Mushrooms in the Park?

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Pledging to reopen fully July 1, the strangely unimposing six-foot-five NYC mayor, Bill de Blasio, declared this “the summer of New York” at a news conference Thursday.

“We’re all going to get to enjoy the city again, and people are going to flock here from all over the country to be a part of this amazing moment,” said de Blasio.

From all over the country? Sounds like a plan. I mean, what could possibly go wrong? Now, don’t misunderstand me. I am as much for reopening as anyone; having both been infected by Covid-19 and vaccinated, I am a walking antibody—for certain strains, anyway. We should open here in New York and enjoy the summer; it will not be long before another strain starts to spread and brings all the fun, albeit temporarily, to a halt. Particularly if the unvaccinated continue to act moronically.

But this will not be the same New York. As The New York Times pointed out, the hospitality industry does not expect tourism to return to where it was before the pandemic for years to come. And what of the famous and vital subway system? Transit officials do not expect that to rebound until 2024. 

All this may be bad for business and the city’s bottom line, but I look forward to a potentially more interesting city: I would rather see boarded-up storefronts than more Au Bon Pains and Bank of Americas. Seriously, how bad does the virus have to be to return us to the 70s? Not forever, just long enough to turn that Bank of America financial center into Studio 54. 

Girls in their summer dresses doing shrooms

Anyway, this should be a good summer. There is plenty to do. You can go to bars or movies or the theater or, if you are a tourist or just have bad taste, you can hang out at Applebee’s (NYSE: DIN) or Olive Garden (NYSE: DRI) on 42nd street and take pictures of all the lights and masks in Times Square. Both these stocks are long-term buys as most places in the country are not New York and when they do reopen fully, so will these perennial favorites. However, I do not expect much short-term upside to either stock. As for me, I’ll be in the park doing mushrooms—and investing in these psychedelic stocks. 

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In truth, I had a bad experience with mushrooms a long time ago and, in light of a weak ego structure, I have been afraid to go back. But, like the “Summer of George,” this will be the “Summer of Greg.” In other words, I am going to try them again. 

As for the psychedelic stock space, I think it is where cannabis was years ago, representing a significant upside to investors. In the fall, I recommended MindMed (Nasdaq: MNMD). Since then, the stock moved to the Nasdaq and, after an initial surge, faltered. 

Still, the stock has doubled since I recommended it. MindMed has multiple products in Phase 2a clinical trials or better including its LSD microdosing project for the treatment of ADHD. Another one of its LSD projects is in Phase 2b trials for the treatment of anxiety. 

Another psychedelic stock I like is Compass Pathways (Nasdaq: CMPS) which shot up to $61.69 per share in December, more than triple its IPO price of $17. 

But Compass has been on a slide since the middle of February, with growth stocks slumping on fears of rising interest rates. Currently, the London-based company is conducting a Phase 2b clinical trial using its psilocybin-based therapy. The trial involves 216 individuals with treatment-resistant depression. According to Compass, it plans to post data from the trial by the end of the year.

Last but not least, I like Lobe Sciences (OTC: GTSIF), particularly because, like me, it has completely divested out of cannabis, according to the company. If psychedelics are the new cannabis stocks, then such a move makes perfect sense. 

Currently, the Vancouver-based company is conducting a preclinical study with the University of Miami for the treatment of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and is also developing a Nasal Mist device. Last week, the company, which again has yet to enter into clinical trials, announced that is establishing a joint venture with Core One Labs Inc. (OTC: CLABF) for the development of biosynthetic psilocybin, as well as “other psychedelic compounds.”

What if you don’t want to do mushrooms in the park or invest in them?

Well, you could always see a movie and buy AMC (NYSE: AMC). But, as far as I am concerned, the only less compelling investment than paying to see yet another summer blockbuster featuring yet another caped crusader is buying AMC stock. What about Broadway? You can invest in Broadway theatre by investing in Walt Disney Co (NYSE: DIS), a long-term buy in my view set to move higher this summer as parks and theatrical productions reopen. Most of the reopening expectations are currently priced-in, but Disney is going to be a winner and should move past $200 per share by end of the year. 

Whatever you decide, let me know. I’ll be in the park buying crypto and mushroom stocks while listening to Joe Rogan. 

Welcome to summer in New York in the year 2021. 

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