With the legalisation of psilocybin in Australia set to kickstart the trend worldwide and rolling headlines about the increasingly casual use of “harder” drugs by notable public figures — Elon Musk’s ketamine habit being a prime example — it’s clear that society’s approach to drugs is changing and changing fast.
This has led to a swathe of startups popping up, looking to cash in on a future where drugs are more readily available to the public. As reported by Bloomberg, parts of Canada continue to consider further cocaine decriminalisation and Safe Supply Streaming Co. is one of the companies making waves in the Canadian Securities Exchange with its business model centred around legal cocaine.
Safe Supply plans to acquire businesses that could benefit from the decriminalization of hard drugs. These include fentanyl test-strip makers, addiction clinics, and even energy drinks containing coca leaf. The company’s valuation recently reached C$11.9 million ($13.6 million AUD), but investors believe the market in a coke-legal Canada could be worth up to $3.2 billion USD ($5 billion AUD).
However, Safe Supply’s founders aren’t limiting their vision to Canada alone. They are advocating for the global decriminalization of hard drugs and believe this approach could help ease the ongoing drug crisis and reduce overdose deaths. Michael Astone, a member of Safe Supply’s advisory board, explained:
“We’re going to start to build an ecosystem, go out as a beachhead, garner a market cap as a public company and start to acquire all these businesses that the general public hasn’t clued in yet are narcotics businesses.”
International Shift Towards Decriminalization
The international landscape is already seeing shifts towards decriminalization. Countries like Portugal and the U.S. state of Oregon have taken steps in this direction. Earlier this year, British Columbia began its own decriminalization experiment, covering a wide range of substances, from heroin to methamphetamine. Bern, Switzerland, also announced a pilot program to legalise the sale of cocaine.
While proponents of drug decriminalization argue that it could lead to safer drug use, not everyone is convinced. Jason Hockenberry — department chair at Yale’s School of Public Health — raises concerns that legalisation might reduce the stigma around drugs, encouraging more experimentation and potentially leading to addiction.
Ronan Levy, a member of Safe Supply’s board of advisers, disagrees:
“We don’t see it as a conflict. There is immediate and growing need for new investment in addiction and treatment facilities.”
Safe Supply’s investors include Jonathan Goldman — a scion of a Canadian real estate company — and Steve Arbib — the founder of MedReleaf — an early cannabis producer. The company also recently announced a reverse takeover of Origin Therapeutics, a psychedelics company, as part of its strategy to go public.