Homegrown Business: Bill Panagiotakopoulos of Safe Supply

Safe Supply is pioneering a groundbreaking approach to drug reform by legally and responsibly managing the supply of substances traditionally found in the illicit market. We spoke with the company’s founder to learn more about their innovative efforts to combat the opioid crisis, invest in mental health and addiction recovery, and build a safer, healthier future.

Homegrown Business: Bill Panagiotakopoulos of Safe Supply

What is your business called and what does it do?

Safe Supply is the world’s first company to invest in the legal and regulated supply of drugs that traditionally have been accessible only through the illicit drug market. Our company is deploying capital in the third wave of drug reform, specifically on:

  • Coca leaf – building the facilities to legally produce, process and import/export
  • Technology – to help secure the existing drug supply like fentanyl test strips
  • Clinics – investing in mental health and addiction recovery centers
  • Research – focused on innovation with marginalized plant medicines

What made you want to do this work?

In 2023, 74,000 Americans have died from fentanyl-related overdoses and in the past decade, 1,200,000 have died from the opioid epidemic. I believe drug use alone isn’t the issue, it is the proliferation of contaminated supply that has significantly accelerated the drug-use-related death rate and I wanted to contribute to changing that.

What problem did you want to solve with the business?

Our team is bringing a responsible end to the war on drugs, which has cost over $1T, millions of lives, and a toxic drug supply. We are doing so by investing and incubating companies across the ecosystem to address the physical, financial and emotional damage from drug abuse.

Implement a much smarter, simpler policy such as a “legalize, regulate and educate” model so the U.S. could ensure that all drugs are as safe as possible, educate people to use them as safely as possible and tax them to help build infrastructure where people need additional support.

Who are your clientele/demographics?

Global healthcare / mental health industry
Addiction / pharmaceutical community
Government / legislators / policy movers

How does your business make money? How does it work?

From developing the facilities to analyze, manufacture and distribute psychoactive compounds including the coca plant, to investing in the research and innovation to harness the potential and minimize the harm of these medicines to constructing the clinical infrastructure to ensure safe and responsible access and treatment, our team at Safe Supply is building a platform of tightly woven companies that will help save millions of lives and build a safer, healthier post-war on drugs world.

Our strategy focuses on investing and incubating companies across the ecosystem, with investment structures that will generate short- term revenues to Safe Supply while also preserving value accretion as our investee companies grow. Through our streaming model, our company will not only benefit from capital appreciation in its portfolio, but will also benefit from commercial transactions through royalties and advantageous terms on portfolio companies’ products and services.

Where in the city can we find your profession?

Woodbridge, ON

What is the best part about what you do? What is the worst part?

The best part is working alongside pioneers of the cannabis and psychedelic industries to create this third wave of drug policy reform as well as working with the companies in our ecosystem to build a safer, healthier post-war on drugs world.

The worst part is the challenge of the public’s understanding of the space. There is a lot of money here and a lot of opportunity, people just need to understand that. Looking at these opportunities and being in a good position to execute on them is where we stand.

What is your favourite joke about your own profession?

The fact that people don’t know Coca-Cola contained cocaine in the 1800’s!

Where can we follow you?

You can check out Safe Supply’s website, and follow us on Instagram, and LinkedIn

PAY IT FORWARD: What is another local business that you love?

Harbour Solutions


About Joel Levy 2601 Articles
Editor-In-Chief at Toronto Guardian. Photographer and Writer for Toronto Guardian and Joel Levy Photography