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September 22, 2022 70 mins

Jockeying over patents is driving investment and competition among the growing number of people and companies trying to profit from the psychedelics renaissance. Graham Pechenik is one of the smartest and most respected attorneys specializing in this area. We started off by discussing a recent victory against the DEA, which had tried to put a number of promising compounds into Schedule I. Most of our conversation thereafter focused on current battles among investors, activists and researchers, the challenges of trying to reform a patent system that is widely seen as flawed and even broken, and alternative paths for maximizing the benefits and accessibility of psychedelic medicine.

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Episode Transcript

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Speaker 1 (00:00):
Hi, I'm Ethan Nadelman and this is psychoactive, a production
of I heart radio and protozoa pictures. psychoactive is the
show where we talk about all things drugs, but any
views expressed here do not represent those of I heart media,
protozoa pictures or their executives and employees. Indeed, as an

(00:23):
inveterate contrarian, I can tell you they may not even
represent my own, and nothing contained in this show should
be used as medical advice or encouragement to use any
type of drugs. Hello, psychoactive listeners. So today's subject is

(00:47):
the issue of psychedelics and the law, specifically psychedelics and
Intellectual Property Law, the issue of patents. His name is
Graham Patch Nick. He's an attorney in San Francisco. We
founded a law firm about six years ago called Kalix Law,
C A L Y X, but he's been working in
the area of patent law now for a couple of

(01:09):
decades and a whole range of industries, the marijuana industry.
Uh So, Graham, thanks so much for joining me on psychoactive.
Thank you so much, Ethan, for the honor of being here.
It's it's really enjoyed to be able to participate in
your podcast, which I've enjoyed for so long. Grandma. Want
to start off by sort of placing the issue of

(01:29):
psychedelic patents law at the intersection of two things. One
the broader issue of patent law, which will get into
broadly because obviously in many respects the issues that are
emerging in psychedelics patent law are just emblematic of the
broader issues and challenges and problems in broader patent law.
But it's also at the intersection of Patent Law and
of PSYCHEDELIC law, and there's now a psychedelic law association.

(01:55):
I think they just recently had one of their first
meetings in September. And so, apart from patent law, what
are the other issues in psychedelics law? I mean, I
go back to thinking about those initial religious freedom cases
involving the churches that we're using Ayahuasca, the UDV and
the Siento dime. But apart from that religious peace and
the area you're working on especially now, what else lies

(02:17):
in that field of psychedelics law? Well, that's a good question,
and so I say there is the Psychedelic Bar Association,
which did just have its first psychedelic laws summit, which
had over three dozen lawyers who have an interest or
some bit of a practice in psychedelics. And there is
also actually, where I am a California psychedelics Bar Association

(02:39):
founded by two psychedelics General Council of two companies. In
terms of the amount of work actually that people can
do in terms of a focus, I think you're right
to call out the religious freedom restoration act and work
around there, because for many years that, I think, was
the predominant area. Or if somebody was interested in psychedelics,

(02:59):
law could work in and I think up until really
I've had the great fortune of having this niche and
psychedelics patents there haven't been all that many and certainly
not ones where one could make an entire practice or
the entire focus of a career on psychedelics. And actually
there's an article that just came out recently by Matt Zorne,

(03:20):
who I worked together with on a challenge against the
D a. The challenge against the D A was one
way we could get involved as lawyers who are interested
in psychedelics. So the DA had proposed to schedule five
psychedelic trip to means and because Matt is a really
good d a lawyer and I had an interest in psychedelics.
We joined horses, along with some others, to challenge that.

(03:41):
I actually was reading that article that you mentioned, Graham,
by Matt just last night and prepping for our discussion
where he talks about the case, about the D E A.
I mean we've so long seen the D e a
as the bad guys, you know, trying to throw things
into schedule one without any proper, you know, do process
as her hearings. But this more recent case where the

(04:03):
D A targeted these five trip to mean is a
certain class of psychedelics and say they want to write
the schedule one. I remember Hamilton's Morris, you know, who's
one of my guests on psychoactives, sounding the alarm he
emailed made lots of other people, got a lot of
people mobilized and then I think Matt played a key role,
with assistance from you, in challenging this, hopefuly beating back

(04:24):
the d e a uh and forcing them not to
throw these things into schedule one. So wonder if you
could just tell our listeners to things. One, what was
special about that fight and secondly, do you think it's
going to have broader implications in terms of how the
D e a views other psychedelic substances in the future. Sure.
And so your first question, what do I think perhaps

(04:45):
was special about that? I think what was special really
was the just artillery, so to Speaker, the you know,
the amount of work that Matt in particular brought to
bear to this challenge. And so Hamilton Morris, as you mentioned,
was involved. There was another company, Pantasy of plant sciences,

(05:07):
and their CEO was very interested in this and it's
spent a lot of effort even before this had filed
against the DA. And then we had declarations from uh
for many experts on the really everything from the fact
that these particular compounds, we're not ones that had any

(05:28):
evidence of abuse and didn't pose any threat of safety
issues or any risks, and the D A's evidence that
dad was over a decade old, from a report from
around Um long before this the current wave of psychedelic
research and the PSYCHEDELIC grandis songs. But Graham, why, why

(05:50):
were they even bothering to try to throw these five substances,
and I mean was there was there any evidence that
they were being misused in the broader public. Yeah, that's
a really good question and it's not really something that
we were able to very easily figure out. I mean,
the reason they had this ten year old report was
because back in the ats there was something called Operation
Red trip where the d a went after the vendors
of research chemicals of different trip to means, and it

(06:12):
looked like although they had went back then to go
after some of the ones that had broader use, these
sort of were left out because I didn't really have
that many reports of use and the only deaths that
were on record were poly drug abuse and involving other things.
But that, I think, still kind of remains a mystery.
What actually uh initiated this at the beginning of the year.

(06:35):
So in terms of you were able to beat them back.
Do you think it's going to impact how the D
e a operates in the future on other novel compounds,
especially psychonoloic compounds? Yeah, I mean I think that's really
a big open question and so this sort of first
way we thought about trying to see if there would
be any evidence of an answer was with the second
challenge there was to the d a. So just after

(06:58):
the d a proposed schedule these five psychedelic trip to means.
The D A also proposed to schedule too psychedelic finela means,
D O I and D c. both, similarly to the
five trip to means, had had very little evidence of abuse,
almost none. D O I, however, is something that's in hundreds,

(07:19):
if not thousands, of publications as a standard in research
because it's such a good serotonin receptor agonists and because
it is unscheduled, it's it's very easy to work with,
and so we were looking out to see if the
D A's proposal there would would go forward, and actually
they withdrew that one as well. So it looks like
maybe with psychedelics there might be some leniency, but I

(07:42):
think with both they basically didn't say they're they're done entirely,
but just that they're going back to the drawing board.
So just briefly explained to the audience the difference between
the two categories of substance. Yeah, so the difference between
the two categories is based on the chemical structure, the
chemical backbone, or scoff hold is some as some call it,
and TRIPP to means have a chemical backbone that's the

