UWI to develop mushroom research facility in partnership with Canadian firm

The University of the West Indies, Mona recently announced a new partnership with Toronto, Canada –based company Field Trip Ventures Inc. to create legal research and cultivation facility dedicated to psilocybin-producing mushrooms.

The University of the West Indies, Mona

Construction of the facility is expected to be completed by December 2019.

In a press release, Field Trip, which describes itself as “the world’s first integrated company in legal psychedelics and psychedelic-assisted psychotherapy”, said under the terms of the strategic partnership, a new facility will be constructed on campus grounds to host planned research.

 Field Trip Natural Products Limited, Field Trip’s Jamaican subsidiary,  will construct, fund and operate a state-of-the-art research and cultivation facility on UWI’s Mona campus, the release said.

The UWI will provide researches to help with development and cultivation.
(Photo: wikipedia.com)

It said that, in consideration, UWI will lease to Field Trip the land to build the facility as well as make available biology, mycology and chemistry researchers to assist Field Trip’s research and cultivation efforts.

The Field Trip release said focus will range from genetics, to breeding and cultivation work on the 180+ plus species of psilocybin-producing mushrooms, to developing methods and analysis for extractions and formulations, to identification of novel molecules for drug development purposes.

“Field Trip’s mission is to advance the science and understanding of psychedelic compounds, and to develop their therapeutic and wellness applications, through an integrated business model,” Mujeeb Jafferi, Field Trip’s President, was quoted as saying. 

“Although psilocybin, as a molecule, has been well-studied, there is great opportunity to create impact by developing a better understanding of the fungi that produce psilocybin and other tryptamines.”

– Mujeeb Jafferi, President of Field Trip

Dean of the Faculty of Science and Technology, Professor Michael Taylor, was quoted in the release as saying, “We look forward to working with the team at Field Trip. Their experience and accomplishments in building plant-based therapeutics industries, such as medical cannabis, along with their thoughtful vision for advancing mental health treatments, make Field Trip a great partner for UWI.”

Research at the Facility will be led by Rupika Delgoda, Professor of Biochemical Pharmacology & Pharmacognosy and Director of the Natural Products Institute at UWI, who holds a D.Phil. from Oxford University in Pharmacology.

Field Trip describes itself as a pioneers in the global medical cannabis industry, and an  integrated company in legal psychedelics. With current and planned operations in North American, the Caribbean and Europe, Field Trip’s goal is to become the recognized global leader in the medical and therapeutic applications of psychedelics.