The world’s premier psychedelic medical conference doubled in size this year as Microdose Wonderland returned to Miami.
The themes contributing to Year One felt like they had all been turned up a notch, but evenly. It never felt like it leaned entirely in the direction of science or money because the two are so intertwined in the psychedelic space. Much of the time, it was a celebration of both. There were 44 companies exhibiting, from magazines to labs that sell MDMA.
Much like last year, the event was a crossroads for all the new psychedelic data of the past 12 months. This new data included everything from the most extensive LSD microdosing clinical trials yet where 40 men received either six weeks’ worth of doses or the placebo. After administering 1,102 microdoses over the course of the study, the researchers found credible evidence of an increase in energy, wellness, creativity, happiness and connectedness. And that’s just a sliver of the various presentations the experts gave over the three days about their latest findings.
Joining the scientists and billionaires across the two stages were representatives from various indigenous cultural groups who use entheogenic plants in their spiritual practices. The lineup included Chicago-based Dogon Priest Naba IriTah Shenmira, Apache elder LánéSaán Moonwalker, and Chief Mapu Huni Kuin from the heart of the Amazon Jungle. The trio would join the other indigenous representatives in leading ceremonies throughout the weekend that one might not expect to find at a business conference. But they were a hit; the plastic bubble that would transform for ceremonies between sound baths was full for three days straight. At the very least, a healthy sign that some in the psychedelic space is trying to understand the roots of its healing traditions.
Microdose’s Award Show was another highlight of the weekend. Paul Stamets took home a lifetime achievement award. Cybin, who we covered in January, took home psilocybin company of the year.
We caught up with Microdose’s leadership during the weekend to see how its biggest event yet was going. Patrick Moher, Microdose’s president, told L.A. Weekly the fact he could show up on time for day three was a sure sign things were running smoothly.
Moher went on to speak about maintaining the balance in the voices present.
“We really want this to be kind of a sounding board that represents what’s happening in the industry, proportional representation, diversity and programming. Even just cognitive abilities, it’s really important that we really drill down on that.
Moher was particularly hyped that Microdose’s Director of Event Production Kristina Spionjakfor was able to get the FDA to participate.
“That was, I think, huge,” Moher said.
As was the event compared to last year, Moher said it had basically doubled in every metric. The biggest surprise to him in this year’s upscaling? How generous the psychedelic community was with its resources in taking Wonderland to a new level.
We asked Moher if the rapidly expanding world of ketamine therapy, on clear display at the conference, would help normalize the idea of psychedelic therapy to other substances?
“I think, honestly, it’s doing a really good job and I think there’s going be a big boom after that,” Moher replied.
The biggest surprise for Microdose’s CEO Connor Haslam was just how much some of the companies had scaled up in the past year.
“I was talking to one company and they were talking last year, they brought three people. Now they’re bringing eight and their entire platform has completely changed from the ground up,” Haslam told L.A. Weekly. “And so many other companies have done that, where they’ve been able to develop products and come up with ideas and then get something at least close to fruition and close to market rather quickly. That has been incredibly productive.”
We conducted almost 20 interviews at the conference, so keep an eye out for our continuing coverage in the weeks ahead.
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