Cannabis executive Jackee Stang is a proselytizer of what she calls “the new psychedelic renaissance”. She seems mildly surprised when asked to explain what that is.
“Wow — well, I live in California, so on the West Coast we might be a little biased,” she allows. But then she starts to reel off a list of recent developments in mind-expansion. Denver and Oakland have passed decriminalization policies. Activists are pushing significant ballot measures to legalize the drugs in Oregon and California. Johns Hopkins University announced in September that it was opening a $17 million Center for Psychedelics and Consciousness Research, potentially the world’s largest facility of its kind. Michael Pollan’s book How to Change Your Mind. Features on micro-dosing in the New York Times. MAPS taking MDMA studies to stage three, FDA-approved trials.
She’s right — the ancient drugs’ role in society has undergone some major shifts of late. All this, plus the proliferation of conferences geared towards psychedelic scientists and LGBTQ psychedelics users that have popped up over the last few years, as well as groups dedicated to promoting their use among people of color.
Stang is also aware of the fact that one in five US residents have some sort of mental condition. “Perhaps, it’s the perfect time for there to be a psychedelic renaissance,” she concludes.
The entrepreneur’s own strategy for spreading psychedelics awareness seems apt for a person of her business background. She founded The Delic in 2018 as what she calls “the first psychedelic wellness corporation”. The project has birthed a psychedelic culture and health site called RealitySandwich.com, which is for the moment an ad-free site devoted to “DMT, to an adaptogen guide, to how to meditate,” says Stand. “It’s a library of consciousness, so to speak.” At the time this article was written, you could also find an update on the coca plant’s “come-back” and a hallucinogenic take on Disney’s Fantasia on the site.
And on May 2nd and 3rd, The Delic will host Meet Delic, a downtown Los Angeles conference designed to introduce laypeople to the powers of psychedelics through info-taining expert presentations and recognizable names as guest speakers. Lamar Odom and Mike Tyson are among the announced collaborators, both of whom used psychedelics to help recover from high profile addiction issues.
Stang is aware that the term “psychedelic corporation” might raise an eyebrow or two among some long-time proponents of drugs that have been used as a healing substance in indigenous communities for ages. Though she does see a need for a professionally run media and events company within the psychedelic space, “I created the corporation with the full intent of being ironic,” Stang says. However; “It’s pretty obvious now that conscious capitalism, or capitalism with a consciousness mindset, is growing in popularity. Corporations, businesses, companies, capitalism, don’t have to be bad, in my view.”
From High Times to The Delic
Life has taken Stang from Bulletproof Coffee, to VP of programming at this very magazine, to founding a passel of cannabis brands. During her decade at High Times, she founded the magazine’s Women’s Council, which brought together women in the cannabis industry to talk about how the magazine could better serve cannabis consumers who weren’t men.
But in 2018, she revealed that she wanted to funnel her experience into promoting psychedelics. “I’d just like to project the idea of progress and the idea that psychedelic wellness is for everyone, she says.
For now, education is The Delic’s first point of business. Stang wants to create psychedelic learning opportunities that avoid the “30 page plus document, single spaced, 8 point type” type scientific investigation summaries to which current wisdom seekers must resort. “Joe Schmoe, me, a regular mainstream audience, doesn’t have time or the bandwidth to consume something like that — albeit there’s really juicy and wonderful information within those things,” says Stang.
“That’s the most important thing,” she continues. “We believe learning should be fun.”
May’s Meet Delic event will be one of the first places that the public will be able to witness this vision of fun. Event organizers have announced the participation of pop culture stars like Odom and Tyson. They will be joined by experts on ketamine, LSD, and DMT wellness, not to mention opportunities for expo attendees to network and lay the groundwork for whatever comes next in psychedelic industry. If that ever becomes a thing.
“It’s on everyone’s mind,” Stang says when asked if she really sees the same kind of business opportunities in psychedelics as those that have proliferated in the rapidly-expanding global cannabis business. “I can’t imagine that you will be walking down to your corner store to pick up a six pack of mushrooms anytime soon. Having said that, you pretty much can do that in Amsterdam. So, anything’s possible.”
Who knows where the dust will settle when it comes to psychedelics’ new role in society. Stang takes a thoroughly positive view of the complicated processes to come. “I promote the freedom to do all of those things,” she says. “And I believe in the system that we have in that we’ll figure it out.”