working In Jamaica
One such company is Wake, a private firm that took the idea of working in Jamaica a step further than most of its industry counterparts. Rather than simply conducting R&D in the Carribean nation, the company decided to establish a relationship with an existing group of all-female mycologists and farmers, to form a Jamaican arm of the business.
Wake Jamaica is the joint venture subsidiary run by CEO Terri Pauline Smith, who is the founder of the Network of Women for Food Security, as well as the Association of Mushroom Producers Limited. She also co-owns Jamaica Exotic Mushrooms.
Smith partnered with Wake in 2020 and is regarded highly in the local industry for her expertise, cultivating edibles, gourmet medicinals, and psilocybin for the company. Earlier this week, Smith hosted Floyd Green, Jamaica’s agriculture minister, during a tour of the state-of-the-art mushroom production facility, where her team has been producing psilocybin for Wake since September 2020.
Another thing that separates Wake from other players in the space? Both its executive team and its team of advisors are made up of a diverse mix of men and women from an array of cultural and professional backgrounds, and not a group of mostly monochromatic men.
First Legal Import To The U.S.
Yesterday, Wake announced that after securing all necessary permits from the Drug Enforcement Administration, it successfully completed its first legal importation of psilocybin mushrooms into the United States.
As per their latest press release, the psilocybin mushroom material was produced at Wake Jamaica’s production facility and delivered to the company’s U.S. lab partner, which holds a Schedule 1 Controlled Substance licence.
According to Wake, “this is the only commercially produced, federally legal botanical psilocybin in the United States.”
“From day one, our mission was to break ground in this emerging sector by building the first legal supply chain of psilocybin mushrooms for research,” said Nick Murray, Wake’s CEO, in the release.
He also said that the company’s latest move will provide American academics and laboratories “with greater access to further the study of psilocybin mushrooms as a treatment for mental health disorders.”