Dive into the world of psychedelics with our guest Joe Moore, CEO of Psychedelics Today. With over 20 years of experience in software and a pioneering spirit, Joe delves into the inception and evolution of Psychedelics Today.
Discover Joe’s unique perspective on the industry’s growth, challenges, and potential, as well as his thoughts on fostering unity and change within the evolving landscape of psychedelics.
Eric & Isaac dive deep psychedelics history, their therapeutic potential, and the challenges faced by this rapidly evolving field.
From their origins to modern applications, we discuss the diverse uses of psychedelics, their impact on mental health, and the efforts to overcome obstacles in the path to legalization. Psychedelics Today has shown a light on this since its inception.
Tune in to discover the latest insights, anecdotes, and conversations that shed light on the past, present, and future of psychedelics.
Hey Joe, how are we doing today? Thanks for joining us on the, uh, roots to Risk podcast. Appreciate your time.
Absolutely. I’m doing great today. How about you guys?
Doing well, doing well. Excited to, we actually took a little bit of a hiatus ’cause we, we did a lot early on, and yours is the first of, uh, the first one back, so we’re super excited to get back into the, the thick of it. And, um, obviously, you know, we’re very familiar with psychedelics today and, and what you’ve built, uh, really tremendous. And we’d love to just get a little bit more on background of psychedelics today and, and really, you know, your journey into the space.
Yeah, great. Um, happy to lay that out. So I started, uh, well, let’s talk about what it is and then I’ll backtrack. So Psychedelics Day is a media and education company. We’ve had about 5.5 million downloads so far in our podcast. We’ve had hundreds of students through our really amazing programs. I think, uh, probably approaching 13,000 students enrolled in our e-learning platform, which is amazing. And, um, we’re almost at that a hundred K mark on Instagram. Let’s hope we can keep our account alive, <laugh>, uh, and not take too many, uh, meta risks, you know?
So <laugh>, is that a thing in cannabis? People lose in their Instagram accounts, stuff like that? Oh, yeah. Yeah.
I also feel like everyone these days, Zuck is, uh, cutting people’s Instagrams left and right.
Zuck cut. Yeah, it’s tough. So, um, <laugh>, it’s almost like a waves world thing. All right. So, um, amazing, you know, uh, company we developed because we wanted to, um, raise the profile of, uh, the originator of L s d psychotherapy, Dr. Stanislav gr and his work in transpersonal psychology and also holotropic breath work. This kind of our, our three pillars. It wasn’t being discussed enough, and me and my co-founder, Kyle Buller, decided why don’t we just start a podcast and figure that out?
And that was about seven and a half years ago. So rewinding the tape, um, philosophy student from New Hampshire. Um, the first book we got assigned was Holographic Universe, which was kind of talking about edge cases in science that made science look really weird. And, um, I loved it. It was great. And then there was, uh, a couple sections about L s D psychotherapy in the book.
And I just 2001 as a freshman in, um, in my state school, you know, went to the library, said, I, this kind of sounds like bull, so I have to go validate <laugh>, so let me go to the library. And we had a whole bunch of the books there. So I, at the same time I was studying, um, computer science and philosophy. I’m studying clinical l s d psychotherapy. I had no access by the way to psychedelics for years. So I jumped in a ho breathwork, loved it. Um, did it for years and years in, uh, southern Vermont. And, uh, then yeah, eventually started taking the big plunge into the psychedelic landscape.
And that was also extraordinary and everything I had hoped for. Yeah. So, um, 20 year career in software in the middle there, <laugh>. And then, um, thankfully right before Covid, I made the, the jump to do this full-time.
Uh, and my business partner, Kyle, he, um, is a therapist, studied a transpersonal psychology and somatic psychology, and he kind of like holds us down more on the clinical side. I, I try to lean in, specialize in the more philosophical side and technical side. Maybe a little bit of legal stuff as well. Uh, I had fantasies of being a lawyer in my early days, thankful I didn’t end up there, but, uh, you know, it would’ve been fun probably too. So, um, that’s, uh, that’s kind of the origin story. Yeah. And we started selling classes to college kids, like, and, um, then doctors started showing up to those courses designed for college kids.
