5 Reasons I Switched To The Psychedelic Business
A former cannabis executive finds new life and meaning in psychedelics.
After attending Burning Man in 2018, I decided to leave the cannabis space and create the first psychedelic wellness brand, Delic. My partner, Jackee Stang, and I are seasoned executives in the cannabis space, but we felt it was time to transition and use the lessons learned in cannabis and apply them to the emerging psychedelic space. Burning Man, 2018, is when Delic journeyed from fun idea to brick and mortar.
Here are five reasons why I decided to leave cannabis and move to psychedelics.
1. Psychedelics made a huge impact on our lives.
Psychedelics have always been a part of my adult life, including my professional history. Most notably, my partner and I were both executives at High Times, which originated in the 70s as a place to get people high, not just as a magazine to disseminate information about cannabis.
In my personal experience, psychedelics have done more for my wife in a few years of using them in a clinical setting than 20 years of traditional psychotherapy or SSRIs did for her. My first-hand experience of watching her positive change in anxiety and depression has been extremely motivating to help others achieve the same benefits. My love for the plants and the potential value they can bring to our society has turned into a deep passion for educating people and helped destigmatize and normalize the substances.
2. The benefits of psychedelics is in the research.
If we look at the state of the Universe, it is quite remarkable that humans exist in the first place and can communicate and love one another. Despite the cosmic beauty of our existence and the amazing things that happen in the world every day in front of our eyes, we are stuck in a societal mental health epidemic.
Even before COVID, our society has been living in a mental health epidemic. A person commits suicide every 40 seconds around the globe. Mental health issues like anxiety and depression are pervasive throughout our society, affecting people regardless of age or background. Not only is the issue widespread, but the current treatments are not adequate and often only cover up the symptoms rather than treat the underlying cause.
More university and government-backed studies are looking into the benefits of psychedelic-assisted psychotherapy in the U.S. than studies are looking into cannabis. These studies have had remarkable results for treatment-resistant depression, PTSD, anxiety, and other mental health conditions. The data shows us that the medical and research fields are taking this seriously, which tends to be an early sign of something becoming mainstream and universally accepted.
3. We can learn from our mistakes.
Everyone in the US universally agrees with the First Amendment freedoms, but cognitive freedom is not one of those fundamental freedoms. By cognitive freedom, we mean the freedom for individuals to control their consciousness, including psychoactive substances like psychedelics. If we don’t have the freedom to control our consciousness, how can we ever truly have freedom of speech?
The caveat to cognitive freedom is we live in a civilized society and need to keep each other safe. To do this, rules, boundaries, limitations, and regulations are sometimes necessary. In cannabis, we saw rapid regulations created mainly by people who didn’t understand cannabis or the experience it creates. We want to take this lesson learned and make sure the psychedelic industry doesn’t make the same mistake, which is why we’re proud to be one of the leaders in psychedelic education. We are striving to make sure everyone can have cognitive freedom to maximize safety between all of us.
4. The cannabis bubble burst
While some analysts were still predicting a bullish market for cannabis, we became aware that the green bubble was getting ready to burst several years ago, in a similar parallel to the dot com bubble. Cannabis companies had massive losses, advertising and branding dollars weren’t generating brand awareness, especially in Canada, and high valuations didn’t accurately reflect companies’ performance.
The public markets were dropping with investors losing confidence, and smaller companies felt the strain of the regulatory hurdles and lack of access to standard business services like banking. In our eyes, the next natural step from cannabis was the psychedelic industry, and we wanted to take our lessons learned and apply them to the new market, so we don’t make the same mistakes.
5. The sky’s the limit.
When looking at cannabis, we’re talking about a single plant that can be broken down into over 100 different cannabinoids, each with their own physiological effects and potential medical and health and wellness benefits.
Most people think of psychedelics as only a handful of substances, but the sky is the limit for this unique class of drugs in reality. Within psychedelics, we can look at different categories like tryptamines, phenethylamines, lysergamides, or dissociatives. Each of these distinct categories has dozens of substances and analogs within them. Each of those substances has its unique effect, similar to how every cannabinoid has its outcome.
This market will need to approach regulating many different substances that do other things for different people. It will behoove us to take our time and learn about each substance in various trials and experiments. We are excited to be at the forefront of educating people about all psychedelic substances, not just the popular ones.