(08:05):
same as Serotonin. So serotonin actually is for hydroxy, tripp
to mean. And so you know, we think of a
lot of psychedelics we know with perhaps tripped to mean
in the name. So die methyl trip to mean or
five methoxy trip to mean Um, and so these are
all tripp to means. LSD, for instance, is generally classed,
or can be as a trip to mean. It has

(08:25):
a more complex structure. Um. Even Ibagaine has a trip
to mean or Indole core as part of it Bein
ethyl means. Are Compounds that are like mescaline or or
M D M A, or have a scaffold that's like
an amphetamine Um, and amphenamine actually stands for an Alpha methylamine.
So these all have this finethylamine core which is more

(08:47):
like the dopamine neurotransmitter. So now let's just put this
into a kind of a little bit of historical context
with a with a couple of the most famous names
and psychedelics creation. Right. The first one is Albert Hoffman,
who was working at Sandaz and sort of discovered or devised,
however you want to put an LSD during World War

(09:08):
Two years. So Hoffman and Sandas did patent those things
back then. Right, those who were among the few patents
in this area for many decades. Is that right? That's right. Yes,
so after Albert Hoffman received samples of Psilocybin Mushrooms, actually

(09:29):
from Gordon Watson, from the same area where Gordon Watson
went and had his the first time, Um, Albert Hoffman
and sandals filed patent applications on the the isolation of
PSILOCYBIN and also its use as a tranquilizer action. But
were there many, many more psychedelic patents back then, or

(09:50):
were these really sort of standing alone? For some decades
these were standing alone, and many people, of course, will know,
and with Pikel and Tiko, that there were, how underds
just in those books that were developed by by Sasha. Well,
I mean you're jumping to my next question here, which is,
did Sasha Shilgan ever seek or get a patent for
any of his creations, or do you know, did he

(10:12):
deliberately choose not to, because those two books, pe call
and tea call, which are essentially recipe books for hundreds
of these substances, put it out into the public domain
and I guess that presumably means they can't be patented
in the future, at least with the ways that he
used to synthesize them. But what do you know about
Sasha's history visa the patent? was He ever ever seeking

(10:32):
in that area or did he deliberately abstain from seeking that?
That's a good question actually. Interestingly, part of the reason,
I think Sasha was even able to do the amount
of chemistry that he did relating to psychedelics was due
to the fact that he had some very successful patents
that he filed when he was working at down and

(10:53):
those patents earned so much money for the company that
they gave him a little bit more free reigin with
his laboratory and allowed him to pursue some other interests.
In terms of his interest, though, filing patent applications on
his own. I think it's a little bit unsettled, but
there's a great article by by Matt Baggett about this
and from what we know, he did actually file a

(11:13):
patent application on one trip to mean, I think it's
off a methyl trip to mean, because he saw a
commercial market for it actually as a stimulant, I think,
for older people. So I don't know that he was
constitutionally or philosophically against patent applications or filing patents to
protect work. I think perhaps he just didn't see that

(11:35):
there was a commercial market for a PSYCHEDELIC. Well, what
about something like two C B? I mean that's, you know,
while bigard is one of his major, you know, concoctions. Um.
But I presume there is no patent and presumably can
be no patent on two C B, since it's been
in the public record now correct. So I mean anything
published in Pikel and Tekel, anything at all. It's the

(11:56):
chemical structure itself disclosed to the public. That's something that
can't be patented itself, the structure at least. So perhaps
we'll get into but but of course, and not to
jump ahead, but you know there are patent applications filed
on Psychedelics, even known psychedelics. So the fact that just
the chemical compound can't receive protection for it alone doesn't

(12:20):
mean that it can't make part of a claim on
something else that involves it. So a different method of
synthesizing it might be able to get patent protection. Sure,
a method of synthesizing it, maybe even a different form
of it. So maybe now to jump ahead. But so
there are some applications that are perhaps the most well
known in the space that covers psilocybin, some of the

(12:42):
first to be published, some of the ones that have
probably received the most conversation around them in controversy, and
they cover psilocybin in a particular crystalline form. So it's
not psilocybin, just a chemical structure, but it's the way
it is when it's part of a for instance, you know,
a drug dark when it's mixed with an excipient at
a certain purity and in a particular crystal instructure, as

(13:04):
somebody would receive it if they got it as a
prescription medication. So, Graham, why don't we just go directly
there then? So, I mean the case that most people
have heard of who follow this even tangentially is the
case involving compass right, and compass is, you know, one
of the biggest and most prominent the cycle of companies,
was founded by the Goldsmith's, George Goldsmith, and his wife,

(13:25):
and he's taken, you know, a fair bit of Flak
Um Really, I guess, for two things. One is in
seeking successfully getting a patent for a particular formulation of
Psilocybin and then secondly, for you know, being highly ambitious
aggressive in trying to get patents for all sorts of
things associated with the administration Um of Psilocybin to treat

(13:49):
h chronic depression and things like that. So maybe just
explain to our listeners more about that controversy and it's significant. Yeah,
and so the controversy on the patents, I think, is
difficult to view outside of all the ways that it

(14:10):
is impacted by the broader controversies around compass and compasses
investors like Peter Thio and their long history. So I
do think to some degree the controversies on the patents
are inflected with these broader controversies around how they moved
from being a nonprofit to a for profit, how they

(14:31):
obtained information under the guise of what people say saying
they were at first a nonprofit and speaking with Mak
any academics who gave them information on on friendly terms
and then perhaps were tried to be held to nondisclosure agreements,
and how the company itself at one point allegedly try

(14:51):
to make it more difficult for its competitors to get
access to synthetic Solcibin to do research and a number
of other things. I think that in pact the patent controversies,
the patent controversies themselves, there's really two types of patents
that they've pursued. One have been primarily on this psilocybin

(15:13):
crystal inform, this polymore for polymore of a as it's
described in their applications, and the other has been an
application they've filed that published as a pct application that
did contain all these aspects of the type of psychological
support a patient would receive and even qualities of the room,

(15:34):
the soft furniture, the high definition sound system, um. But
it did cover these interactions with a therapist, like hand
holding or the therapists putting their hand on the shoulder
of the patient and things. That seems clearly to be
part of what would expect perhaps in psilocybin therapy and

(15:57):
part of what one would expect perhaps not to be
things like be protected by a patent. In any event,
I mean it sounds like total huts, but I mean
the hand holding, our soft furniture or their sound stuff.
I mean that's so inherent to the experience that why
would they even think to include that stuff in the
first place? Is it just a broader notion that we're
getting a patent. You sort of throw everything against the
wall and see what sticks or or isn't there an

(16:19):
element of embarrassment about going that far? Yeah, yeah, I
mean I am actually surprised of anything and I don't
know what was encompasses minds when they filed this. So
I can only sort of assume, based on my presumption
of how most Patent Attorneys Act, I would be surprised
that they didn't spend the effort to call through their

(16:40):
patent a little bit or that that claims to see
what might raise these controversies. But it is fairly standard
practice when filing a PCT application to include often several
hundred claims and there's no additional charges for those claims.
Like there is a national examination and there's there's no
real downside to shooting them and so oftentimes everything that's

(17:03):
described in an application to some degree will make its
way into a claim and there may not be in
the end any real desire to pursue those things. Perhaps
the company wants to get an opinion. So actually, as
part of the PCT process, the applicant will get a
preliminary opinion from a PCT examiner. You're using an acronym.