And then, uh, we decided we really needed to professionalize and, and keep making better options. And then, um, in the last couple years, we decided to compete head on with the biggest training institutions in the space, um, by developing our vital program, which is, um, a 12 month training program. And the intent was to compete head on with the maps training program and the, the c I I s training program, which we don’t think are fully adequate. They are the biggest, best known, um, training operations in the space, but they’re, they’re certainly not hitting all of the needs that people have.
And we try to be a little more holistic. So that’s the four minute, 22nd version. <laugh>. Yeah.
I love it. I mean, I guess, you know, you kind of hinted at it a little bit with the more holistic approach, but what has been like the biggest change you guys have focused on and the courses you were offering since the early days? Was the early days just like initial education now it’s more on the clinical side. Like what’s that journey look like?
Yeah, it’s, it’s pretty much that. So we wanted to, our initial intent was what would we have wanted when we were in our undergrad? We would’ve wanted a little bit of mentorship, some sort of theoretical framework and some way to be safe and some way to like bring it back together. ’cause some people can go a little far out on psychedelics, um, especially when there’s overuse. And in universities that can happen quite a bit ’cause there’s, it’s a really great environment for psychedelic use. Um, and yeah, eventually we started adding on stuff that clinicians were interested in.
So like, how are you gonna do this in a therapy context? How are you gonna work with somebody when they come back from Peru? So like, yeah, say you’re a psychologist and all of a sudden 20% of your clients are talking about psychedelics and, and they’re interest in them and they’re, they’re just doing them.
Like they’re not asking you to help them, but all of a sudden they come back, they’re still your clients, but they went through some pretty wild experiences, how are you gonna work with them? And that’s kind of how we started to frame that. And, um, yeah, now we’re even doing continuing ed credits, like validated through, uh, a p a, like we can serve nurses, therapists, and psychologists, and I think social workers and I think, uh, even Canadian clinicians can transfer those as well, which is pretty neat. Um, but yeah, it went from kind of like serving a really lay young population to now we’re teaching super high-end physicians all over the world.
That’s incredible. I’ll have to, uh, I’ll have to definitely get my wife on that. My wife’s a clinical psychologist.
And definitely have to, um, show her some of the content. Hopefully she can participate. She is studying for her licensing exam right now, so I don’t know if she wants to go through another course, but, uh, maybe down the road. Um, but no, I mean, Joe, like you’ve obviously been in this space for quite some time, you know, I guess what’s the biggest like, transformation, you know, that you’ve seen and, and now looking at it today and, and seeing like states like Oregon, you know, starting to come online, Colorado, decriminalizing it, you know, creating framework.
Massachusetts is looking into it, um, as we speak. So like, you know, from your perspective as you know, I would say an expert in the field, like, you know, what are you most excited about? Uh, what are you most scared about? You know, um, any, any thoughts there?
Right. So, um, I’m most excited about the gigantic amount of diversity I’m seeing and things popping up. Um, so not only are psychedelic religions popping up all over the place, but there’s new indications that people are looking at diseases and, and whatnot. So that’s really amazing, uh, to see progress there. Like I heard a story of somebody with this really crazy like, uh, face infection and, and something stopped working up here, and then they did one dose of a psychedelic and it all came back like, not necessarily even with the intent.
And, uh, you know, what is that? So it’s not just about P T S D, depression, anorexia, you know, it’s, it’s about so much more. Um, and that’s what I’m excited about is people are seeing that it’s not just a clinical tool. It’s, um, a tool that can be used for so many things from social bonding to, uh, rites of passage to, you know, celebration.
