The Toronto-based media group said that Canncentral's psychedelics reporting will focus on the “wide range of therapeutic and medical applications” as well as “business news, trends and legislative changes” in the rapidly emerging area.
"The world of psychedelics is a natural extension of the content we produce at Canncentral," MediaCentral CEO Brian Kalish said in a statement.
Launched in fall 2019, Canncentral.com is benefitting from referral traffic from its sister publication, NOW Magazine, a weekly newspaper with a strong print and digital presence.
Media Central said leveraging the millions of readers already engaging with its urban publications is expected to yield “tremendous results.”
"Our 6.5 million audience of engaged influential readers have their fingers on the pulse of emerging trends and are eager to consume up-to-date information from our award-winning editorial teams,” Kalish noted.
“Early signs point to the huge impact that psychedelics will have on society from a cultural, medical and business perspective. This focus on psychedelics is a natural progression of our ongoing strategy to leverage our considerable audience and capitalize on the latest in material trends as we move to further monetize our titles," he added.
For most, psychedelic drugs conjure up images of the 1960's, hippies tripping out on LSD or magic mushrooms. However, Media Central noted that early studies are finding that psilocybin — the active agent in magic mushrooms — could treat addiction, depression, anxiety and mental health conditions like post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).
In late 2018, the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) provided "breakthrough therapy" status to a psilocybin treatment for clinical depression, pushing the industry into the spotlight.
The media group pointed out that in the last 24 months “several US cities have decriminalized psychedelics” for medicinal purposes and pharma giants like Johnson & Johnson, AstraZeneca, Merck & Co., and Pfizer have launched clinical trials to research how psychedelics like LSD, MDMA and ketamine can target a range of medical aliments from cancer to PTSD, to depression to opioid addiction. Similarly, Johns Hopkins University recently launched a research center for psychedelic studies, noted the company, called the Center for Psychedelic and Consciousness Research.
Moreover, Data Bridge Market Research says the psychedelics market is experiencing a compound annual growth rate of nearly 16%. This is driven in part by the expected impact from chemicals such as LSD and Ketamine in the antidepressant drug market, which is tipped to exceed $15.98 billion by 2023. As a result, many analysts have forecast the potential of the psychedelics market to “outpace cannabis as an investment class,” Media Central added.
The Toronto media giant said Canncentral will provide regular coverage on psychedelics and will distribute stories to its growing audience through its own platform, and Media Central's NOW Magazine in Toronto and Georgia Straight in Vancouver.
“Content around psychedelics will be integrated across the company's full spectrum of three digital platforms, two print publications, three newsletters and nine social media channels,” it said.
Contact the author Uttara Choudhury at [email protected]
Follow her on Twitter: @UttaraProactive