‘This isn’t the 60s again’: psychedelics business takes off amid culture clash

Experts fear if psychedelics fall exclusively into the hands of big pharma the industry will follow the same path as legal marijuana, making the rich richer

The Wonderland psychedelic business conference, held recently in Miami, Florida, drew large crowds and big-name keynote speakers – such as former heavyweight boxing champion Mike Tyson – with the promise of a booming new sector. It is being suggested that the next big development in mental healthcare will come in the form of psychedelic drugs: substances such as psilocybin (magic mushrooms), ayahuasca (a plant-based mixture from South America), and DMT (a naturally occurring hallucinogenic).

While these substances have been illegal and primarily associated with countercultures such as the hippies of the 1960s and ravers of the 1990s, changes in laws and scientific breakthroughs in psychedelic treatments for depression and anxiety have created a new industry projected to be worth £8bn by 2027.

Psychedelic mushrooms