Oakland psychedelic medicine advocates are inviting psychonauts, therapists, plant medicine business owners, and anyone else who believes in the future of entheogenic medicine to attend California's first annual psychedelic conference.
The two-day California Psychedelic Conference, which will be held in Los Angeles on April 23 and 24, will highlight the psychedelic renaissance now sweeping the country. The event will feature discussions led by mycology experts, chemists, psychedelic medicine workers and therapists, policymakers, and more. Attendees are invited to check out a variety of panels discussing topics like mushroom cultivation, sex and psychedelics, harm reduction, and psychedelic parenting and maternity.
CA Psychedelic Conference & Psilocybin Cup Founder Reggie Harris
The conference was set up by Oakland Hyphae, a Black-led grassroots business dedicated to providing educational resources for plant-based medicines. In 2019, shortly after Denver decriminalized mushrooms, Oakland became the first US city to decriminalize the personal possession and use of Earth-grown psychedelics. Local activists are currently working on separate campaigns to fully legalize psychedelics ceremonies and even retail sales.
“This isn’t another event centered around Ivy League-educated white males who work in Biotech or Pharma, and have never tripped before,” said Reggie Harris, founder of Oakland Hyphae and the California Psychedelic Conference, in a press release. “We’re featuring REAL people from the community, some of whom have been in the psychedelic game for decades.”
Even a decade ago, the field of psychedelic medicine was generally considered to be a fringe idea best discussed on obscure internet forums. Today, it has become a global movement, backed by major research institutions, politicians, and even the US government. Federal officials have signed off on comprehensive clinical trials that could lead to the legalization of psilocybin- and MDMA-assisted therapy as early as next year. Corporations are now starting to invest in this rapidly-growing industry, but Harris hopes the conference will convince communities to advocate for local, community-led solutions instead.
“If the community remains passive, the future of psychedelics (particularly mushrooms) could become a capitalist nightmare,” Oakland Hyphae explained in a statement. “The mission of the CA Psychedelic Conference is to keep that from happening by centering the voices of those in the Legacy Community — the people who were doing this work before it was decriminalized — to ensure their existence isn’t erased as psychedelics become mainstream.”
The goal of the event is to ensure that the people of the community have a voice. That's why attendees will hear from the world's best mushroom cultivators and mycological minds (yes, even mushroom extraction artists), policy writers and advisors, and harm reduction specialists — all of whom see a future in which mushrooms and plant medicine are protected from capitalism by the community.
“There would be no psychedelic community without the legacy community, PERIOD,” said Harris in a press release. “These people have put their lives on the line and built this culture for us to be a part of. In a day and age when we talk about ‘Land Back’ and Reparations, we have a unique opportunity to structure the psychedelic landscape in a way that will center the people who built this entire thing on their backs, who’ve been to jail and had their families split up. We should be rewarding them for taking those risks. That’s what we’re doing at the CA Psychedelic Conference.”
The event will be held at the East Angel event space in Los Angeles from April 23rd to the 24th. See you there!