JAM | Jan 11, 2023

Jamaica’s legal psilocybin market further expanding

/ Our Today

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Kaya Group latest entrant to roll out psilocybin mushroom and capsules

Durrant Pate/Contributor

Jamaica’s legal psilocybin or “magic mushrooms” market is further expanding with a new entrant, Kaya Group, planning to set up local operations as its diversifies its medical ganja business.

As a leader in the plant-based wellness industry, Kaya said it was committed to providing high-quality, responsibly sourced psilocybin products. Psilocybin, a naturally occurring psychedelic compound found in certain mushrooms, has gained increasing attention for its potential to treat various mental health conditions, including depression, anxiety and addiction.


The psilocybin market in Jamaica is currently exploited by two Canadian businesses, one of which is Psyence Group, engaged in a research collaboration agreement to study psilocybin-assisted therapeutic retreat experiences in Jamaica. The other company, Canbud Distribution Corporation has invested millions of dollars in setting up operations in Jamaica, developing a magic mushroom cultivation and processing plant in Westmoreland. 

Kaya, which says it is the first medicinal ganja herb house in the Caribbean, has announced that its Kaya Extracts subsidiary plans to enter the legal psilocybin market in Jamaica.

Plans for Jamaica’s psilocybin market

Kaya is setting up operations in Jamaica targeting the multi-billion-dollar industry for the development, marketing and distribution of mushrooms. This will include Kaya’s current rollout of traditional Jamaican psilocybin mushroom and capsules at its herb house locations in Falmouth, Ocho Rios, and Kingston.

Kaya continues to roll out further across Jamaica, as demands continue to build for the product. The first milestone includes developing and launching its nutraceuticals’ range of psilocybin concentrations from micro-doses to hallucinogenic levels of dosing.

Kaya’s founder, Bali Vaswani, said the company was “thrilled to be able to offer our premium products in Jamaica, a country with a long tradition of using natural substances for medicinal and spiritual purposes. We believe that Jamaica is the perfect market for our psilocybin offerings and are excited to be able to contribute to the growing conversation around the potential benefits of this remarkable compound”.

Balram Vaswani, founder of Kaya.

He added that “our team is dedicated to conducting rigorous research and adhering to the highest safety and quality standards”.

Said Vaswani: “We look forward to working with the Jamaican community to bring the transformative power of psilocybin to those who can benefit from it.”

Jamaican market being exploited

While mushrooms containing the psychoactive compound psilocybin remain illegal in most parts of Europe and the United States, Jamaica’s government has never outlawed the hallucinogenic fungus and is now cultivating investors in efforts to build up its psychedelics industry, which, according to one estimate, could be worth US$8 billion globally by 2028.

Jamaica now has at least four psilocybin-focused resorts, three of which opened recently as the government has warmed to psychedelics and encouraged private investment in the sector. Jamaica’s investment promotions agency, JAMPRO, has identified opportunities in cultivation, development of facilities that can process the fungus according to international standards, development of treatment facilities, and research and development.

(Photo: Do Business Jamaica)

JAMPRO intends to position Jamaica as a primary destination for research and development, particularly in using the mushroom for developing treatments and the potential for export. Psilocybin mushrooms are considered a Schedule 1 drug in jurisdictions around the world.

However, they have also been used in treating mental disorders such as depression and post-traumatic stress disorder in many regions. Despite its designation as a drug in the US, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) granted Breakthrough Therapy Designation for studies of psilocybin in depression disorders.

University of California, Los Angeles; New York University and Johns Hopkins University are among the research institutions in the US that have conducted studies on psilocybin.


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