Right. And, you know, just like cannabis kind of redefined the space of celebration and, you know, we’re seeing cannabis weddings and, uh, you know, really, really amazing things coming in that world. We’re gonna see similarly amazing things coming from the psychedelic world once things get a little more developed. And, um, yeah. And I think we already are, right. So I, I see it as a way to help us through the climate crisis and, um, a few other big things. So that’s what I’m really excited about, unlocking human potential to solve our biggest problems.
Um, and then scared. I’m a little nervous about the medical dominance, um, that might be coming, but I’m doing my best along with many other <laugh> people to make sure that this is never going to be the exclusive purview of medicine. Um, and, you know, the, there’s things like you’ve, you’ve all been following probably the Canadian mushroom shop busts.
Mm-hmm. <affirmative>, like, you know, they get a fine, they get shut down and rated. They pay the fine, they open up like the next day or the next week, right. It’s amazing. Um, and they just don’t have a drug war in the same way we do. So I’m, I’m excited about that kind of stuff. Um, I’m nervous about people going to prison for sure. So that’s really ugly. And, you know, medicine has proven itself to be in line with the state, right? Helping put competitors in jail. That’s kind of, uh, a big part of the apparatus of <laugh> of the American infrastructure here. So like, how do we, how do we, uh, use people and get people like moms, like I think the microdosing moms groups and the veterans groups are some of the biggest, most important hedges against, you know, biotech saying, no, you can’t have mushrooms anymore, or you can’t have l s D ever.
You know, and so like moms should have the right to heal in the way they think is best for them and their family, right? Some moms really wanna do mushrooms instead of taking antidepressants, and shouldn’t that be their right. You know, as sober and free individuals in America, right? Uh, <laugh> debatable, depending on what judge you talk to, but it’s, um, you know, it’s a big deal. And veterans, likewise, veterans, the country that they served should be helping them. And if they’re not helping them and they have to get out of the country to act and to get the healing they need, like that something is really messed up in our incentive structure, right?
So we need to fix that. So that’s a really big thing for me. I did some lobbying with Psychedelic Medicine Coalition in DC along with, uh, whizz Buckley, who’s, um, retired fighter, pilot trainer, like Top Gun instructor for the Navy. And, um, it was amazing to see what a veteran’s firsthand testimony can do for, for senators in terms of improving that, that conversation in DC and getting us, um, better lined up for better federal funding for research and, and keeping this project rolling.
So yeah, it’s o overall more optimistic than pessimistic. Like I’m not really scared about too much. Like it is gonna be a shit show for the next seven years, and we just know that and we will land somewhere great on the other side, in my opinion.
Yeah. Have you have, do you know, um, Jesse Gold at all from Heroic Cards project?
Yeah, I really like Jesse Gold. We got to actually got to hang out with him at your offices in New York a few months back. Mm-hmm.
Oh, nice. Yeah. And Jesse were, uh, grabbing, grabbing drinks and, uh, in the foreseeable future. But yeah, like to your point, right, I think, you know, he saw an opportunity where we could properly represent, you know, veterans suffering from P T S D and, and other ailments, right? In helping facilitate psychedelic retreats to, to assist with their therapy, right? Um, but we, we need more organizations like that. And I think a little bit more funding going into that, right? Um, you know, to your point, um, which is, uh, yeah, I mean the, the one thing though is like, you know, we always look at, you know, how slow sometimes the progress can be or the frustrations right?
In like, you know, something that’s schedule one now coming mainstream. But if you look at it, you know, from when you initially started this seven and a half years ago, it has to be pretty amazing to see, you know, the strides that it’s taken and where it is today, like seven. And you’re like, you know, there’s gonna be a psilocybin program in Oregon, right? Um, and, and things like that, which is, which is tremendous. Um, you know, there’s, there’s a groundbreaking moves.
Exactly. It’s a, it’s a big deal. And like, I really hope Oregon can be really successful and scale that really well. I don’t know how they’re doing. I, I feel like it’s slower than people wanted it to be. I think they probably didn’t allocate enough funds to get it off the ground. Um, and they kind of underestimated how expensive it was gonna be to actually set those guys up. Um, and I’m really more optimistic about Colorado. I think Colorado will try to try its best to make a sustainable, great program, um, that’s gonna, you know, really do well and really lead the way.