(17:23):
There was it pct. So pct is a acronym that
stands for the Patent Cooperation Treaty. So it's a treaty
that has now a hundred and fifties seven, I think, members.
It's basically a treaty that allows anybody to file a
single application, that's the PCT application, and then have up

(17:43):
to thirty months from the earliest filing date to decide
whether to enter any of those a hundred and fifty
seven member states individually. And so the benefit of doing
that is if you want to file and multiple applications,
you know that's going to take a lot of expense
to to translate your documents, you'll have to pay lawyers
to be your agent and each those different jurisdictions, and

(18:06):
so if you had to do that all at once,
but how it would be a lot of upfront costs
which in the end you may decide you don't even
want to pursue it, depending on how your drug development
and your research is going. So this sort of provides
an ability to file a single application, get that preliminary
opinion and hold off on some of those costs to
see if, down the road and in thirty months. However,

(18:28):
it takes whether it's even worth filing in those different jurisdictions.
So are most patent applications in the US simultaneously PCT applications,
or do people make a judgment and it's only apply
in a few cases? Sometimes people, if they want to
accelerate their patent grant, they might file both in the
US and the PCT simultaneously, or sometimes will enter us

(18:48):
or another country early and not wait the full thirty months.
It really depends on the technology. So you can imagine
in a fast moving technology like the invention that has
to do with your smartphone, somebody might want to get
the patent granted as quickly as possible because the value
that application and the value of that invention might not

(19:10):
even exist five years from now. With something like drug discovery,
you might not have a drug on the market for
seven years or eight years or longer, and so you
don't really need to worry about having something that you
can hold against a potentially infringing competitor for for much longer. Now.
If if a company that did not have some of
those negative associations you describe about compass in terms of

(19:33):
their investors, in terms of, you know, having first been
a nonprofit and taking advantage of that to give them
an edge up as they became a for profit company.
Would there have been as much controversy you think about
them seeking and getting a patent for this other way
of Synthesizing Psilocybin? I think there are probably some other
reasons besides just those you mentioned about the other ethics

(19:54):
perhaps of the company. I think one of them may
just have to do that they were really the first
company that had a published psychedelics related application, so most
of the attention when it came was just directed to them,
as people were surprised to see something filed on a psychedelic.
I think another ask to do with the fact that
it's on Psilocybin and so many of the patent applications

(20:18):
on new chemical quantities, on on different types of psychedelics.
Perhaps had Sasha Shulgun filed them on to Seeb when
he first invented it, or another psychedelic that had never
been before known, those might have less, less controversy. With
psilocybin in particular, we know, of course, not only was
it discovered, I suppose, by the West with with Albert Hoffman,

(20:41):
and then patented, but it's been used in traditional and
indigenous ceremonies and uses for centuries or millennium even, and
so those aspects also caused another layer of controversy. We'll
be talking more after we hear this ad when people

(21:14):
talk about what are the first substances that are going
to be approved for treating uh, you know, different types
of mental illness, people topically typically talk about m d
m a and the process that the organization maps is
pursuing to get approved by the FD A, hopefully later
this year next year. And the other one is the
process being pursued by compass to get psilocybin approved for treating,

(21:34):
I think, uh, intractable depression, and the argument by the
Goldsmiths and others is that if we did not have
a chance to patent this synthetics Um Psilocybin, then we,
quite frankly, could not raise the money to go through
the entire approval process required to get psilocybin approved for
treatment in the first place. So what's the response to

(21:56):
their argument? Well, that is definitely the argument that is
always used by pharmaceutical companies and a big part of
the controversy around compass also is the fact that there
were other companies also pursuing psilocybin, like you SONA or
clinical development around the same time, and there are concerns
that by filing these patent applications, compass may preclude others

(22:20):
from even continuing to do the work that they may
have started the forehand, and precluding other companies from their
work and bringing psilocybin also to patients. And so I
think we can also perhaps look at maps, as you mentioned,
as alternative models to being able to bring a drug

(22:40):
through the FDA approval process without patents, although maps is
also relying on something called data exclusivity. So data exclusivity
is a regulatory benefit that when a company is first
to obtain regulatory approval for a compound before anyone else
on that compound, as maps would be with M D

(23:01):
M A, that company has given five years or perhaps longer,
to be the exclusive company to sell that compound before
others can rely on its regulatory data to also seek approval.
And so that does give maps a period of time
which will be at least five years. Two gain back

(23:23):
the type of profits that are argued to be necessary
to bring the drug through drug discovery, although of course
maps also relies on philanthropic funding to have gotten the
drug to that point, to be able to get that
data exclusivity. I've had Rick Doublin on and so you know,
obviously we look at with the maps model where they

(23:43):
set up to nonprofits that sets up what's called a
public benefit corporation in order to market M D M
A and M D m a treatment once it's approved
by the F D A, with all the profits going
back into maps, and then maps pouring all those profits
into further, you know, good cluset right, psychedelics, uh research
and even into broader drug policy reform. I don't know

(24:05):
if it's an optimal model, but we see it as
one of the best models out there. Conversely, we look
at a thing like compass, which is essentially a for
profit company, you know, with obligations to its shareholders and
produce your obligations there. Um See, you know that that,
even though it's going to be producing something that's valuable
for humankind in terms of Psilocybin being used to treat

(24:27):
intractable depression, ultimately there's a bottom line profit. Saying. Now
there's another entity, activists in all of this. There's an
or of nonprofit called freedom to operate, which was started
by one of the major philanthropists in the psychelics area,
carry turnbull, and freedom to operate was really set up
to kind of prevent for profit companies from taking advantage

(24:47):
and using their finance and power to block others from
getting involved. And ultimately they spent a million dollars or
more to challenge compasses effort and ultimately they failed. Compass
prevailed and I'm sure is did you think that freedom
to operate was going to succeed, Um, and therefore surprised
if they were not successful? Or why do you think
compass did prevail in the end? Well, so I wasn't

(25:11):
terribly surprised. It's, I think, a result more of just
the nature of patent law. The compass has quite narrow claims,
even though they've been often described as really blocking the field.
Quite narrow claims on this specific polymorph and there they
are drafted in such a way that it's quite difficult
to have evidence to show that anything before there application

(25:36):
was filed would be the same as what they're covering Um,
and so that's, you know, sort of just a trick
of their patent drafting and a trick of the way
that the patent system itself operates, and so I don't
think I was surprised at the outcome of the case. But,
you know, I certainly do see the you know, the

(25:56):
concerns around the fact that there, of course, we're forms
of synthetic Paul cybin before and there may be other
forms of synthetic pulcybin that, even if they had been
produced before and in use before, they may now infringe
compasses claims and so to the degree they would be
able to keep a competitor from being able to market

