A Surrey company has just received a licence to produce magic mushrooms.
At the end of July, Eversio Wellness received one of the first few licences issued in Canada to grow and extract psilocybin producing mushrooms.
“It’s pretty exciting for us,” said Craig Garden, Eversio CEO. “It’s a big milestone. We’ve been waiting a long time, but there’s a huge amount of responsibility that goes along with it—and opportunity—so we’ll focus on both of those.”
Eversio is a “mushroom wellness” company located on 54A Avenue and 152nd Street in Surrey. The company supplies “high-quality, high-potency functional mushroom extract products,” as noted in a press release.
“We are excited to expand our research and development to include the production of psilocybin for medical use,” said Garden, who lives in Cloverdale with his wife Brandi Garden. “We look forward to providing research and healthcare communities with safe, high-quality, scientifically-tested and expert-made full dose and micro-dosing products.”
Eversio was granted a “Controlled Substances Dealer’s Licence” from Health Canada under the allowance that they can produce and sell psilocybin, psilocin, DMT, and mescaline.
Commonly called magic mushrooms, psilocybin is the active chemical that produces psychedelic or hallucinogenic effects when taken.
“We have seen significant growth in the functional and psychedelic mushroom markets due to the increased societal demand for nature-sourced medicines that can help to achieve optimal health and wellness,” added Garden. “By adding psilocybin to our cultivation efforts, we will be at the cutting-edge of significant scientific and health revelations in our industry.”
Garden said Eversio was started in an effort to find alternative solutions for people to live both mentally and physically healthier lives.
He said Eversio really is two businesses in one.
On the functional mushroom side of things, Garden said Eversio makes products with the goal of improving and optimizing everyone’s day-to-day health. This means they focus on boosting a person’s physical and mental health through the use of mushroom products.
On the psychedelic mushroom side, Garden said Eversio will focus on research and development.
Garden, who grew up in Golden, B.C., co-founded the company with Brandi in February, 2020. They applied for the controlled substance dealers licence in March 2020. He said it’s been a long process to finally receive the licence 17 months later.
“We applied for (the licence) because we saw it as an opportunity to help change the way mental health is being looked at and advocated for,” he explained. “The system, as we see it, is broken. So there had to be a better way. That’s really what spawned the whole idea for the company.”
Garden said Eversio’s focus is wholly on natural fungi, whether it be his health products, or soon-to-be produced psychedelic mushrooms. Eversio can’t sell any magic mushrooms to the public, but their health product line is available on their website.
“We are on Health Canada’s recommended list of licensed dealers in which a doctor could request access to it for a patient.”
Garden said they will likely supply researchers undertaking studies, but he assumes most of their distribution will be to both physicians and pharmacies.
Garden said now that Eversio is embarking on new territory, it’s important he continues to expand in the right direction. “We want to grow our business, obviously, but we want to expand our team as well. We have a lot of great talent and we want to build on that.”
He said they also want to standardize their mushroom products in an effort to create safe, reliable products with naturally occurring compounds that can be used by researchers, doctors and therapists who require consistent percentages of active ingredients in each dose.
“A lot of people use synthetic versions of psilocybin. It’s about $8-to $10,000 a gram right now,” explained Garden. “That’s not cost effective for anyone.”
Garden said if he can standardize the natural way it’s grown, organically, and regulate the amount of psilocybin and psilocin, in his products, then he can produce something that’s natural and, at the same time, offer people the full benefit of the mushroom.
“Mother nature didn’t mess this up,” added Garden. “We don’t need to get scientific with it. That’s not our approach. We’re looking to create and standardize a natural, amazing product.”
Garden said he sees a not-to-distant future in Canada where magic mushrooms will be decriminalized. He thinks people will have access to the product to alleviate a number of health issues for everything from anxiety, to depression, to treating PTSD. Garden said there are also studies being done that focus on addiction, pain relief, and other chronic health conditions.
“We haven’t even really begun to understand all the different things we can treat with this compound, this fungi.”
Eversio can be found online at eversiowellness.com.