Um, our decrim frame here is extraordinary. So I think it’s what psilocybin D M T at Boca and, um, masculine, not including peyote, um, all have been decriminalized to the point where people can actually operate. I people should check with lawyer first.
People can operate at a small scale, um, without legal consequences. Um, you can’t sell those substances, but you can possess and transfer and you’re allowed to charge for some services. I think, I think there’s gonna be something like in Colorado there, what was it the, since you guys are kind of cannabis, I, I kind of like bring the cannabis analogies in. I think there was what m e d like marijuana enforcement division here in Colorado. Like, it was more about tax violations, like, are you following the rules enough?
Um, and I think eventually we might see some issues where people get too big and they might get like, beat up a little bit by the state for, you know, tax avoidance or something like that. But I really think if they’re operating small and carefully, like probably gonna be fine. Uh, but then there will be a legal regulated clinical model where you can buy tested, validated product. You can use it in a clinic, um, or, or sorry, validated location. It, it could be a clinic, it might be a non-clinical situation too. It’s awesome. It’s really great.
And, um, it’s, we’re so early that it’s not gonna be perfect, but at least it’s a lot better than what we have right now,
For sure. No, I’m, I’m curious to get your thoughts too, um, um, you know, tying back into Canvas, obviously ton of roadblocks going right there, right now, but what are the biggest like immediate roadblocks you see for the psychedelics industry and like, what’s causing, um, headaches within people who are really trying to lobby and push the entire industry forward?
I think the biggest thing slowing everybody down is the, um, provincial attitudes. So we need a lot more unity in this space. Um, a lot of people are fighting over small stakes when, you know, the real, the real, uh, you know, David Goliath situation and the Goliath is like the healthcare apparatus, the American Medical Association, um, the, the D e A, um, the National Science Foundation, like how do we actually get cash to do research here?
And so a lot of these groups probably would be best served by having a coalition serving to bring, you know, serving the conjoined needs of multiple nonprofits as opposed to just fighting over table scraps. You know, the amount of money we’re asking for is small when we compare it to like ag or oil subsidies. Um, so we need to really keep that in mind, or, or how much we’re spending on war, right?
Like we need to, we’re not spending for the total cost of war right now, and we really need to be doing that. Like, we’re not taking care of people in the way we need to, so we need to like finish the job by taking care of the people when they get home. And that’s a big thing that we need to, you know, consider. There’s also some issues around the drug war generally, like, um, that kind of trouble me. I think people need to really consider, yeah, of course we need psychedelic legalization, decriminalization, we need, you know, better science here, but we also would be really well served as a country, as a planet if we spent less on the drug war incarcerating people for nonviolent legal offenses that really shouldn’t be crimes to begin with, right?
Like, we’re not hurting people. And you know, a lot of these people are trying to just keep themselves and each other safe and they get popped and they go away for 20, 30, 40, sometimes a lifetime sentence.
Y’all saw that headline last year, 1.5 ounces, and the guy went, uh, to jail for the rest of his life, uh, in Texas. Yeah. And you know, how many illegal shops were in New York and like, nobody’s gonna prison, really. Um, yeah. So like how do we sort out that sentencing disparity that like that problem, you know, and we should, at the same time as we’re interested in curing P T S D and all these other disorders, consider like, what if we actually also didn’t harm people with our tax dollars as much and we needed less therapy.
Like, I think that’s also a good thing to decrease our spend on and increase some of that spend on science. And, uh, yeah, unity is what I would say is what we really, really need in the space. And, um, we need to work towards that and understanding each other.