(26:20):
their own sulcybin products. I do see that that's a concern.
So Great. Let me circle around in it from a
different angle on this in this case, you know, I
had a while back Leonard Picard on psychoactive and as
many of our listeners know, you know he is regarded
as one of the great underground chemists UH and produces LSD.
In the late twentieth century he spent a couple of

(26:41):
decades in prison and fortunately got out. But when he
speaks about the underground, the Brotherhood of underground chemists and
he and others creating you know, they're unique types of LSD.
You know, were these things that potentially could have been
patented if these guys had wanted to go through that process,
notwithstanding it's illegality, were they likely doing things that were

(27:02):
sufficiently unique in terms of the way that they were
synthesizing or making the lst that would have been patentable? Well,
that's that's a really good question. I mean how unique
they were. I guess I'd have to talk to Leonard
to understand the, you know, the steps of the process
that allegedly he was pursuing, and certainly I don't I
don't know enough about the chemistry to understand if it

(27:25):
was something that was patentable. Um, in terms of whether
the patent office might grant a patent on it, I
think because of the fact that many of these processes
were not published and we're not included in any prior patents,
the patent office generally, I think it's perhaps safe to say,
could have granted patents on them, and so there is

(27:47):
a bit of a disconnect there in terms of a
patent to be granted has to be something that's novel
and inventive, but the patent office to determine whether something
is novel and inventive really just looks at higher literature
and some of the peer of viewed literature and some
of the places that are more obvious to do research,

(28:08):
but it certainly doesn't look to see what people are
doing in the underground and even today might not look
at things that one might see as obvious, like looking
on Uh errowit or blue light or a forum, UM,
looking on Reddit, even doing a google search. M You know,
actually there there's a case. I mean you used a
term of art in the patent law field, prior art,

(28:30):
and and I've oftentimes read about the infamous example of
the D Mt Vate Pen uh and it sounds like
that's a pretty good example of one of the major problems,
not just in the psycholical area but the broader pattern area,
that we now have a federal pattern office which has
existed for two centuries. I mean pattern law is in
the U S constitution, but where it's overstaffed and undertrained.

(28:54):
So just tell our listeners a little bit more about
that d m t U Vay pen and why it
stands out there is an the apple and what's wrong
with the system. Yeah, I mean that example I used
generally just because it's it's very easy to see how
the patent office in this case just completely missed the
prior art and it's a really good example using it again.

(29:14):
So the prior art is a term of art. I suppose.
The prior just means anything that's public before the date
that the patent application was filed. The main part of
the patent examination process is just for the patent examiner
to look at the application and in particular, the claims
of the application. So the claims are what the applicant
rights to say this is what I should own, and

(29:36):
it compares those claims to what's in what's called the
prior art, which just means everything that's public before the
patent was filed, so everything that was basically in the
public domain. So, for instance, was something like a vape pen.
The patent applicant will draft a claim that will say
a you know, a device for vaporization that contains a

(29:59):
chamber with a liquid for vaporization, with a chemical compound
like D mt, and then the patent examiner will take
that claim and say, well, has anybody else ever done
this or describe this before, and then it will do
a search and then it will see if somebody has
if somebody has and will project the claim and then
the applicant will come back and say, well, but they
didn't do it quite like this or the way I'm

(30:20):
doing it is a little bit narrower, or they'll say no,
you're you're misreading with the prior art says and actually
it says something different. Um and the patent examination process
might take four or five years or longer, with three
or four or five different times going back and forth
in writing or sometimes with phone interviews between the Examiner

(30:41):
and the applicant to decide what's in the prior art
and what's being claimed and to try to narrow the
claim so nothing in the claim is covered or covers
what's in the prior art with this d m t vapen.
So the application covered basically D M T vapens. They're
very broadest had figures which were pictures basically of, you know,

(31:04):
what you would imagine a d m t vapen looks like,
the same way you know a cannabis vape looks like
the kind you can buy the dispensary. Um and the
patent examiner did a search and it looked at prior
patent applications and then it did a search in a
particular database of chemical abstracts from the just scientific literature

(31:27):
for less than seven minutes, because everything is on the record.
So you can see the search terms they use, you
can see how much time they spent, you can see
the databases. They looked in Um and they searched for
a few terms like dimethyl trip to mean, but they
didn't search for d m t, the abbreviate just to letters.
They didn't search for Vapen, they didn't search for Google

(31:48):
and because of that they missed the fact that the
few months prior to the application being filed there was
a whole double blind article on d m D v
Apens with many pictures. It looked just like the pictures
in the path an application. UH, several years before that
there was an article by somebody, Lester Black, who wrote
all about D M T v APENS and actually wrote

(32:09):
about how he receives some copies of D M T
v APENS and describes him in the article Um. Coincidentally,
D M T v APENS. That actually, I believe, came
from David Heldre, who, David Heldreth, has talked about this.
So I don't think I'm revealing anything offered controversial. Actually
say tell our audience who David Heldreth. So David Heldreth
is the CEO of Pantasy Plant Sciences who he mentioned,

(32:29):
who was the sort of thorn in the d a side,
who may have been part of the reason why the
d a had been thinking about these particular trip to
means when they decided to schedule them. Um, just a
sort of small world coincidence in terms of getting back
to the DM DV apens. But in any event, because
the patent examiner didn't do a google search, didn't search
for vapen or for D M T, they decided that

(32:50):
this was a novel and Inventive Uh invention and they
granted it patent on it, and the patent covers any
d m t vapen that you would see and can
that pattern that will be reversed. I mean now that
there their mistakes are become so publicly known, it could
be Um, the you know the the type of effort

(33:13):
it might take, but it hasn't been. No. So somebody
could do what for him to operate did as you mentioned?
I don't think it. In this instance. It would costs
a million dollars, but it is quite expensive so it's
over fifty dollars just in filing fees to the patent
office two challenge a patent after it's been granted, Um.
And of course that's before you even pay for for

(33:34):
lawyers and in many instances you probably have to pay
for an expert to submit an affidavit Um and gather
other factual information. So it's, you know, a bit prohibitive
to be able to challenge patents after they've been been granted.
And so you know, the D M T v APEN has,
you know, it's not not necessarily the example of the
most valuable patent that's out there, but it's a an

(33:56):
easy example to see the way that the patent office
can miss things and in this way of missing things
because of, as you mentioned, that the Patent Examiners are
typically overworked. Um. There's actually a bill pending right now
by by two senators, Leahy and until us, to try
to give pattent examiners more time. They don't always spend
as little as seven minutes, but they don't generally spend

(34:18):
all that much time and not enough time because of
the way they're rewarded up for just moving quickly through applications,
and so this means that many patents get granted and
many of those granted patents can end up being asserted
against companies who could have been doing the same thing
they were doing even before the patent was filed, and
so this is often kind of wasteful litigation that it's

(34:42):
taking away from real innovation. One thing also, I mean
I know you worked in, Uh did a fair bit
of work in the area of marijuana law and patents
before you jump more fully into the psychedelics area. And
I saw that one of the CO founder of Compass,
George Goldsmith, was quoted as saying that when he it started,
one of his models, his role models, was GW pharmaceutical,

