Toronto-based psychedelic therapeutics company Field Trip Health has announced it will be expanding its operations into the Dutch magic truffle market with the launch of its proprietary truffle program. The company, which focuses on the development of technology-enabled psychedelic therapies, has entered into a lease to open a 7,000 square-foot center in the Netherlands’ capital city Amsterdam, located at Piet Heinkdat 55.
This site will be home to Field Trip Health’s first center focusing on the therapeutic use of psychedelic truffles. With the center expected to open in March 2021, Field Trip Health said it plans to begin accepting people interested in participating in its truffle programs in December this year.
While all other psychedelic mushrooms were banned in the Netherlands in 2008, truffles remain legal and are taxed as a stimulant, and Field Trip is not the only Canadian psychedelic leader looking to capitalize on this market. Another Toronto-based company, Red Light Holland, is focusing on the growth and sale of microdoses of truffles in the Netherlands.
Hopes Truffle Program Will Advance Mental Health Treatments
There is a growing body of research supporting the therapeutic use of psychedelic treatments in the mental health field. The Johns Hopkins Center for Psychedelic and Consciousness Research has published more than 60 peer-reviewed articles that demonstrate the benefits of using psychedelics to treat depression, anxiety, end-of-life distress, and addiction to smoking, alcohol, or drugs. However, these treatments are the subject of ongoing research and clinical trials, and are not yet available in Canada.
Advisor to Field Trip Health in the Netherlands Dr Jan J. L. Derksen said “where big pharma has fallen short in terms of driving breakthroughs and innovation in mental health, Field Trip Health is filling the gap”.
“Globally we are in the midst of a mental health crisis, and the Netherlands is no exception. It is estimated that 30 percent of the Dutch population is experiencing some form of stress-related mental health challenge due to the pandemic,” Derksen said.
“With its truffle-based program embedded in science, therapy, and guidance, Field Trip Health is advancing treatment options with healing psychedelic experiences, while at the same time investing heavily in its own research and development to advance new and exciting molecules to treat mental health issues.”
Field Trip Health director of clinical operations in the Netherlands Dr Onur Yildirim said people from around the world already travelled to the Netherlands to visit retreats providing ceremonial psychedelic experiences with truffles.
“But in order for those treatments to create the most significant impact and generate broader medical acceptance, they need to be professionalized and that’s exactly what we are doing with our Field Trip Health Center in Amsterdam,” Yildirim said.
“All of our treatment programs with truffles will be administered by accredited and licensed therapists and psychologists, and overseen by a licensed psychiatrist to provide the best possible experience and effects on positive measures of health.”
Field Trip Health Identifying Oregon Sites After Passing of Measure 109
The news Field Trip Health is planning on opening a location in the Netherlands follows an announcement earlier in November the company intends to establish operations in the state of Oregon following the passage of Measure 109. Approved by voters on November 3, 2020, Measure 109 will allow for the “manufacture, delivery and administration of psilocybin at supervised, licensed facilities”, effectively creating North America’s first legal market for psilocybin therapies.
Field Trip Health, which has been cultivating 25 species and strains of psilocybin-producing mushrooms at its research facility in Jamaica since January, intends to seek licenses for cultivation in Oregon once regulations for Measure 109 are implemented. The company said it was also in the advanced stages of identifying potential sites in Oregon for treatment centers.
Field Trip Health executive chairman Ronan Levy said the company’s new Amsterdam location would build on the company’s collective experience to establish protocols for Oregon and beyond as psychedelic therapies become legalized and approved.
“With this new location, we are going to leverage the experience, data, and know-how developed by our clinical staff in our ketamine-enhanced therapy locations in Toronto, New York, Los Angeles, and Chicago,” Levy said.
Update 9/12/2020: check out a Field Trip Health company update here.
Emily Jarvie is a writer and content creator whose work has appeared in North American, Australian, and European publications. Before moving to Canada, she was a political journalist for Australian Community Media in her home state of Tasmania.