Douglas Gordon

EXPANDING CANNABIS INDUSTRY:

Silo Wellness chief executive, Douglas Gordon.

TRINIDAD-born Douglas Gordon is at the helm of Silo Wellness, a company that is driving the importance of improving health and wellness through psychedelics and functional mushrooms.

Based in Canada with operations in the United States and Jamaica, Silo Wellness was formed in 2018. The company cultivates psilocybin mushrooms in Jamaica, conducts psychedelic wellness retreats in two countries, and is testing a patent-pending psilocybin nasal spray in Jamaica with additional formats on the way.

In a recent interview with Express Business, Gordon, chief executive officer of the company, said he joined the company in August 2020 after he was approached by the founder Mike Arnold in 2019 during a visit to Jamaica.

Arnold outlined the company’s vision which was in line with Gordon’s work in the cannabis industry.

“I was impressed with the advances in the business and the strong focus on helping people and advancing the access and safe use of psychedelics.

“My focus is to build out our business model in a manner that responsibly bridges modern science and traditional use of psychedelics as we look to expand globally.

“As we expand across our various verticals and play our part to help build out this industry, we take pride in being one of a handful of psychedelic companies who are actually offering medicine and helping people today,” he said.

Gordon said Jamaica is considered to be the epicentre of the psychedelic mushroom movement in the Western Hemisphere, where “magic mushrooms” are openly and legally grown and sold. This is positioning the island nation to directly benefit from wellness tourism as well as sales of psychedelic mushrooms, he said.

Just last week Thursday Silo Wellness signed a binding letter of intent with Canada-based mushroom company Mushe Inc to establish the first legal, functional and psychedelic mushroom retail outlet in the Western Hemisphere, based in Jamaica, where Silo Wellness is testing a proof-of-concept patent-pending nasal spray.

Gordon said through this joint venture, Silo Wellness and Mushe will build out and operate a “smart shop” retail establishment specialising in the sale of functional and psychoactive mushroom products including tinctures, capsules, topicals and edibles, as well as boutique literature and accessories.

“In March, 2021, Silo Wellness announced a multi-year licence agreement with the family of legendary musician Bob Marley for the exclusive worldwide rights to brand, market and sell a distinct product line of functional and psychedelic mushrooms, which will be sold at the store upon launch.

“There is deep respect for the legacy of Bob Marley, and we are honoured to be entrusted as good stewards of a brand that stands for universal wellness and natural healing,” Gordon said.

He added that the company continues to invest and expand its operations in Jamaica, the only country where the cultivation, extraction and sale of psilocybin mushrooms is permissible. He said consumers are increasingly interested in incorporating mushrooms into their wellness routines.

Reports coming out of the Grand View Research website states that the global functional mushroom market size was valued at US$46.1 billion in 2020 and is expected to grow at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 9.5 per cent from 2021 to 2028.

Asked whether he intends to expand Silo Wellness into Trinidad and Tobago and other Caribbean countries, Gordon said “certainly”.

“As far as coming to Trinidad, do we have people who suffer from mental health issues? The answer is yes. Do we have people in Trinidad who can benefit from the access of the psychedelic medicine to live a more wholesome and productive life? The answer is yes.

“So when the country legally accepts the use of this medicine and mushrooms, absolutely we would consider setting up shop here and it’s also my hometown.

“St Vincent and the Grenadines has taken some proactive steps in looking at psychedelic medicine, that’s another market we are actively looking at right now. Psychedelics have shown great promise in the treatment of addictions so we are looking to work with practitioners, whose mandate is to help people with addiction issues.”

About the company’s mission, the businessman said it would be to recognise, as an early mover in functional mushrooms and psychedelics, the importance of having a path to consumers that would allow them to become educated on the health and wellness benefits of mushrooms and the important role that functional mushrooms play in the education and widespread acceptance of the transformative and healing power of psychedelics.

Gordon noted that mental health issues are real and some of the drugs being offered at most times have patients spaced out and that is why Silo Wellness is trying to advocate daily how effective the natural medicines are, which can make the person more productive in their society.

“Billions of dollars are spent on this industry, as mental health is a massive challenge and it’s going to become an even greater challenge post-Covid for governments, businesses and communities. There are a lot of persons just operating in survival mode and not receiving proper treatment and that’s where our medical professionals come in and do case by case assessments.”

In March 2021, Silo Wellness became a publicly traded company, listing on the Canadian Securities Exchange. The company is also listed on the Frankfurt Stock Exchange.

Gordon explained as the company grows, operationalises and further expands the business plan there will be additional funding rounds to fund their global expansion plans.

Retreat

Silo Wellness is also working with the Rastafarian community in Jamaica to offer psilocybin-assisted retreats ranging from four to six days. This initiative is already in train and continues till August.

Gordon said each retreat presents a tailored offering for specific audiences and interests.

“It helps rejuvenate persons and also teach them more about psychedelics and how it can be useful. The retreat can start from US$3,000 and go higher depending on how luxurious the person wants the experience to be,” Gordon concluded.

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