Canadian company hopes to capitalize on psychedelics craze with new drink - Read of Green
Connect with us


Canadian company hopes to capitalize on psychedelics craze with new drink



Psychedelic Water available for sale online in the United States

Article content

A Canadian beverage company is looking to cash in on the popularity of psychedelics with a kava-based drink it is billing as the first of its kind.


Article content

Psychedelic Water says its namesake beverage is “the world’s first legal psychedelic blend of kava root, damiana leaf and green tea leaf extract for a mild mood-boosting experience.” The drink is not hallucinogenic, but the company says it produces a calming sensation that gives people positive vibes.

The drink is being backed by a pair of entrepreneurs, Pankaj Gogia and Keith Stein, a lawyer at Dentons in Toronto, who met through a mutual friend and began talking about the potential for a psychedelic-based drink.

Stein said his previous involvement in the cannabis industry and his entrepreneurial instincts — he helped found Simmons Records along with Gene Simmons, Belinda Stronach and Universal Music Canada and was also a founder of the Toronto Phantoms arena football team — motivated him to look into the psychedelic space. At first, he says he thought it was all about magic mushrooms and bad trips, but he was amazed at what he learned.


Article content

“I recognized that there was a real void, it was undeveloped, and it was untapped,” he said. “I also became aware of all of the benefits, like cannabis, that could be derived from this space in the shadows.”

He saw other companies were working on psychedelic products, but wasn’t sure if their business models, selling mushroom- or psilocybin-based products in international markets, would be profitable. So he brought a food science professor at New York University and a California company together to create a formula for a psychoactive but non-hallucinogenic drink. They tested the formula on hundreds of people, and they say they received positive feedback.

We’re creating a new category here. We have a real opportunity to be a pioneer from here in Canada

Keith Stein

“We’re creating a new category here,” said Stein. “We have a real opportunity to be a pioneer from here in Canada.”


Article content

Gogia, who serves as chief executive, said all of the ingredients are sourced from American vendors.

That includes kava, an herb whose extract is popular in the South Pacific (it is Fiji’s national drink) for its soothing effect but that has also raised health concerns.

While the company says it is safe to consume, there can be side effects due to the active ingredients and it is not recommended for pregnant women and breastfeeding mothers. All of Psychedelic Water’s products say 18+ on them.

Currently the product is only available to purchase online in the U.S., but they will be seeking approval from Health Canada for the beverage here at home and are looking to expand into Europe and Australia in the next little while as well.


Article content

Gogia said Psychedelic Water, which launched in February, has done $1 million in sales over the last few months. He is projecting $4 to $5 million in sales for the year, a number that could rise as more channels are brought on.

The company already has a following on TikTok, the social media site popular with millennials and Gen Zers, where its page has racked up about 24,000 followers. Gogia said the company has engaged with some influencers on the platform, but that much of its success has come from random viewers.

Gogia hopes the drink provides an alternative to alcohol-based beverages.

“This is something that people can try and have a healthier lifestyle without it affecting what they do or creating the harmful effects from alcohol,” Gogia said. “I think it’s something people should be open to trying and hopefully something that becomes part of their lifestyle.”

Financial Post



Postmedia is committed to maintaining a lively but civil forum for discussion and encourage all readers to share their views on our articles. Comments may take up to an hour for moderation before appearing on the site. We ask you to keep your comments relevant and respectful. We have enabled email notifications—you will now receive an email if you receive a reply to your comment, there is an update to a comment thread you follow or if a user you follow comments. Visit our Community Guidelines for more information and details on how to adjust your email settings.



Subscribe To Newsletter
Be the first to get latest updates and exclusive content straight to your email inbox.
Stay Updated
Give it a try, you can unsubscribe anytime.