(35:05):
you know, the UK firm which I think was the
first to get approval and get a patent for its
Um you know, it's it's version of medical marijuana. So
can you say a little something? Why would why would
George Goldsmith, ahead of compass, have looked to g double
pharmaceutical and what was the significance in the marijuana field? Um, well,

(35:26):
it's a good question and actually I should say I
think even my start to a large degree was because
of what G W Farma was doing in that a
lot of my early clients in the cannabis days before
I started working in Psychedelics, was because there are many
companies that were looking at what Gw was doing and
and seeing that was a way of raising money to
to try to bring other canabinoid based medicines to to

(35:50):
market through the FDA approval process. But what Gw Farma
did was file many patent applications. I think they have
several hundred on purified forms of CBD and and all
the ways that CBD can be used in different types
of treatment. GW has patents covering CBD for just about
everything you can think. So in terms of this industry now,

(36:12):
I mean look, obviously when when the companies are engaged
in trying to come up with truly novel products, right,
new psychedelic substances in the way that Sasha was creating
in his backyard lab UM, or if they're trying to
create a new version of U, say AAHUASCA D Mt
Without the nausea or a shorter acting thing. I mean
there are some people who are out there just saying hey,

(36:33):
leave nature alone, we got what we need. We don't
need new synthetic creations but I think most people would
say no, you know, uh, individuals, the companies should be
free to try to create other novel psychelic substances that
may be enhanced the benefits of what nature has already
produced or reduced the downsides, or that can be more
efficacious in various ways or more naturally tailored to treat

(36:54):
certain conditions. Right. But what we also know is that,
whether we're talking about the psychedelics are almost any other here,
that the vast majority are not really about that. So
I was reading recently, I don't know when exactly this
piece was written, but it said that if you look
at the top five public psychedelics companies by market CAP,
so a Thaie life sciences, which invest in a range
of other companies, compass, which we've talked about, mind mead,

(37:17):
which you've mentioned, and also G H research in Cybin,
they've already submitted or owned the rights to at least
a hundred fifty seven patents, with undoubtedly hundreds more in
the pipeline. So what I'm curious there is that, I mean,
is this all sort of, you know, ultimately going to
turn out? I mean, whatever value added it happens here.

(37:38):
I assume that most of these are not novel products.
A lot of them are all forms of administration or
you know synthesis that are not all that crucial to
the advances. I assume that many of them their market
cap value is based upon how likely they are to
get a patent and that's primarily what's drawing, you know,
driving them. So I'm wondering, are we all headed in

(37:59):
the wrong direction on this thing, or is there any
collaborative effort among the leaders, the for profit leaders um
together was say, Rick Dolbin's maps or or carry Turnbull's
Um Freedom to operate? So two part question. Is it
all heading the wrong direction and is there any collaborative
effort to try to write this? Well, yeah, those are
really food questions. I mean I maybe I'll start with

(38:23):
the second because it's the easiest one, because it's just
the answer at least, is I don't know, and perhaps
I don't think so. I mean I certainly think that
there could be ways of collaborating, but just in terms
of the way the system is set up and that
this is not something about just perhaps psychedelics, but just
about the you know, the way are are just corporate

(38:44):
ecosystem and broader capitalist system is structured. You know, I don't.
I don't think these companies are necessarily going to pair
with AH nonprofits and and and try to work together.
I know that their investors would want that. Um, maybe
to answer one thing just that you didn't ask, which
was just about the number of patents. I mean you're
right to call the very large number of them, but

(39:07):
I think part of this is just because with any
even individual drug there are dozens, if not hundreds, of
patents filed on just like a single drug. So I
don't think all of these will reflect necessarily novel compounds
or novel ways of really doing things. In terms of
our we all pointed in the wrong direction. You know,

(39:29):
I often go back, um to something I heard at horizons,
which was Joe Green at the Business Day saying that
in Oregon it costs five and a half million dollars
to bring measure one o nine through, and I don't
know what it costs to get measure one tent through,
but I know I would imagine it's something on that
same order. Now, if we think of all these companies,

(39:51):
and by the way, for our listeners, one oh nine,
Um was was the initiative in Oregon to legalized psycholic therapy.
And the one ten is the one that was D
by Drug Policy Alliance under my successors, together with allies
in Oregon, which is essentially a Portugal model, the all
drug decrim and a siphoning money over to treatment for addiction.
So yeah, right now and that you're good to describe those.

(40:13):
So yeah, so obviously one to measure to get drug
or PSILOCYBIN therapy legalizing and one for decriminalization, and both
just in one state, in Oregon. But let's say even
together it was, you know, it's something on the order
of ten million dollars. And so calling this out to
say at Horizons Um that you know the amount of
money that's raised by all of these companies, so g

(40:36):
h Pharma, Atie, compass, mind met the others, many, many
orders of magnitude more than ten millions of ten million dollars.
So are we pointing the wrong direction? Maybe the question is,
is putting all this money in drug development, in patent filings?
Is that going the wrong direction? Mean what would all
this money do if it was put into drug policy

(40:58):
or form into a to decriminalize drugs at the state level?
And to attempts to provide other legally legalized, regulated Um
ways to access psychedelics, like what measure one on nine
is going to do an Oregon Um. And so, you know,
it's a question, I suppose, of just kind of priorities, um,
but but it is something that I think, uh, depending on,

(41:23):
you know, what what you see as being the sort
of ideal orientation for a future psychedelics market, that perhaps
we could be pointing away from it. Because what I
worry about old say is I look, you know, another
issue that I was involved in deeply was the one
around overdose and making the locks zone more available. And that,
you know, the lock zone was patented, uh, I don't know,
sixty years or so by Jack Fishman and a few others.

(41:45):
It was not a big profit thing that patent ran out.
But then you have one company that comes along and
produces a nasal spray version and another one that produces
an auto injective version. So they're making a little easier
for people to administer and then they do everything possible
to try to block others from coming into that. And
the face of a massive over those fatality crisis, you know,

(42:05):
we have these products of Deloson, which has cost pennies
or maybe dollars to make, but the products are being
sold for, you know, you know, tens of dollars, if
not hundreds of dollars. And so is that a risk
in this psychedelics area, in the psychedelic Strap Ay area,
are we going to see an issue where, in fact,
some of the first companies to succeed in getting patents

(42:27):
land up blocking significant innovations and reductions and cost in
the way that we saw happen, for example, in the
the loxone area? I mean, I definitely do see that
that's a concern and that really just is the way
the patent system plays itself out. The benefit of the
patent to the patent holder is that they can set
prices however they want. That's the monopoly power that the

(42:49):
patent gives them and I think in just about every
instance with pharmaceutical drugs, they tend to go up in
price as the patent life goes along because the company
has the ability to set those prices on their own.
And so I mean to myself, this is something I'm
very sensitive too because as a type one diabetic, I
use insulin and insulin I think like a Oxon very

(43:12):
famously was was patented many, many years ago, and actually
that the pattern was sold to a university for a
dollar because the inventor wanted insulin to be broadly available.
And people now, a hundred years later, still might pay
over a thousand dollars a month for it Um and
so similarly, I think in the pharmaceutical space companies know

