In May 2013, GW Pharma listed on Nasdaq, selling 3.5 million shares at $8.90 each to investors betting that GW was charting a profitable course as a biotech developing new drugs from cannabis-derived compounds. Legal cannabis was only beginning to gain momentum at that time, and while countless companies saturated the market as would-be growers, distributors, etc., GW was taking a more difficult route of drug development with much greater upside if successful. The strategy paid off as the company received FDA approval for the first-ever cannabis-based drug in June 2018. There are some notable similarities between the evolution of the legal cannabis market a decade ago and the current status of psychedelics, longtime illicit drugs that are now being evaluated for their therapeutic potential by a handful of upstart companies. San Diego-based Tryp Therapeutics Inc. (CSE: TRYP) (OTCQB: TRYPF) (Profile) stands out, not only for its still-small valuation but also because it has a successful management team that, much like GW, is charting its own course in the space. Major investors have not been shy about speculating that biotech is going to produce some psychedelic-derived blockbusters, as evidenced by the attention given to COMPASS Pathways Plc (NASDAQ: CMPS)Mind Medicine (“MindMed”) Inc. (NASDAQ: MNMD) (NEO: MMED) (DE: MMQ) and newly public ATAI Life Sciences N.V. (NASDAQ: ATAI), any one of which could do for psychedelics what GW Pharmaceuticals (NASDAQ: GWPH) did for cannabis before being acquired in February by Jazz Pharmaceuticals plc (NASDAQ: JAZZ) for $7.2 billion.

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