Red Light Holland, a publicly traded magic mushroom company, says it has dissolved its 14-month-old Oregon-based partnership with Halo Collective, a Canadian cannabis company, in order to pursue a new venture that it hopes will bring mushroom enthusiasts of all backgrounds into the nascent psychedelics industry.
Red Light says it ended the venture in order to focus on a new program in Oregon called “Red Light. Set. Go!” that will recruit candidates and provide them with advice and funding so they can enter the market. Shunji Smith, a Japanese American mushroom grower from Eugene, is the first participant, Red Light says.
“We’re looking for people who have been overlooked,” says Sarit Hashkes, an executive at Red Light Holland. “If we want to reach diverse clients, we must have people from diverse backgrounds in our operations.”
Hashkes says she and her colleagues were alarmed by a February survey from the Oregon Health Authority that showed very few nonwhite people being interested in the psilocybin business. A conversation with a state senator about the same phenomenon reinforced their concerns, she says.
Red Light Holland and Halo Collective announced their partnership in November 2020. They filed articles of incorporation with the Oregon Secretary of State’s Office in April 2021.
The parting was amicable, Hashkes says. “We did some nice things together.”
Halo Collective didn’t return calls or emails seeking comment. The number on Halo’s corporate website led to a woman working on the line in the collective’s Medford cannabis facility, where it produces resin, edibles and “shatter,” a concentrated cannabis extract that looks like amber. She said she would relay a message to her superiors.
A number for Halo’s interim chief financial officer, Marshall Minor, was not in service.
Red Light Holland and Halo were among the first established companies to set up psilocybin operations in Oregon after Measure 109 passed in November 2020 and legalized the regulated use of psilocybin, the psychoactive ingredient in magic mushrooms. WW wrote about the gold rush in February.
Both Red Light Holland and Halo Collective are publicly traded, and both stocks have been destroyed this year.
Red Light shares trade at 7.5 cents, down from 48 cents in February 2021. Red Light’s stock symbol is TRUFF, likely chosen because the company sells truffles in the Netherlands, according to its website, with small amounts of psilocybin made for microdosing: taking tiny amounts that purportedly improve brain performance and well-being.
Asked where the company is based, Holland or Canada (it’s not clear from the website), Hashkes said the company was “like a mycelium network” and was “pretty diffused.” A mycelium is a rootlike structure of a fungus.
The last investor report on Red Light’s website is from the third quarter of 2021.
Halo Collective shares have crashed even more spectacularly. They trade for 41 cents, down from a whopping $1,194 in April 2019. Just today, the company replaced its CEO. Katharyn Field took over for Kiran Sidhu, the company says. Field will oversee a change in strategy, Halo says. Now, the company will focus on California, abandoning less profitable markets.