June 9, 2020

Trippy Business: Psychedelic Drugs, Microdosing, and Money

Trippy Business: Psychedelic Drugs, Microdosing, and Money

Imagine it: Your doctor tells you, “Take a magic mushroom and call me in the morning.”

Imagine it: Your doctor tells you, “Take a magic mushroom and call me in the morning.”

It’s...probably not all that realistic. But the promise of psychedelic-assisted psychotherapy? Definitely realistic. And definitely an intriguing business prospect.

That’s why this week on Business Casual, we’re talking to the preeminent expert in the controlled use of psychedelic drugs: Dr. Rick Doblin, founder and executive director of the Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies (aka MAPS).

Rick has spent nearly four decades at MAPS championing the uses of psychedelics and marijuana in clinical settings. The treatment possibilities, as he sees them, range from post-traumatic stress disorder to depression to addiction.

Sounds promising—but there’s always a but. The larger pharmaceuticals, biotech, and insurance industries aren’t quite ready to wholly buy into psychedelic-assisted psychotherapy. Or psychotherapy of any kind, for that matter.

Along with earning a spot in the regulatory good graces of U.S. officials, educating business decision makers presents a challenge for Rick and his peers in the psychedelics space. But if the trend of microdosing (ahem, Silicon Valley) is any indication, interest is growing from both venture capital and consumer POVs.

  • Money, though, is harder to come by—in the episode, Rick shares the experience of fundraising as a nonprofit.
  • The tl;dr? It’s really, really hard.

Listen now to expand your mind.

Rick generously offered to answer other business-related questions. Get in touch with him at rick@maps.org.