Yes you read that correctly somebody is harvesting magic mushrooms in Lesotho.
The psychedelic “financial press” report without a modicum of questioning..
Before we get to the usual self congratulatory press. release who / what are / is the Psyence Group Inc.?
Via their website we hear that, of course, they are “global leaders” and “set the standard” and yes they have “experts”..who doesn’t these days.
The Psyence Group sets the global standard for natural psychedelics.
Science led by global experts in neurology, neuroscience and drug development. Psyence has built and operates one of the first Federally licensed commercial psilocybin cultivation and production facilities.
Psyence is pioneering the use of natural psilocybin for the long-term treatment of trauma and its mental health consequences.
Our global footprint operates across multiple legal jurisdictions, through the advanced provision of psychedelic therapy and experience, as well as market leading Functional Mushroom brands and product portfolio.
Here’s a lovely piccy of their product range with standard muted colours that imply psychedelic but also sensible medicine at the same time..
Just in case popping their pills or partaking of their tinctures isn’t enough for you there’s also the Psyence Experience which will of course open doors (yawn)
It also looks like they intend to flog “wellness” products
We could go through the whole team but you’ll be glad to know that our erstwhile leader is not only an accountant but also a yes, you guessed it “Visionary” who builds “Shareholder Value”.
We could go on but i’m sure you get the message.
Meanwhile in Lesotho
This is supposedly a photo of their location with the following blurb next to the photo
Leading the way in production and commercialization of natural psilocybin.
Federally licensed and operational psilocybin cultivation and processing.
Built to BSI standards at secure GAP/GMP production hub.
Licensed, operational and established for export, innovation, standardization and growth.
In 2019 the Kingdom of Lesotho awarded Psyence Group one of world’s first commercial licenses to import, cultivate, manufacture and export psilocybin mushrooms.
We have tried to find (we admit through the limited tools we have at our disposal ) an address for the location and have been unable to get an address.
But be assured all is ok as he tells Psychedelic Finance.com in an interview 19 January 2021
We are committed to making an impact in the geographies in which we operate. I myself bring a lifelong commitment to healing, on a personal level, our family has long worked to heal the earth. In South Africa, we founded an outreach program that strengthens the connection to nature through educational nature walks and experiences. We strongly believe in the connection between nature and wellbeing and hope to inspire future generations. It inspires our corporate focus, too.
What we’d like to know is…..
A) Where is this location – an address please ?
B) How many workers do you have in the plant and what are you paying them ?
C) Exactly what is the deal you have structured with the “Kingdom of Lesotho” to build the plant and manufacture these compounds?
D) Is the deal directly with the royal family (constitutional monarchy), the national assembly or other private business parties?
E) How is it that you can produce these compounds legally in Lesotho ?
And this is where is gets tricky
EDELIC, the Center for Ethnobotanical Services reports as far back as February 2 2018 with regard to cannabis
As reported on Feb. 6th, 2018… Lesotho has become the first African country to permit the legal cultivation of cannabis – but the production of the drug has been restricted to two foreign-owned companies, while rural farmers and the wider population continue to be prohibited from harvesting their own.
Our research leads us nowhere when looking at how permission has been to produce
We searched LESLII to see if we could find any references to psilocybin or psychedelics and even LSD in Lesotho’s legislation and came up with zero results.
So ….. how are the citizens of Lesotho profiting from this visionary venture ?
The World Bank tells us that nominal per capita gross domestic product (GDP) of $1,299, unemployment was registered at 23.6% in 2018, the national poverty rate 49.7% in 2017 and remains one of the 20% most unequal countries in the world.
So.. before you read this press release and remembering we are talking about a “psychedelics” company not mining or construction we’d be very interested to learn from their public pronouncements how they are benefitting Lesotho’s economy as a whole, how their workers benefit from the profits they will be making, are they funding any projects to combat the appalling poverty rate in the kingdom.
It sound like wellness for the first world at the expense of what used to be called the third world to us
The company also operates in Jamaica and we could also ask all the same questions there too.
THE PRESS RELEASE
Psyence Group Inc. (“Psyence” or the “Company”) is pleased to announce that it has concluded its first cultivation and harvest cycle of natural medical psilocybin mushrooms. The mushrooms were grown, harvested, processed, and packed at its premium production facility in Lesotho which has been designed and built to the highest international standards.
Jody Aufrichtig, Chief Executive Officer and Director of Psyence commented: “This is an important milestone in Psyence’s journey to becoming one of the first federally licensed producers of high quality, medicinal-grade mushrooms for the legal medical and research markets. Market research has shown that there is a significant shortage of Good Manufacturing Practice certified and legally produced psilocybin products and we are able to supply and service the global research market from our production facility.”
The facility, which is based in Lesotho (Southern Africa), has been designed and constructed to International Organization for Standardization (ISO) 14644-1 Cleanroom specifications and engineering design principles. This design allows various parts of the process to comply with the Good Manufacturing Practice (“GMP”) Standards required for product safety and quality to meet the certification needs of The British Standards Institute (“BSI”). The facility is registered with the US Food and Drug Administration (“US-FDA”) and is equipped with validated and calibrated specialised equipment to ensure optimum growing conditions and efficient harvesting and packaging. Through process, equipment and facility validations, Psyence ensures a consistent end product in terms of safety and quality. The facility design allows for rapid expansion with minimum interference to operations.
Aufrichtig continued: “The results of our first cultivation and harvest process have been overwhelmingly positive, proving that our equipment is performing to the highest standard; our staff are experienced and well trained; our harvest system is working optimally, and our standard operating procedures are efficient and robust.”
The first harvest is serving as an R&D batch. It is being used to inform product characterization as well as to test transport routes to global licensed research and medical customers in legal jurisdictions. Following the success of the first harvest, three more batches will be cultivated and harvested in order to validate all of the processes as our roadmap to attaining BSI certification. Cultivation of the second batch is already underway; the cultivation and harvesting process, from spore inoculation to vacuum packing and storing takes approximately 10 weeks to complete and can be done on a continual basis.
Following the conclusion of three successful and approved validation batches the processes will be audited and BSI certification will be concluded.
About Psyence Group:
The Psyence Group intends to set the global standard for natural psychedelics. The executive team have international experience in the business of science and medicine and include global experts in neurology, neuroscience and drug development. Psyence has built and operates one of the first federally licensed commercial psilocybin cultivation and production facilities. Psyence are pioneering the use of natural psilocybin for the long-term treatment of psychological trauma and its mental health consequences. The Psyence Group have a global footprint operating across multiple legal jurisdictions, through the advanced provision of psychedelic therapy and experience, as well as market leading functional mushroom brands and product portfolio.