No, and, and it’s great, obviously what you guys are doing at psychedelics today, like bringing, I feel like a lot of it is education and bringing the community together, right? Um, and it’s, uh, it’s tremendous to see, you know, what you guys have done over the past seven and a half years doing podcasts before podcasts were a thing. Um, and so I think those dividends are, are definitely paying off. And I guess, you know, for you guys, like what do you foresee, you know, psychedelics today, you know, morphing into over the next few years, um, would you say like still like doubling down on the education platform, continuing with the podcast?
Are there any other, you know, verticals or, um, aspects within the industry that you think you’ll be participating in?
Yeah, we’re definitely gonna keep expanding our educational footprint a hundred percent, uh, worldwide for sure. We we’re expanding into, uh, Israel right now and Australia, who has just legalized M D M A and psilocybin for prescription use, which is wild. Um, probably need some insurance down there guys, <laugh> and, uh, <laugh>. And then, um, we’ll keep expanding our media stuff. So more podcasts. Uh, we just signed a deal with Oakland Hyphy who does the Psilocybin cup, uh, so potency testing competition.
So we’re gonna do some podcasting with them. And then, um, we already did one TV show. We’re hoping to get some more TV deals as well and see where we can keep go growing there. Um, I think, I think the world needs more psychedelic media. Um, and then, uh, events likely we’re gonna, you know, we had a, a big event planned for Los Angeles, um, in, in April. Didn’t work out. A venue kind of collapsed on us, but we’re, um, we’re working on figuring out what events look like for us long term. So events, media ed, um, kind of, those are our pillars.
We might branch out beyond that, but T b d, like, I’m trying to, you know, stay a little focused. I have a hard time <laugh> with focus, but I understand business focus pays off and like leads to better sustainability. So that’s kind of where I’m looking.
That’s super exciting. Yeah, no, it’s funny, I was, I was at this psychedelic event, um, in, it was October, November of this year, uh, in Miami, and there was tons of people internationally from Australia, different parts of Europe. So it’s really, it’s really interesting to see how, I feel like it’s much more globalized even than cannabis, um, from events that we’ve been to and, um, you know, countless on the cannabis side and, and getting more into the psychedelics, um, over the past few years.
But it’s, uh, it’s really tremendous to see the, the global proliferation of it, you know?
Yeah. It’s, it’s interesting, right? Like, it’s not as though, well, there was some of this in the sixties, but like people weren’t traveling the whole world to just find great cannabis. Like, but there’s a, there’s a real, there’s some people were of course, but like, um, it’s a gigantic part of the psychedelic culture is, you know, finding the right shaman, finding the right party, finding the right therapist, um, or like, oh man, drug laws in Peru are amazing. ’cause you can get ayahuasca legally, or, you know, so it’s a big part of that conversation is more global.
And, um, yeah, some places like Brazil have been studying this stuff for, for a long time, better than we have been. Um, similarly probably in Peru as well. So universities there and these things are producted, I think, I think I forget which country has like UNESCO protection over Ayahuasca, which is pretty amazing. Um, so like, it’s a world heritage situation, so getting resources from the UN to help protect that, and it’s pretty cool. So yeah, I think, I think there’s probably some reasons, but it would be fun to like dig into the actual comparison eventually.
Absolutely. Um, well, Joe, this has been amazing and to get your insight on kind of how you view the industry, what you’re most excited about moving forward, what’s in the pipeline for psychedelics today. We really appreciate you taking the time. Uh, before we wrap things up, my man, Isaac has a, a few quick hitters, just kind of fun questions and then we’ll, we’ll get you on your way.
All right, Joe. Um, early morning got a busy day of trying to sign TV deals, you know, media deals. What about, what song are you putting on to get yourself going in the morning?
Oh, man, let’s see. Uh, nothing consistent. Let me just say for fun. Dolly Parton nine to five, uh,
<laugh>. Love it. <laugh>,
Although I’m sure building psychedelics today is not a nine to five <laugh>.
Yeah. That’s awesome. Um, all right, next one. I see, I see the bookshelf behind you. Um, you know, what’s one of the books you turn to all the time or recommend that people, people look into and read?
