Billions of investment dollars have poured into legal cannabis over the past few years, and given the surge of interest in alternative forms of medicine, specifically psychedelics, psilocybin (magic mushrooms), might be coming back in a big way.
Psychedelic medical research entered a decline in the late 1960s once the recreational use of psychedelic drugs became stigmatized due to the counterculture movement. By the mid-1970s, governments around the world had started to criminalize substances like mushrooms, ketamine, and MDMA.
Change seems to be on the horizon, indicated by the following shifts:
The year 2020 is when we will see big shifts is the wave of psychedelic decriminalization across the U.S. Last year, Oakland, California, and Denver, Colorado, became the first US cities to decriminalize magic mushrooms.
Decriminalize Nature (DN) — an organization using an open-source format (encouraging self-reliance and information sharing) to help communities gain access to psychedelics and begin healing — is helping to lead that movement. Their nonprofit, ERIE (Entheogenic Research, Integration, and Education) addresses the need for therapy used in tandem with psychedelics for a truly transformative and lasting change in one’s life. The need for guidance and therapeutic, holistic approaches to wellbeing is based on their philosophy that healing comes through community connection, support, and positive repeatable experiences.
The “Shroom Boom”
This information is then reflected in something called “the shroom boom.” Investors are taking notice of the seemingly impending shifts in the medical field. The Yield Growth Corp, for instance, announced in late 2019 that its wholly-owned subsidiary Flourish Mushroom Labs Inc. has completed the acquisition of a catalog of mushroom formulas as the foundation of a mushroom edibles business. Around the same time, Field Trip Ventures Inc., the world’s first integrated company in legal psychedelics and psychedelic-assisted psychotherapy, announced entry into a strategic partnership with the University of the West Indies, Mona, Jamaica to create the world’s first legal research and cultivation facility dedicated to psilocybin-producing mushrooms.
The medical system
Investment is fuelling clinical trials promising therapy for treatment-resistant anxiety and depression. According to a study published in the Journal of Psychopharmacology, a single dose of magic mushrooms can reduce cancer-related mental health issues in the long term. Magic mushrooms could also be particularly helpful for those with cigarette and alcohol addiction. The groundbreaking research is capturing the public’s attention and helping discussions rooted in science (rather than anecdotes) to enter the mainstream.
The rise of retreats
Finally, the therapeutic benefits of magic mushrooms are intersecting with retreats that offer the opportunity for connection and healing in a safe, legal space. One VICE article published in 2018 about the rise of magic mushrooms retreats said: These 21st-century retreats signal a cross between a luxurious spa and a professional therapy centre, where psychedelic mushrooms serve as tuning fork for a higher state of being in a guided setting.
The founders of Rise Wellness Retreat have also co-founded Sansero Life Sciences — an emerging player in the psychedelics life sciences industry. Sansero Life Sciences aims to bring to market pharmaceutical microdosing formulations to replace the first line of treatments for depression and ADHD. Whether looking for spiritual growth or to help boost creativity, professionals, veterans, old and young alike are turning to retreats like Rise Wellness in Jamaica to find deeper meaning in their lives.
In a world where our value is increasingly defined by our output — how long we work, who we know, how many projects we’re juggling– microdosing is on the same list of biohacking trends known to cities famed for its intersection of creativity and development, such as Silicon Valley. Home to some of the most intelligent and innovative workers on the planet competing in a hyper-fast and focused environment, they are constantly seeking new ways to achieve optimum productivity by optimizing the potentials of the mind and body as quickly as possible. If anyone were to be aware of the potentials of microdosing, it would be them — and the rest of the world is wise to catch on, or at the very least, take it into consideration.
Often, the experience of microdosing can be transformative for the sole sake of removing one from typical patterns of thought. With the brain in a state of increased connectivity, you can reflect and change in a much more direct manner than you would normally. This state offers a chance for deep reflection, healing, growth, and problem-solving. At the very least, a sense of peace or “one-ness” with the world.
From clinical trials, investment opportunities, and group gatherings focused on healing and connection, magic mushrooms will be the hot topic of 2020 and our prediction is that “microdosing” will be the word of the year.