Dr. Evan Wood needs no introduction to anyone who’s followed the harm-reduction movement in British Columbia over the past two decades.
He was the principal investigator evaluating Insite, which was North American’s first legal supervised-injection site. It’s in Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside.
In addition, Wood is an adviser to the Global Commission on Drug Policy and the founder of the International Centre for Science in Drug Policy (now the Centre on Drug Policy Evaluation).
Today, Wood was named chief medical officer of Vancouver-based Numinus Wellness Inc., which is licensed by Health Canada to test, sell, and distribute psychedelic substances.
The announcement came a day after Numinus began trading on the TSX Venture Exchange. The company is planning to develop a stand-alone centre in Vancouver in 2021 and aims to use psychedelic-assisted therapies in the treatment of mental illness, addiction, and trauma.
“This is an exciting day for all of us at Numinus,” CEO Payton Nyquvest said in a company news release. “Dr. Wood is a recognized leader in the area of addiction research and treatment and he will play a central role in advancing the Numinus mission to help people heal and be well.”
Most recently, Wood has headed the British Columbia Centre on Substance Use. It conducts research, education, and training, and offers clinical guidance around addiction to medical practitioners.
Wood was involved in the Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies trial of MDMA-assisted psychotherapy. He’s also a professor of medicine at UBC.
“I share the Numinus position that the societal costs of mental illness, addiction, trauma and unmet human potential are much too high,” Wood said. “My work and the work of others in the field indicate the value of continuing to explore the use of psychedelic substances in safe, controlled therapeutic environments to address these issues, and I look forward to positioning Numinus as a leader in this emerging area of treatment.”
Earlier this month, Numinus completed a reverse takeover of Salvation Botanicals Ltd. by acquiring all of its shares in return for Numinus stock.
As of this writing, Numinus shares are trading at $0.90.
The CEO, Nyquvest, is a former vice president and head of sales in Vancouver for Mackie Research Capital. Prior to that, he was an investment adviser for Jordan Capital Markets and Cannacord Financial, according to his Linkedin profile.