One of the early leading figures of the regulated Canadian cannabis industry is back as a member of a brand new psychedelics company.
Vic Neufeld, co-founder and the former CEO of Aphria (NASDAQ:APHA,TSX:APHA), has been announced as a director of Havn Life Sciences (CSE:HAVN), which went public this week.
The move marks Neufeld’s return to the spotlight after departing from Aphria in January 2019.
“It’s something that we really need to have a better understanding of — the standardization, the efficacy, the safety (of psychedelics) so researchers … can take it to the next level,” Neufeld said about the need to invest and develop work on novel drugs based on psychedelic substances.
According Havn Life co-CEO Susan Chapelle, the firm plans to develop product formulations for the microdosing of “novel psychoactive compounds” alongside extraction methodology in a mycology lab.
On Thursday (September 10), the company confirmed it has obtained a Section 56 exemption from Health Canada, meaning it is now allowed to “possess certain amounts of pure psilocybin for scientific purposes, specifically for the research and development of quality control methods.”
Psychedelics could attract big-name acquisitions
During his time in cannabis, Neufeld was witness to deals that allowed Fortune 500 companies to enter the space, along with a rush of rumors about potential acquisitions and investment deals.
Neufeld detailed how despite Aphria’s numerous conversations with pharmaceutical names, he understood no deal would take place given the finicky nature of patented intellectual property and products when it comes to the cannabis plant.
While very early on in its financial markets development, psychedelics is already attracting attention from the pharmaceutical space, according to several experts and observers of the industry.
Neufeld enters new work life with psychedelics play
Neufeld stepped down from Aphria, alongside fellow co-founder Cole Cacciavillani, following short seller claims lobbed against the company and its assets in the Latin America cannabis market.
At the time of his departure, Neufeld cited the taxing nature of the cannabis business on his health as a principal reason for calling it quits. “The last five years have been incredible. But to be brutally honest, this journey has taken a toll on my health, family and other priorities,” Neufeld said during a conference call, according to a report from the Financial Post.
In response to how he plans to better balance work and life this time around, Neufeld said he will not be involved with the day-to-day operations of Havn Life. “In simple words, no more heavy lifting for me,” he said. “It’s very demanding, it’s all consuming. You put aside all of your other family type of priorities because business took over and it was all consuming.”
The company isn’t counting on Neufeld as its only expert voice coming from the cannabis public markets. Rick Brar, former CEO of Zenabis Global (TSX:ZENA), is a director at Havn Life as well.
Check out the video above to hear the full talk with Neufeld, and click here if you’d like to get familiarized with listed psychedelics companies.
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Securities Disclosure: I, Bryan Mc Govern, hold no direct investment interest in any company mentioned in this article.
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