The third annual installment of Microdose’s Wonderland show in Miami was another weekend to revel in the psychedelic progress of the moment; this year featured longevity, too.
The weekend featured over 267 speakers. The halls and stages were stuffed with things worth checking out. Wonderland noted that the speaker lineup was diverse with 126 females making up almost half of the pack, and they brought with them a diverse array of experiences. Many of the 178 sessions weren’t necessarily speaker-driven, there were also a lot of inward focusing workshops.
The weekend would see 2,363 attendees taking part. This number does not include sponsors, staff or speakers; there were 61 sponsors in total supporting the event. The smaller venue than last year made everything feel a bit more packed. The conference’s main sponsor was PsychMD, the ketamine telehealth network we recently profiled.
Connor Haslam, Microdose’s CEO, was thrilled to see what he and the team were able to accomplish in year three.
“I think it’s an incredible experience. I mean, the transition between last year to this year is completely different. It’s a much more intimate show,” Haslam told L.A. Weekly.
Haslam went on to explain the conference’s inaugural dive into longevity is meant to look at psychedelics as more than just a niche and look at the overall wellness of a person.
“I kind of see this as like, building this SXSW of wellness kind of thing,” Haslam said. “And that’s obviously going to involve more than psychedelics. If psychedelics are gonna make me happier, I’m probably gonna want to live longer and I’m not gonna want to live longer unless I’m happy. So the integration between like living and actually feeling are just such an inherent kind of thing.”
While there has been a lot of recent success for psychedelics, Governor Gavin Newsom’s recent veto of decriminalization was a big setback for the movement. We asked Haslam how important events like Wonderland are in educating folks so things like that don’t happen again.
“I think incredibly, incredibly important. I mean, even just the level of support that we’ve gotten now from mainstream brands, like Perrier,” Haslam said. “So teaming up with those kind of affiliations is really what is going to make this go, I think.”
It was very clear that, once again, Wonderland was a diverse crowd. Like any business conference in an emerging market or industry, there were those trying to figure out how they are going to get their piece. But there were a lot of people who just love what they do and aren’t sure what’s next.
They see what happened to the legacy operators of the cannabis industry, as it went from completely outlawed to a gray market to what one would call the current shitshow being defined as legalization from state to state. While Wonderland isn’t some magical crystal ball in itself, the minds that are in the room are certainly some of the best you could ask for, as you hope to get a foothold in the forthcoming psychedelic market.
Reggie Harris, aka @OaklandHyphae, spoke on the traditional market during our favorite panel of the weekend. It was titled Notes From The Underground: The Traditional Marketplace and The Future of the Legal Industry. Harris noted a recent case in Massachusetts where the volume of some mushrooms taken by law enforcement during an arrest was wildly over-inflated. Harris notes these are the exact types of situations that the psychedelic movement should be rallying behind. Harris argued the underground dealers that have backboned the psychedelic movement since its inception should be treated like POWs.
Dr. Jonathan M. Fields is a functional medicine doctor, acupuncturist, and herbalist, who specializes in longevity, autoimmune, mental health and psychedelics.
“In the face of all the current turbulence in the industry, I think the Microdose team that produces Wonderland did a phenomenal job and was able to pivot successfully, Fields told L.A. Weekly. “I love that they brought in a new focus on longevity, let me expand on the Eastern medicine connection, and had some of the top speakers in the world. The new venue was also much more intimate than last year, but I may be biased because I’ve played a few gigs there as a DJ in the past. All things considered, I really enjoyed my time, learned a lot, made some new friends and many valuable connections.”
We’ll have more stories from Microdose in the months to come.
Advertising disclosure: We may receive compensation for some of the links in our stories. Thank you for supporting LA Weekly and our advertisers.