(43:32):
how to play these games with their their patents, to
extend patent life and patent protection, to find ways to
patent tweaks to a molecule or delivery device or a
way that it's being offered, to continue to be able
to raise prices and exclude competition. So I do see

(43:53):
that once the psychedelics enter the pharmaceutical system is at large,
those suffer from all the same structural failures of the
broader patent system within the pharmaceutical industry. Let's take a
break here and go to an ad. So when it

(44:25):
comes to solutions, right, so there's the big picture one, right,
which is about the overall patent system being broken. Right.
So The New York Times earlier this year had a
huge editorial called Save America's patent system. You know about how,
fundamentally broken it is and what needs to be done.
And then there was a very good article, I think
you've quoted various places, by one of the smartest young

(44:47):
journalists covering the psychedelics field, Shalah love, and the title
of her piece was psychedelic patents are broken because the
patent system is broken. So we're talking about patent reform
in the US. Is Anything on the horizon thin or
are we just kind of doomed to keep living with
this for years the way it is? Well, I hope
you don't have to end here, because how do to

(45:07):
some degree think that we in a sense are doomed,
at least with the patent system we have, especially when
it comes to the pharmaceutical space, because the pharmaceutical lobby
is really one of the strongest and the pharmaceutical lobby
has been doing all it can to keep the patent
system working in its favor. And so I think there

(45:27):
certainly are efforts, and I will keep my fingers crossed
that these efforts can be successful, both in terms of
sort of at the individual level, like with what the
hey utilius are doing, making sure individual patents are are
are granted fairly, and in view of all the proper
prior art Um. I think, for broadly that the patent
system itself. There are things that are being worked out

(45:51):
through other reform bills that have been introduced in I
think there's still a chance there can be something that
might raise the standards so that pharmaceutical innovation actually occurs.
I mean, despite the fact that hundreds of pharmaceutical patents
are granted every year, it's a or on every drug,
even it's a very small number of them that actually

(46:12):
provide any real innovation in terms of patient outcomes and
in terms of clinical benefits. Um. But I mean I
think even Perdue Pharma right effectively extended the patent or
got a new one on its oxy content just by
a slight reformulation and effective interactions with FDA. And I
think what they were doing was fairly typical. Right, you
have a kind of medication which maybe a breakthrough or

(46:34):
semi breakthrough, but then just by tinkering it with it,
they just keep extending their protections, patent protections, keeping the
cost up, blocking generics and uh, and and yet you know,
for all the politicians saying we need to fix this Um,
not much is happening. I think that's right, and I
mean it's it's wrapped up inside, you know, broader reform
to to just the healthcare system and the way insurance

(46:57):
covers drugs and health care more broadly. And so it
is in terms of a structure to look out at
from within the the PSYCHEDELIC space. It's something that is
pretty daunting to think that the ethos of the psychedelic
space somehow can be used as a as a model
to reimagine the pharmaceutical patent system at large. But I

(47:20):
think there are ways to that. Companies within the PSYCHEDELIC
space can choose to interact with the patent system a
little bit differently and there have been some examples of
some companies who have made some attempts to do that
and I think it certainly is something that's on people's
minds in the PSYCHEDELIC space. And so I think just
the fact that so many people are talking about psychedelics

(47:42):
patterns and see them as a as a problem, means
that companies will, to the extent they have uh, you know,
consumers of their of their products, concerned with what they're doing,
perhaps can be held to higher standard. Well, you know,
I see. I mean if you look at the proactive efforts.
I mean we've discussed free to operate, right carry Turnbull's operation,

(48:02):
which try to block compass. But you know, there's also
this thing called Porta Sophia, right, which tries to address
the issue with prior art and to try to make
sort of create a database of all the prior art,
you know, the pre existing you know, types of uses
of these drugs so that people can't falsely make claims
for patents. And there's, I think you're, you're you're, a
thing called Psychedelic Alpha Dot COM um, which provides, you know,

(48:26):
a pretty good listing of all this. Just tell tell
us a little more about what's going on with your
thing and and port to Sophia, their significance and are
those sorts of ideas that come that are all settening
in other areas of non, you know, psychoactive drug areas?
Maybe to the place to start with the Psychedelic Alpha
is actually to sort of go back to the origin

(48:48):
stories of it. Um, I actually was volunteering at a
at a maps INFO table at a at a conference
that just coincidentally happened to be the weekend after an
article by Olivia Gold Hill published on compasses first patent.
It hadn't yet published but they had Um told people
about its filing and that it was on Psilocybin, and

(49:10):
this article was really the first to kind of raise
the outrage and because I mentioned everyone there that I
was a patent lawyer, I spent basically the weekend talking
about uh Psilocybin patents and how it could be even
possible to file a patent on PSILOCYBIN. And after I
left the conference that weekend and went home, I started
keeping track of a table of patents on Psilocybin in particular,

(49:35):
at which point there were maybe a dozen and probably
not very many more, including the ones at Albert Hoffman
had filed that Sandos. Since then, of course, now there
are are many hundreds and because patent applications aren't published
until eighteen months after they're filed, there there's probably even
twice or three times as many now, but most of
them still just secret. That is not only something that's

(49:58):
in the in the PSYCHEDELIC space. I mean part of
the reason I decided it would be worthwhile publishing it
on Psychedelic Alpha was because it was, you know, a
good way of making people aware of the types of
applications that were out there and and sort of starting
a conversation around them. But there's an organization called IMAC,
the initiative for medicines access and knowledge, which I use

(50:21):
their statistics a lot. I Am A K right, a
k dit org, which I think was an important source
for that New York Times editorial and it's been taking
on some of these issues in a broader way. So yeah,
very much so, yes, and they've been sort of counting
and cataloging that the number of applications that have been
filed on of other pharmaceuticals, just in terms of seeing

(50:44):
the impact that they have on particular pharmaceutical drugs. And
so to some degree that was, I'd say, somewhat of
an inspiration, just seeing that a conversation can be started
around individual compounds through looking at the types of applications
that are filed on them and what that might mean
for the price of somebody using that that compound as

(51:05):
part of a medicine. Um. I see, and I think
even with Imac died or I MAAC, are they engaging
in some ways in the psychological area or they are
familiar with it? Are you in contact with them? Well, yeah,
so they're co founder, Prett Crystal has um actually been
on a panel with me with Shakruna, Um, speaking of

(51:27):
Sheila love. I think Um really is, uh, the best
writer on on pharmaceutical or on psychedelic patents in this
space and and certainly everyone should read but she's written
about this. Um, she and Um Actually Josh Hardman and myself,
and pretty crystal proposed a panel itself. By southwest is

(51:49):
coming here, so we hope we can all speak together.
So we have, of course also been speaking a little
bit together in general and see that we're aligned in
terms of what we hope to see. For you know,
the psychedelic spaces is very similar to the types of
reforms that Imac for for decades now, has argued are
necessary in the broader medicine space. And and and preachy

