Article by Sam Riches. Growth Op
Last month, after Thomas Hartle became the first Canadian to undergo legal psilocybin therapy to treat end-of-life distress, the Saskatoon father of two — who has been living with a terminal cancer diagnosis since 2016 — slept better than he has in four years.
“I have had anxiety for so long, I had sort of forgotten what it feels like to not have it,” Hartle said in the days following his session. “To experience the lack of anxiety I have had this week is beyond words. It’s amazing. I have no idea how long this particular benefit will last, but so long as it’s here, it’s really, really amazing and good.”
Hartle was one of four terminally ill Canadians who was granted a Section 56 exemption to the Controlled Drugs and Substances Act by federal health minister Patty Hajdu last month. Therapsil, a B.C.-based nonprofit, helped each of the individuals apply for the exemptions, which took more than 100 days to receive. Since then, the organization reports that two more exemptions have been granted and, this time, the response rate was 10 business days.
With the momentum around psychedelic therapies continuing to build, Therapsil notes there is now a need for doctors, therapists and counsellors to secure their own exemptions for training purposes.