Vancouver psychedelics company Havn Life obtains Health Canada exemption

Health Minister Patty Hajdu has given its wholly owned subsidiary the green light to possess pure psilocybin for research purposes.

Havn Life psychedelics company

Photo by Matthijs/Unsphash


The Canadian government has taken another step to stimulate Vancouver’s burgeoning psychedelics sector. It came when Health Canada granted an exemption to Havn Life Sciences’ wholly owned subsidiary under the Controlled Drugs and Substances Act. As a result, the Vancouver psychedelics company can possess pure psilocybin for scientific research.

Moreover, the announcement came two days after Havn Life went public on the Canadian Securities Exchange, boosting the share price.

“Having access to compounds is essential in order to further research in the medical field.” Havn Life co-CEO Susan Chapelle said in a company news release.

On its website, Havn Life states that it hopes to produce “novel psychoactive compounds” for effective microdosing.

Long-time cannabis industry advocate Barinder Rasode and NHS Industries CEO Robert Nygren work side-by-side as co-executive chairs.

According to securities filings, they are also the company’s largest shareholders.

In addition, Havn Life has appointed former Aphria CEO Vic Neufeld to the board of directors. And former Liberal cabinet minister Sheila Copps serves on Havn Life’s strategic advisory board.

When Havn Life went public, shares opened at $0.50. They rose to $0.66 by the end of the trading day on Friday (September 11).

Havn Life not first Vancouver company to get the green light

Under the Controlled Drugs and Substances Act, Health Minister Patty Hajdu may allow any person or class of persons to have access to psilocybin , for scientific or medical purposes.

Psilocybin is a psychoactive compound in magic mushrooms. It remains illegal under the law. And Havn Life is by no means the first to receive Hajdu’s blessing.

Earlier this year, Hajdu granted an exemption to another publicly traded Vancouver psychedelics company, Numinus Wellness, to perform research to standardize the extraction of psilocybin.

Earlier this summer, Hajdu granted an exemption to enable four terminally ill Canadians to have access to end-of-life psilocybin therapy. At the time, a Victoria-based coalition of health-care professionals TheraPsil, praised the Liberal government for taking this step, noting that it took 100 days for the four to receive a response.

Following this announcement, MAPS Canada executive director Mark Haden noted that the federal government has already legalized medically assisted death.

“Why wouldn’t you allow people who are dying to experience a mystical experience?” Haden told CannCentral at the time. “It is completely irrational to not allow that…especially for people who are really not well at the end of their lives.”

Charlie Smith

I'm the editor of the Georgia Straight newspaper in Vancouver, as well as a CannCentral contributor.


  • Judith Fitzgerald September 18, 2020 08:36 PM

    Great News! Are you, or is anyone else in Vancouver going to do any research? Am interested in treatment for antidepressant-resistant depression.

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