(52:11):
had done really great work arguing around access to AIDS,
medications and and other drugs for for many years, even
before she started Imac, and has has long been an
advocate for more equitable access to pharmaceuticals, and so definitely
saw both that as a resource but also as an
inspiration for sort of the ways that would be useful

(52:35):
to sort of Orient Um ethics in the in the
psychedolic space itself. So Graham normally asked this the beginning.
But how did you get intold, I mean I've I've
heard you talk about growing up in the west coast
with Hippie parents and getting involved at a young age
on UH. You know, I think you said you've been
involved with the prop two fifteen in the Middle Ca

(52:56):
Marojuina initiative twenty five years ago. But just teleraudience a
little more about your evel Lucian uh into becoming one
of the leading patent lawyers working in this area. Yeah, yeah,
I think maybe going back to that Um property fifteen
is but sort of how I draw my origin story,
although I suppose maybe the fortune of growing up in
Oakland too. I mean so I do mention, you know,

(53:16):
my my mom went to Berkeley in the Sixties and
Um my dad did have his share of long hair,
although I don't think they were either, the two of them,
that much into psychedelics. And so I grew up with
be here now sort of as a coffee table book
and you know, Carlos Castaneda and other books on the
the bookshelves. That sort of piqued my interest. And so
I was kind of a stoner in high school and
when proper to fifteen was on the ballot. Actually one

(53:38):
of the first things I did was, when I had
my driver's license, go collect signatures for the ballot on
in front, in front of a couple of grocery stores.
And in college, fairly early I had my first psychedelic
experiences and I had so much inspiration from those that
I changed my major to, you neuroscience, to try to

(54:02):
both learn a little bit more about how it had
those impacts on my on my consciousness, how chemicals like
that could have such a profound role in, uh, shifting
the way that I saw myself and saw the world.
Um and actually, for a time in college thought that
perhaps I could study a some sort of psychopharmacology or

(54:25):
I speaking of peakle and Tacl and I bought bought
those books Um and sort of saw Sasha. I suppose
it's something of a Um inspiration. And you know, I
received some encouragement from others that law school might be
a good way if I was interested in drug policy,
and so somewhat naively, I suppose, in retrospect, because thinking

(54:46):
I could work in cognitive liberty or something like drug
policy with law school loans. Um, it did end up
in law school but realized that the Science degree to
to pay off my loans was best used in the
the patent space, which was, you know, hiring it good
salaries and paying bonuses. And even though I had written

(55:08):
my law school term paper actually on the way that
generics are kept off the market by aggressive patent policies and, Um,
how drugs are are kept expensive by the sort of
abuse of the patent laws, it spent the first sort
of half decade of my career at a law firm

(55:29):
in New York working with branded drug companies to actually
keep generic drugs off the market for longer, Um, and
so to some degree I think I'm paying off that
Karma a little bit now. Well, I'm curious how you
balance that now, right and because obviously you know many
of your clients are going to be for profit companies
and are when you're talking with them or they want

(55:51):
to hire you, retain you or if you're already working
for them, are are there lines where you say look,
this is something I cannot make that argument here, or
do you turn down client who wants you to do
things that you don't feel or ethically right. I mean
because you're obviously out there as a forceful voice in
terms of it trying to advocate for good policies in
this area. You serve, you as an advisor to Chakruna,

(56:11):
you know, be able about these organizations doing a lot
of good work, but you're also, you know, a for profit.
I mean you were an attorney with clients. So how
do you balance that in your in your professional life? Yeah,
that I think is really the best, the best kind
of like the best question, and I think that is
the attention that I find myself trying to navigate and
spend a lot of my own time really thinking about.

(56:33):
I'm fortunately, I think that when I started my own firm,
to sort of go back a little bit before maybe
answering the question, when I started Calix Law in actually
that tension was sort of part of the reason for
even starting it. I had worked for a long time
on a case against Monsanto with their genetically modified crops

(56:54):
Um and I had obviously been very interested in cannabis
and that was part of the reason for wanting to
enter the cannabis space as a patent lawyer and because
of my interest in it. I had a number of
friends who are trying to go from the legacy market
into the sort of adult use market at the turn

(57:14):
of and sort of my thesis for starting my firm
was that there were ways for smaller inventors to get
involved with the patent system and two also used the
patent system to keep off a company like a Monsanto
or a Philip Morris from entering the cannabis space and

(57:35):
sort of taking it over and dominating it. And so
that sort of tension between seeing patents as ways of
giving a leg up to smaller, independent inventors, but also
as a way of keeping a market from being dominated
by aggressive monopolists. Um is sort of the kind of

(57:58):
premise that I even started my firm with, and so
taking that kind of thinking through to the psychedelic space,
I think that was part of the kind of fortune
that let me see that there were these issues around
pcybian patenting, for instance, Um, perhaps a bit earlier than

(58:18):
you know, maybe some others did, and so I think
I'm I'm fortunate for having spent some time talking about
those controversies that I actually do get presented with opportunities
to to try to find ways to to navigate them. Um,
from clients who who see patents as being necessary to

(58:41):
raise money. I have some clients who tried to go
without patents and just pursue their their work, uh, sort
of in the open, put things in the public domain,
and and sometimes found that they either couldn't raise money or,
in one instance, another company took an article that they
had published and filed patterns covering exactly what it was

(59:02):
that they had described. Um, and so I saw a
concern that like, well, if we don't file a pattern
for like, what if somebody else does? And so, Um,
I don't know that I've perhaps had to turn down
clients for wanting to unethically use the patent system, and
maybe I've just had the fortune of because I've been

(59:23):
to some degree of kind of a voice for for
balance in the patent system. Okay, so last questions here.
One of the issues that's been out there more and more,
and I know that Cody Swiss River Stix Foundation is
making this issue and others have, is what is owed
to indigenous peoples when the psychedelic products that, you know,
emerged from their indigenous uses start becoming commercialized, and so

(59:48):
you know I mean when we look at Mescaline and Peyote,
when we look at Eboga coming from cabone and the
surrounding areas in West Africa, I mean he's came so
much out of indigenous use, is mescal in Um. And
so it's a question what is owed and exactly to whom.
And then there's the broadening of the issues. So, for example,

(01:00:09):
when it comes to Psilocybin, mushrooms are growing, you know,
they grow all around the world and on the one
hand you hear the claim. Well, but for Maria Sabina
Educating Gordon Wasson, you know, sixty, seventy years ago. You know,
we want to have all these people aware of Psilocybin uh,
you know, in other parts of the world. But then
I think it's Paul stamens will say, well, hold on

(01:00:30):
a second. PSILOCYBIN has been actually used around the world
of different ways for a long time. So let's not
extend this indigenous obligation issue to PSILOCYBIN. And then, of course,
as m D M A, which is a twentieth century
synthetic creation Um, is anything owed from something like m
d m a UH to indigenous people? So what's your
view on on what is the proper obligations and and and,

(01:00:54):
to the extent there are obligations, how those should be addressed? Yeah, yeah,
I mean well, M D M A, even though Um,
I think, comes from Sasha's tinkering, so to speak, with mescaline.
So perhaps even there you could draw some degree through
line back to try to find some way to provide reciprocity.
I mean, if we speak in terms of legal obligations,

