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Psychedelics Versus Cannabis: Enter the Entrepreneurs Leading These Emerging Industries

The article Psychedelics Versus Cannabis: Enter the Entrepreneurs Leading These Emerging Industries was originally published on Microdose.

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The article Psychedelics Versus Cannabis: Enter the Entrepreneurs Leading These Emerging Industries was originally published on Microdose. Both the cannabis industry and the emerging psychedelics space are being driven forward by dynamic entrepreneurs. From fresh young minds to seasoned veterans in plant medicine, pharma, biotech, and beyond, progress across both sectors is being driven by serious talent. Many emerging psychedelic companies are being led by former cannabis entrepreneurs. As both industries continue to grow and evolve, it will be useful to explore the pioneering business leaders in the cannabis and psychedelics spaces. This month’s edition of Psychedelics Versus Cannabis will explore entrepreneurship by spotlighting significant persons driving these industries as well as comparing and contrasting cannabis entrepreneurs with those in psychedelics.

A Closer Look At How the Regulatory Landscape Appeals to Entrepreneurs

On a federal level, both cannabis and psychedelic drugs (except for ketamine) are still illegal and considered to have no accepted medical value and a high potential for abuse. However, while both sectors face regulatory roadblocks, each one has its unique advantages and challenges that shape the type of entrepreneur drawn to it. For instance, an article by Field Trip Health’s Executive Chairman Ronan Levy explains how the legal environment for psychedelics is much more transparent than that of cannabis. Ronan went on to explain that this is because the movement to medicalize psychedelics is being driven by scientific and academic research seeking regulatory approval, rather than grassroots political efforts as in the case of cannabis. How do these regulatory standards impact the type of entrepreneur who takes on such a challenge? To paraphrase Mr. Levy himself, to be a cannabis entrepreneur, one’s appetite for uncertainty has to be even greater than that of other industries. Taste for the Unknown

A Taste for the Unknown: Seeking to Build Nascent Industries

One of the most important similarities between cannabis and psychedelic entrepreneurs is their taste for the unknown. Breaking from the norm and thinking outside the box is second nature to the pioneers in these industries. This is exactly the case for Jeff Soenksen, who is a manager at an award-winning Illinois dispensary that is now seeking his license. I had the pleasure of connecting with Jeff for this article to ask him what drove him into the cannabis space.
Jeff stated that “For me, entering the cannabis sector was like an escape from the everyday workforce. It was a field I was very familiar with, but I never thought I’d be able to make a career in it. When the opportunity at a small mom-and-pop shop opened up in Colorado, back when it was medical only, I wanted to learn every aspect of the business. It was an opportunity to get ahead of the curve in a new and blossoming industry. Ever since my start in Colorado, it’s been my goal to own a cannabis business. This year our company made Leafly’s top 10 dispensaries in Illinois as the only mom and pop shop on the list. It’s the accolades like this that keep my drive going to one day have my licenses.”
Indeed, exploring the unknown is the motivating factor behind many entrepreneurs choosing to explore this space. As for Jeff, he’s certainly excited about the opportunity to think outside the box and work in the burgeoning cannabis space. To better understand the entrepreneurs on the psychedelic side of things, we had the chance to connect with Microdose CEO, Patrick Moher. He had this to say:
“Becoming an entrepreneur in the Psychedelic space was a natural evolution for me from the Cannabis industry. My entrepreneurial mission has been to combine passion, purpose, and profit in the work I do with a deep commitment to cognitive liberty. I think the healing potential of plan(e)t medicine is a profound gift that needs to be shared with the masses in a responsible and educational manner.”

Psychedelics Versus Cannabis: Enter the Entrepreneurs Leading These Emerging Industries

Meeting Significant Unmet Medical Needs

Another important similarity between entrepreneurs in these industries is their desire to meet significant unmet medical needs. Be it CBD for seizures or psilocybin for depression, plant and psychedelic medicines are filling major treatment gaps in healthcare. Mydecine Innovations Group CEO, Josh Bartch, had some wise words to share on this topic:
“I don’t think there’s a specific demographic that can benefit but more-so specific ailments that we know these substances can be effective for.”
From ketamine-assisted psychotherapy for treatment-resistant depression to MDMA-assisted psychotherapy for PTSD, psychedelics are showing major efficacy in treating serious mental illnesses. Medical cannabis, as many know, has shown to be a godsend for cancer patients undergoing chemotherapy. Indeed, it is the desire and passion to fill these treatment gaps driving many of the entrepreneurs in the space today.

Closing Thoughts on the Entrepreneurial Landscape of the Cannabis & Psychedelics Industries

Whether it’s the desire to find solutions for those suffering from unmet medical ailments or the need to work creatively in non-traditional industries, there are many parallels between the cannabis and psychedelics entrepreneur. It should come as no surprise then that many from the cannabis space have migrated to the psychedelics industry for a new challenge. Fresh perspectives, new minds, and the right motivations are what are driving the leaders of these industries today. Thanks to this, we can all expect a brighter future and a healthier tomorrow.

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