Christian Angermayer, the founder of Atai Life Sciences NV (ATAI), a clinical stage biopharmaceutical company specializing on treatment of mental disorders is cautioning that legalization of psychedelics compounds such as magic mushrooms bears risks of backlash which poses a potential threat to the psychedelics sector.
Angermayer made the sentiments during a June 8 PSYCH Investor Summit panel hosted by founder of the Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies (MAPS) Rob Doblin. The main agenda for the panelists was to debate on the pros and cons of decriminalizing psychedelics substances.
MAPS is a non-profit making organization specializing on developing MDMA to treat mental conditions. On the other hand, Atai Life Sciences is the world’s largest psychedelics company with a market capitalization of $2.7 billion.
Doblin was in support of the legalization of psychedelics while his counterpart Angermayer was sitting on the other side of the motion.
Angermayer says he is for decriminalization of psychedelics but not legalization since legalization will make psychedelic products more and easily available therefore create a marketplace where they can be sourced.
“I fear that if we do wider legalization, it could be very detrimental and bad for those who really need it and it could push back the whole effort. Society is like a rubber band. If you hit too hard, it really comes back and hits you back. Let’s go step-by-step,” said Angermayer.
He went further to issue a disclaimer that his opinions are not that of Atai Life sciences and neither are they influence by market competition concerns.
According to Angermayer, legalization of psychedelics could greatly affect the progress of medical psychedelics companies since many companies claim their products can only be used in a controlled setting with trained personnel but not to be sold over-the-counter.
Due to the powerful compounds in psychedelics, the use of such substances should only happen under the supervised control of trained experts who know how guide participants along every step of the process.
“If you do things too much at the same time, too quickly, it’s going to shift in your face. I don’t want that because I think these compounds are so valuable, so let’s get it right,” added Angermayer.