SXSW 2024

Psychedelic Entrepreneurship and the Underground Economy


Stoked by billion-dollar biotech startups, daily media coverage of groundbreaking studies and an ongoing mental health crisis, public interest in psychedelics is booming—but legal access to these drugs is unlikely for another decade. In the meantime, community circles, churches, pop-up shops and Etsy stores are quietly meeting consumer demand for recreational and therapeutic psychedelics. This unregulated economy poses its own set of challenges. Aspiring entrepreneurs and psychonauts need to grasp the dynamics of the underground psychedelic market if they want to navigate the legal one.

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  1. In their market assessments, large-scale psychedelic investors fail to see that their biggest competition is the thriving underground market.
  2. Psychedelic startups base their projections on a future where psychedelics are FDA-approved—but millions aren't willing to wait a decade for legality.
  3. Consumers will decide what costs are reasonable, not biotech CEOs. People saw the failures of legal cannabis—and they're adapting accordingly.



Jennifer Boeder, Content Director, Mycroboost

Meta Information:

  • Event: SXSW
  • Format: Panel
  • Track: Psychedelics
  • Track 2
  • Level: Beginner

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