In 2019, a new kind of wellness business sprouted – a legal psychedelic drug company. We spoke with Matt Stang, the co-founder and CEO of Delic Corp to learn more about their mission as well as any strategies they utilized to build a publicly traded, legal psychedelic ecosystem.
Matt Stang spent twenty years pioneering the legal cannabis space as the former Owner-Operator of High Times – one of the first cannabis media and events companies. He built up High Times as its owner and even brought the infamous Cannabis Cup around the world.
Can you describe how you have transitioned into psychedelic wellness as well as Delic’s mission?
In 2018 I saw that there was a really interesting opportunity with psychedelics coming online. My wife (Jackee Stang) and I founded Delic as the world’s first psychedelic wellness corporation. Our mission with Delic Corp is to mainstream psychedelic wellness and to mainstream psychedelics.
Delic Corp started out as a media and events company themselves. According to Delic’s founder, Matt, this was due to a total lack of legal psychedelic companies, so a media and events platform was used to ‘build a psychedelic ecosystem.’
How has Delic evolved from its media platform?
Upon going public six months ago, we have been acquiring cash-flowing businesses in the psychedelic space. So, we acquired CBDV (Complex Biotech Discovery Ventures) which has their cannabis, hemp, and psilocybin licenses from Health Canada. And, we have acquired a chain of ketamine clinics called ketamine infusion centers across Arizona and California.
So, we have FDA-compliant ketamine clinics that can take on other novel molecules that are approved by the FDA for psychedelic wellness.
CBDV is a research lab founded by an award-winning organic chemist who received his Ph.D. from the Federal Institute of Technology in Zürich (ETHZ), and so this has launched Delic deeper into the psychedelic ecosystem.
On the scientific side, (with) Dr. Markus Roggen’s company (CBDv), we are building out an IP portfolio around psilocybin. He has a license for Health Canada for psilocybin and so he is going to do some interesting work utilizing that license. We are looking to create a bunch of novel IP around psilocybin – vaporization and nanoparticle technology, and novel delivery and consumer-packaged goods formats – as Oregon and other jurisdictions allow psilocybin to be treated as a therapeutic benefit product.
We are looking into Oregon and other state-legal markets to roll out a vertically integrated manufacturing and distribution of those products.
Can you further describe CBDV and their founder, Dr. Markus Roggen’s role in the space?
Dr. Markus and his team have created this AI technology to understand cannabinoids and we are applying that to psilocybin (mushrooms) to find and learn more compounds that are in there and how they can be effective for folks for therapeutic use.
Can we liken science as the engine in Delic’s psychedelic ecosystem, and where are you driving this novel IP?
So, there is Oregon, some Caribbean nations – Jamaica has allowed for it. Some places are in the process of bringing psilocybin online as a therapeutic use compound outside of normal FDA compliance or normal pharmaceutical versions.
So, we think there is a really interesting marketplace that amounts to therapeutic consumer-packaged goods. So, by developing by this IP we will have those product lines ready to launch in markets as they come online. And then collect data utilizing our eco-system, our large forward-facing content platform which has 100,000s of visitors a month coming to it. And the idea is to have a collection point so the people who try the product can then self-report on our website (Reality Sandwich) how they work.
We will have large amounts of self-reported data along with novel IP that can be packaged together and either licensed or sold to a biotech or pharmaceutical company looking for a derisked psilocybin product that they can push through their pipeline.
Do you give other companies access to research through Delic and CBDV’s psilocybin license?
For other companies, we choose to allow them to amplify what they are doing through us. We take their privacy and secrecy very seriously, so we try and only do what they approve and ask for. So, if something comes through and they want to announce it then we’ll announce it collectively; if they don’t want to announce then we won’t announce it.
That sounds similar to how CBDV outlets itself as a Chief Research Officer for other companies.
Exactly right, and we tend to completely respect that dynamic and those who choose to announce it, we will be helping to be a megaphone for that. And, those who choose to keep it as just a private outsourced research body then we keep it like that.
How can you design delivery methods for psilocybin, such as vape pens? Can these provide short, designer-style trips?
We are just acquiring the company (CBDv) now. From there, we are working with Dr. Markus and his team to build out a raft of IP development that is benefited by his best-in-class knowledge on vaporization, delivery methods, on standardization of processes. So, we’ll see a bunch of stuff coming out in the next four to six months.
We are looking at shorter trips, meaning people who don’t want to go into a psychedelic experience for six to eight hours, who might only want to be there for only an hour and a half. So, just trying to create a shorter duration experience for people like that – who might want to be there for only an hour to two hours.
Delic intends to obtain data on many fronts, from the consumer on your website, to private companies. How do protect all of this data and your digital footprint?
We have been working with a digital security team just to make sure everything is up to the highest standards. All science data resides in its home and is not co-related with any of the consumer data. And, all of the patient data lives on its own and is not co-related with either the science or consumer data. Part of that is just having silos with different levels of security for different parts of the ecosystem because we want to make sure we are at the highest level of security standards.
More into your hub of digital culture under Delic’s psychedelic ecosystem, do you have any events planned at this time?
We have digital events ongoing. We have a digital event for Bicycle Day (April 19), which is a celebration of the day that LSD was discovered by his inventor; he rode his bicycle home from the lab after taking it. We have that digital event next, we will have more digital events online, and we will have in-person events sometime later this year that will be announced soon.
There a lot of other therapeutics under the umbrella of psychedelic drugs. Delic thinks the FDA will approve MDMA (ecstasy) within a year.
There is a lot of work being done around MDMA right now. The folks at MAPS have done phase three clinical trials for breakthrough therapies. We have built this platform of clinics by buying this chain of ketamine clinics, and we will open more in six to eight months.
We think MDMA will be, not be state-legal like psilocybin, but encompass the compliance of psilocybin. They both (MDMA and psilocybin) will be submitted for approval within the next year. And then, obviously, it takes the FDA a bit of time to deal with reviewing their data. But, I think there will be a huge outlet of those two substances, those two novel compounds coming online… I just see that as an incredible opportunity for folks who have a large clinical footprint to help patients with their wellness.
Ketamine itself is always controversial in the realm of ethnobotanist-enthusiasts, and the world of plant-based medicines in general.
I think that there is a huge opportunity around the more traditional plant-medicine world. So, we will see some states create initiatives that will not only include things like psilocybin but will also include things like auyhascua, and igobaine, and other plant-based medicines.
End of Call.
The highway to a legal psychedelic ecosystem appears to be shorter than it was for cannabis for Delic’s founder, Matt Stang. He noted that the cannabis industry hacked through a jungle. This created a clear path to not only decriminalization but also the legalization and regulation of psychedelics.
Delic, and soon, many individuals will have a lot of cannabis activists to thank for a newfound therapeutic and legal psychedelic ecosystem. Stay tuned for the rest of our conversation with Matt Stang of Delic to learn about the efficacy of ketamine and other psychedelic-assisted therapies for anxiety and depression.