JR Rahn

April 5, 2020
Spotlight

What inspired you to build a business in the psychedelic medicine space?

I was living in San Francisco and in the middle of the tech world seeing first hand how all these new technologies were causing anxiety, depression and addiction. I felt obligated to act and provide help. I started doing a lot of research and came to the conclusion that these societal problems could be healed through psychedelics, but they would need to be FDA medicines.

What are some of the most common misconceptions you hear about psychedelics from an investment perspective?

By far, it's that many investors try to compare psychedelics to cannabis. The reality is that the two have nearly nothing in common.

Institutional investors that never went in to cannabis are investing in the future of psychedelics because they see there is a high barrier to entry, and a defendable business. Skilled psychedelic research teams (there are not many and we have the world leading one in LSD), an expensive FDA development process, intellectual property protection, and so on.

I believe the psychedelic market will be more valuable than the cannabis market and also much more concentrated in the companies that successfully deploy these medicines.

What do you think attracted high-level investors to the psychedelic space and MindMed specifically?

There has been a lot of attention on the fact that Kevin O'Leary was one of our early investors. Funny enough, he actually turned us down the first time we met. Like many investors, he had some misconceptions about the space.

Once he realized that Psychedelic medicines are drastically different from cannabis and that MindMed's operations would be federally legal immediately, he called me back the next day to get involved.

What would you say to potential investors considering psychedelic drug discovery as a space to invest?

I would strongly suggest that they research the average cost and team required in developing an FDA-approved drug. Does the company you are considering investing in have the capital and the experience to get it done? This will take institutional investors and a highly-skilled team. We have access to both.

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