June 18, 2022

(Quw’utsun’/ Duncan, B.C.) – Participants at a craft cannabis roundtable organized by the BC Craft Farmers Co-op (BCCFC) on Thursday, June 16th in Duncan, B.C. agreed that B.C.’s world-renowned medical cannabis farmers are well-positioned to produce a safe supply of psilocybin (aka magic mushrooms) under a federally regulated system.

At the meeting, TheraPsil presented an overview of draft regulations being proposed to the federal government. TheraPsil’s proposed regulations, modelled after the 2016 medical cannabis regulations, are called the Access to Psilocybin for Medical Purposes Regulations. These regulations would allow prescribing medical professionals to authorize psilocybin access for patients, allow licence holders to manufacture and sell psilocybin to authorized patients, and create a regulatory system for medical psilocybin access that suits the needs of patients, healthcare professionals, growers, and regulatory bodies.

TheraPsil submitted these regulations to the former Minister of Health, Patty Hajdu, on August 4th, 2021, one year after Minister Hajdu approved personal section 56(1) exemptions for four terminally-ill Canadians to use and possess psilocybin for medical purposes. Following a public consultation period and upon the appointment of the new Health Ministers, Jean-Yves Duclos and Carolyn Bennett, these draft regulations were updated and submitted to Ministers Duclos and Bennett for consideration on November 16th, 2021.

The roundtable meeting at the Cowichan Station HUB was part of a series of farmers’ roundtables being organized by BCCFC across the province this summer in association with the BC government’s proposal to roll out cannabis consumption, farm gate and direct sales policies this year. Participants included craft cannabis farmers, processors, testing laboratories, health care professionals, patient advocates, Indigenous-owned cannabis producers and community leaders. 

Spencer Hawkswell, patient rights advocate and CEO of TheraPsil, had this to say:

“As the medical community’s interest in psilocybin continues to grow across Canada and around the world, there will be an increasing demand for a safe supply of psilocybin mushrooms, high-quality treatment options, and training for healthcare professionals. Vancouver Island is positioned very well to deliver both.”  

BCCFC President Tara Kirkpatrick said, “In addition to creating hundreds of local jobs and tourism opportunities with the introduction of the province’s farm gate and on-site cannabis consumption policies and the federal review of the Cannabis Act, BC’s licensed medical farmers are ready to produce a safe supply of psilocybin under a regulated framework for people suffering from chronic disease and addictions to killer drugs like heroin, cocaine, fentanyl and methamphetamine.”   

Currently, there are approximately 6,000 British Columbians authorized by Health Canada to produce cannabis for medical purposes. 

TheraPsil CEO, and patient rights advocate, Spencer Hawkswell, will be speaking at the Grow Up Conference on Monday, June 20th at 4:30 pm, on the “Future of Psychedelic Use and Research in Canada” panel to further discuss access to psilocybin for medical purposes in Canada and the urgent need for regulatory change.

Based on Vancouver Island, TheraPsil is a non-profit coalition of healthcare professionals, patients, and advocates dedicated to obtaining access to safe, effective, and legal psilocybin-assisted psychotherapy for Canadians. Over the past two years, TheraPsil has successfully advocated securing more than 80 exemptions from the federal Minister of Health for Canadians to legally possess psilocybin (aka magic mushrooms) for medical purposes.

BCCFC was founded in 2020 to provide B.C.’s small cannabis producers and processors with a safe, accessible, and sustainable alternative to the illicit market and ensure BC’s international reputation as an international cannabis leader and innovator is maintained. BCCFC members and supporters include BC craft farmers, processors, nurseries, labs, independent retailers, consumers, and sector vendors.


Media Contact:

BCCFC Secretary

Holly Bennett, TheraPsil Communications Director