So the number one book on psychedelics I tell people to read is Jim Fadiman’s Psychedelic Explorers Guide. I think it lays out everything in clean language. It’s epic, great audio book too. So people curious to check that one out is one of their first.
Awesome. Um, all right, last one. What’s, uh, what’s your favorite restaurant? Can be in Colorado looking, even though I grew up here looking for Rex always, but, uh, fa favorite go-to restaurant.
Uh, I, so if I had more money, I could have a cleaner answer to this, um, <laugh>, but I think one that I had been obsessed with for years was this one in called Domo. It was a little south of Du, or not du, sorry, um, Metro. It’s like right there kind of on the outskirts of downtown, and it’s like a Japanese garden outside. They’ve got a dojo and then they have this most like amazing, beautiful Jap like OG Japanese style restaurant inside. It’s so great.
Put that on the list. I
That might be this weekend thing.
That’s awesome. I hope it’s still open. They might have closed. I I really hope it’s still there.
No, you can’t get me all excited about <laugh>. Pull the rug out right from Monday. <laugh>,
I got other recommendations if you need them,
<laugh>. Yeah, I’ll definitely let you know. Well, we appreciate you, Joe. Thanks again for the time and uh, it’s been awesome catching up with you.
Yeah, thank you both.
It’s going on. Isaac, we are back.
We are back. How are you doing?
I’m good man. I know you’re calling from Denver. It’s upsetting. You moved away from me, but it’s okay.
We’ve only ever done one of these in person together, so it’s not that much.
Okay. I’ll forgive you. It’s okay. Um, but no, we’re, uh, we’re back here and, and super excited for who we have on deck today. Joe Moore, uh, one of the co-founders of Psychedelics Today, which is, you know, for anybody in the psychedelic space, you know, they’re, uh, a massive education media platform. They have a tremendous podcast with, you know, over 5 million downloads. Hopefully that’s roots to risk. One day we’ll see Isaac, who knows, probably not. They, they
Have a few years
<laugh>. Yeah, they’ve been, they’ve been at it for seven and a half years, uh, really started a podcast before podcasts were a thing. Um, and really excited to have him on, provide his insight into the industry, you know, what he’s seen since his time, starting back seven years ago, and the, the growth that we’ve seen up to today.
Yeah, I think, uh, Joe’s gonna provide some unique insight, um, as someone who’s been around the psychedelic industry for so long, um, you know, given the fact that hasn’t been even close to mainstream that long. So he, he’s seeing it all the way through, so it’ll be good to, good to get his insight on where the industry is currently and where it’s going.
Absolutely. Well, let’s bring him in and hear from him directly. Great to connect with Joe Isaac, and, and I know we’ve met him through the Trailblazer community and, uh, another great connection. Really enjoyed hearing about his story, his background, you know, 20 years in software and then merging into the, uh, the psychedelic space headfirst and the content that they’re building out and the platform that they’re building and access to education is, uh, is really tremendous and, you know, excited to see what they have in store, you know, over the next two to five years.
Yeah, for sure. I think, um, you know, one of the things we always talk about on the, the cannabis side, and it’s clearly very prevalent on the psychedelic side, as well as the need for education, um, both for the people who participate in the industry as well as consumers. So, um, I think psychedelics has done a really good job on that front, is, um, the industry’s still in, its very, very nice and stage, and there’s a huge focus on education.
Yeah, it’s interesting though. It seems like, you know, from, from what he was saying, there’s a lot of like individualized education and there needs to be a little bit more unity, uh, which was interesting.
Well, there’s no standardization, right? I mean, it’s still given the federal of everything, like there needs to be some sort of cohesive nature across the country at some point. So hopefully as more research to this point, um, starts to come out
Even across the globe, like I feel like psychedelics is just widely perforated across, you know, obviously the, the US and is coming online, but you know, as you mentioned, Australia, other parts of Europe. So it’ll be really interesting to see
For sure. Yeah, I’d excited to see where the industry goes and, uh, you know, play our, our small role in it.