(01:01:17):
legally there really are none in the sense that there
are some treaties, there is something called the Nagoya Protocol,
but it hasn't been adopted by the US ratified by
the US, and so there's basically just the patent law,
which prevents companies from patenting something that are that's done

(01:01:40):
by somebody else. But there's certainly no mechanism for reciprocity.
It's in the law, unfortunately. So it really is up
to to us, I suppose, to decide what companies are
owed and to hold companies to account for that. In
terms of my own views, I mean I think this
all really comes down to just the broader controversy to

(01:02:01):
around patents, which is where the values derived from and
how much of that value gets extracted towards the the
owner of a patent or the the owner of a
group of patents. And we can look at not just
psilocybin but sort of any invention and I think any

(01:02:21):
invention to some degree, I think even the UH that
the saying goes. You know, we stand on the shoulders
of giants like nothing comes sue generous and even though
our patent system is served based on this ideal of
this kind of loan inventor genius working alone is workbench,
who sort has this Eureka moment where he comes up

(01:02:43):
with something that's never been done before and gets a
patent on it and is entitled to all the monopoly
profits on that for the next two decades. Nothing is
quite like that. And so how do we really find
a way to give some calculation to, you know, what
is Ode and you know, where does the value derive from, Um,

(01:03:08):
in terms of reciprocity, for for psychedelics? I mean, I
I certainly think that it's important to recognize that. You know,
many psychedelics come from these lineages where, whether they're just
from underground use like m D M A, dating back
to the seventies and eighties, whether they're from further back

(01:03:30):
than that, dating back to Maria Sabina or earlier, whether
they're getting back to, you know, potentially millennial use. Um.
I think having the conversation that that people are having, Um,
you know the question you're asking me, Um, not to
necessarily dodge it, but I think that's what's important and

(01:03:51):
I think it's you know it's even though I know
you asked my personal views. I mean, I think it's
an important decision for Vole to be making as the
PSYCHEDELIC space starts to mature more in terms of trying
to understand what the companies who make all the profits, uh,

(01:04:11):
should be responsible for. And I'm here again optimistic because
I see that there are many. Already you have found
ways to try to give some degree of reciprocity. Um.
There are companies who have given some portion of their
profits or said that they've dedicated some portion of their profits,

(01:04:34):
have given some of their equity, have provided other means
of reciprocity. At the same time, I've also spoken to
some indigenous people who feel like reciprocity, even as a term,
is perhaps not used correctly, in the sense that it's

(01:04:55):
only reciprocity if somebody accepts what you're giving to them.
And so just for a company to to say, well,
I'M gonna give ten percent back to the indigenous like that,
not only is perhaps not enough, but it's maybe even
a form of I know some people have called it
tied eye washing or greenwashing, but sort of, I guess,

(01:05:15):
avoiding a greater responsibility, which is perhaps what like the
Nagoya Protocol I mentioned requires, which is actually consulting with
the groups from which you're taking the knowledge or the
wisdom and before doing something that would give you the

(01:05:36):
profits that you would just give back, actually consulting, getting
informed consent and having a process at the beginning to
really share those those benefits. So last question, Graham. Do
you have a favorite psychedelic? And the part to that
question is can you think of any moments where you're
a psychedelic experience actually proved specifically helpful in addressing um

(01:06:00):
professional issues or questions that you were thinking through? Um? Well,
so my favorite PSYCHEDELIC is mushrooms. Um just just because
I love the I guess the fact that they're just
so tangible and they're very accessible and that you can

(01:06:20):
grow them quite easily yourself. You can find them places,
often when you're not even expecting to. Um. I love
just mushrooms in general and my my Fians, I and
I are I think our our favorite thing to do
together is a mushroom foraging Um, not usually for for
psychedelic mushrooms, but just generally Um. And so, you know,
I love the fact that they're just, you know, a

(01:06:42):
natural thing and they're they're also very well they're a
little bit variable, but they're much easier to dose than
than other things, since you can see exactly what it
is you're you're getting. In terms of professional impacts, I
don't know, that's a good question. I don't know that
I actually in terms of like creativity or the sort

(01:07:03):
of stories you hear about people like, Um, Carrie Molli's or,
you know, or somebody who's had a sort of Eureka
moment that's been perhaps influenced by the use of psychedelics. Um.
I think maybe it's because the last thing I generally
want to think about when I'm on psychedelics is anything
to have to do with patents or work. So maybe

(01:07:23):
I should try and see if I can have some
creativity on them. I mean, I definitely credit them with
a lot of change in sort of personal um attributes
sort to my life. I mean, I I had a
long time where I was Um, somebody who didn't really
have a healthy relationship with alcohol, and I found that

(01:07:44):
I um had an experience with pulcibin mushrooms. Actually that
reframe the way I was viewing my relationship with alcohol.
And actually that's sort of last time after that that
I have had any kind of uh use of alcohol, Um,
and other things that I've had really personal meaning. But no,

(01:08:05):
I think I'm gonna have to find an opportunity maybe
to Um think about some of these pattern issues, what
sort of reciprocity we are or some of the things
you asked me that I didn't have very good answers for,
and uh, maybe I'll find them. Okay. Well, Graham, listen.
Thank you ever so much both for the work you're

(01:08:25):
doing and for the taking the time to speak with
me and our psychoactive audience. Thank you, even though that
the briggles was entirely mine, Um, and I'm so thankful
for being asked to join you in the conversation. I
hope I see you again in horizons or another conference.
So I hope to sting. If you're enjoying psychoactive, please

(01:08:46):
tell your friends about it, or you can write us
a review at Apple podcasts or wherever you get your podcasts.
We love to hear from our listeners. If you'd like
to share your own stories, comments and ideas, then leave
us a message at one, three, three, seven, seven nine.
That's eight, three three psycho zero, or you can email

(01:09:08):
us at psychoactive at protozoa dot com or find me
on twitter at Ethan Natal Man. You can also find
contact information in our show notes. PSYCHOACTIVE is a production
of I heart radio and protozoa pictures. It's hosted by
me Ethan Nadelman. It's produced by Noham Osband and Josh Stain.
The executive producers are Dylan Golden, Ari Handel, Elizabeth geesus

(01:09:32):
and Darren Aronofsky from protozoa pictures, Alex Williams and Matt
Frederick From my heart radio and me Ethan Nadelman. Our
Music is by Ari Blucien and a special thanks to
a Brios F Bianca grimshaw and Robert Deep. Next week

(01:09:57):
I'll be talking with Professor Edwards Ainger, author of the
book drunk who argues that the consumption of alcohol has
been essential to the evolution of human civilization? You know,
I look at evidence from other parts of the world,
that wherever you look, it seems like the first cultivated
plants were chosen for their psychoactive properties, not for nutrition,

(01:10:22):
and so that's a sense in which, quite literally, the
desired to get intoxicated gave rise to civilization. It's would
cause on our gatherers to settle down in the first place.
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