Belleville, ON, Oct. 26, 2023 – This week, Loyalist College is proud to announce its distinction as the first college in Canada to receive a Controlled Drugs and Substances License from Health Canada for psilocybin research. This historic achievement places Loyalist among a select group of facilities in Canada with a federal endorsement for psilocybin-related studies.
In Canada, mental health concerns are a significant public health issue, with 1 in 5 Canadians experiencing mental illness annually. The Government of Canada is making substantial investments to explore the potential benefits of psilocybin, the active compound found in “magic mushrooms,” in therapeutic contexts.
“Loyalist College is thrilled to receive this certification from Health Canada, a significant milestone that highlights our commitment to excellence in the research and development of natural products,” says Loyalist College President and CEO Mark Kirkpatrick. “The potential of psilocybin research to aid those struggling with mental illness aligns seamlessly with our long-term vision. Specifically, we aim to leverage this expertise in applied research to become national leader in advancing UN Sustainable Development Goals such as Good Health and Well-being and Quality Education.”
In 2017, Loyalist became the first college in Canada to have a laboratory approved to conduct research activities with cannabis. Since then, Loyalist College’s Centre for Natural Products and Medical Cannabis (CNPMC) has built a reputation working with industry to support consistency, stability and safety in plant products and medicines. Psilocybin is a notoriously unstable compound, creating challenges for industry and health care partners seeking a consistent potency for “prescriptions” in clinical trials or therapeutic settings. The CNPMC will leverage its expertise to help determine the safety and quality of psilocybin for various applications.
“As the legal options for incorporating psilocybin into therapeutic programs expand, so too does the need to maintain the safety, consistency and dosage of psilocybin solutions,” says Jeremy Laurin, Senior Vice President of Strategy and Transformation. “The CNPMC’s specialized technology, equipment and expertise will help transform psilocybin research results into high-quality, innovative solutions. As the only college in Canada with this licence, our facilities provide Loyalist students with truly unique hands-on learning opportunities in cutting-edge research.”
Learn more about Loyalist’s Centre for Natural Products and Medical Cannabis.
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About Loyalist College
Loyalist College is built upon the lands governed by the Dish with One Spoon wampum agreement. We affirm and thank the Haudenosaunee, Anishinaabeg and Huron-Wendat nations for their continued caretaking of the land. At Loyalist, we empower our students with wraparound support services and hands-on training to succeed on any path they choose. Our academic programs are responsive and innovative, designed to solve pressing social and economic challenges and meet the evolving needs of our regional industry and community partners. Our graduates enter the workforce equipped with the knowledge they need to be better global citizens, and with future-focused skills to lead change in their fields. With a presence in Belleville, Bancroft, Port Hope, Tyendinaga and Toronto, we believe our institutional responsibility extends beyond the classroom to seeing the big picture for the communities we serve. Our expertise in applied research and deep connections to local industry support economic development, to the benefit of businesses, entrepreneurs, changemakers and innovators. Our commitment to decolonization, and the pursuit of a more inclusive, equitable world, means we hold ourselves accountable to the diverse perspectives, cultures and experiences that shape our communities.
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