Oakland Hyphae, the founders of the California Psychedelic Conference and the Psilocybin Cup, is hosting the second annual Oakland Psychedelic Conference at the Agency Oakland venue space on September 17 & 18, 2022.
The psychedelic landscape is currently in flux, and it’s critical to centralize BIPOC, grassroots, and legacy voices in the discourse around plant policy and culture. The Oakland Hyphae platform was built for these communities — the people on the ground floor of the psychedelics movement. While Horizons has become a measuring stick for conventions in the space, the Hyphae team uses it as a reference point of what not to be: Another white, male-dominated gathering of the suits and ties.
“We’ve said it before, and we’ll say it again: Conferences like Horizons lack diversity and are dominated by big money,” says Reggie Harris, founder of Oakland Hyphae, and producer of the Oakland Psychedelic Conference. “We are here to offer a more community-oriented, less extractive, less capitalist type of gathering. We are dedicated to setting the bar for diversity, excellence, and inclusion in the psychedelics space.”
This iteration of the Oakland Psychedelic Conference will feature an array of boundary-pushing discussions led by some of the world’s leading minds in sacred medicine, including William Padilla-Brown, David Bronner, Willy Myco, Sandor Iron Rope, the Ancestor Project, Ed Rosenthal, Nina Parks, Amber Senter, Tim Blake, Alan Rockefeller, and many more.
“We have continued to push the envelope on what we offer at our conference,” Harris says. “I know we’re doing something right because now there are other groups emulating the format and content of our workshops and panels. The reality is you can’t reproduce the authenticity inherent in genuine grassroots spaces.”
Oakland Hyphae’s events simmer with business opportunities, too. Many brands currently on the market planted their seeds at previous Hyphae psychedelic conferences and are examples of how to operate ethically within a capitalist culture.
“Oakland Hyphae events are organic networks and draw the most prominent and influential mushroom advocates in the country,” says Robert Johnson, founder of Mycroboost functional mushroom supplements. “Each event has been bigger than the last, and you can witness the emergence of an industry in real-time. Nowhere else can you meet people who have been doing the work for decades who will soon receive mainstream recognition as overnight successes.”
The two-day conference is designed to unite the community and give people tools to shape an inclusive and dynamic future for plant medicine.
“We have to make sure we’re all on the same page,” says Harris. “A lot is happening in plant medicine. We have San Francisco that just decriminalized, SB 519 just went down, and we’ve got stuff happening on the federal level with psilocybin. It’s important for us to deepen and expand community connections and build ethical business players in the space. That’s why we are doing this.”