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Federal Legalization, Shrooms Discussed at CWC Cannabis Business Conference

Leading figures at the CWC cannabis business conference discussed federal legalization and medical magic mushrooms or psilocybin progress.

Many attendees spoke of an upcoming national cannabis market based on federal cannabis legalization prospects.

In addition, the CWC was filled with talk of a global cannabis market with Spain, Germany, Israel, Colombia, and South Africa making legalization progress.

Business, Culture of Cannabis & Psilocybin Discussed

New Jersey cannabis and magic mushrooms advocate and businessperson Gaetano Lardieri hosted a wide-ranging panel on cannabis and magic mushrooms or psilocybin. It featured attorney Lisa Gora, Tribe Tokes co-founder Kym Byrnes, former FDNY firefighter and medical psilocybin advocate Joe McKay, Mediroots Medical Group Founder Maurice Hindson, and attorney Ryan Hurley.

CWC 2024 cannabis conference weed and magic mushrooms panel

Attorney Lisa Gora said she knows many doctors looking to get into medical psychedelics. Many first did it with cannabis.

It’s another business,” she stated.

“I’m Kym B and I love mushrooms,” Kym B exclaimed to the crowd.

She said she built her business with no investors into making $2 million a year with little help. Kym B noted shrooms help her for a while.

“Microdosing mushrooms should be incorporated into a healthy lifestyle. Ninety-nine of those problems are solved with a little bit of mushrooms,” she said.

Hinson said medical psilocybin could revolutionize the healthcare industry.

“It has immense potential to be a therapeutic regimen for a vast array of disease states,” he explained.

“These plant medicines have saved people’s lives. We can’t sit back and just think the FDA (Food and Drug Administration) is looking at it. We need to keep pushing on the state level,” Hurley argued.

He noted the need to find a viable psychedelics business model for it to be successful.

Gora noted that shrooms legalization is following the path blazed by cannabis legalization. For example. Oregon does have an operational psilocybin service center. Like others, she wanted doctors running them instead of a mystical shroom guru. Colorado has a similar model. But it will take more time for it to open in 2026.

Gora noted New Jersey is moving medical psilocybin along with New York.

The Feds and Weed

“F*** these mothersf******,” Kym B said about the federal government and national legalization talk.

She noted said Tylenol hurts your liver, which Hinson confirmed.

“I’m (underground legacy) trap life foreva,” Kym B exclaimed.

Hinson noted the need to incorporate spiritual health into the legal medical mushroom process. He discussed a marriage of science and culture. Hinson noted undergoing legacy operators are leading the way in showing how mushrooms can heal.

“Science is just catching up,” Hinson argued.

Hinson noted real estate is taken by large MSOs hurts small cannabis companies and didn’t want to see it in med shrooms legalization.

National Marijuana Legalization Advocacy Needed

McKay said he was a fireman and 9/11 first responder and was deeply scared by it. He tried shrooms as medicine for his trauma, which helped him a lot.

Gora noted the DEA has issued federal cannabis manufacturing licenses to growers for medical research. She felt the state cannabis markets would be allowed to function by the federal government in legalization. Gora said many are making comments on the Schedule III reschedule.

Many want descheduling to pass to ensure justice and ensure a flourishing cannabis market.

Hurley urged people to advocate to Congress about legalization.

“Get your friends and family and comm involved. The power is on the numbers,” Kym B said.

“Go to their fundraisers,” Hurley said.

McKay said 10 calls make a Congressional office react.

Hurley said a single legal Oregon medical psilocybin trip costs thousands of dollars.

“They’re not that hard to grow,” he said about shrooms.

Hinson wanted cannabis and psychedelics subsidized by health insurance. He noted most of his clientele he is prescribing are white middle class with a budget.

“We have to get past federalization 1st,” Hinson noted.

Kym B noted the lack of a legal market leads to an underground market with less accountability and quality control.

New Jersey Shows Up at CWC Cannabis Business Conference

Many New Jersey cannabis entrepreneurs, professionals, and organizations made their presence felt at the CWC.

In fact, the North Bergen-based Salam Diri, owner of the upcoming Hud Haus dispensary, threw one of the after-parties at the Work ‘N Roll workspace.

CWC 2024 cannabis industry conference after party

On the show floor, Hudson County Community College (HCCC) had a booth and was promoting its cannabis studies program. Graduates of the two-year school can go to LIM College in NYC to get a bachelor’s degree in cannabis studies. They’re also working with the South Jersey-based Stockton University on a similar program.

Business School Dean Dr. Ara Karakashian explained the classes will be online. Hudson students will be able to pay local prices to take it. HCCC has held many cannabis events in its Jersey City building in Journal Square.

The NJ Cannabis Regulatory Commission (NJCRC) has never had a presence at the CWC, which features the industry they are supposed to be regulating. Former NJCRC Executive Director Jeff Brown last spoke there in 2019 in his capacity handling medical cannabis.

However, the NJ Business Action Center (NJBAC), which is launching a class to help local entrepreneurs, had a table to promote its upcoming sessions.

The Need to Organize NJ Small Cannabis Businesses

Alan Ao, owner of the upcoming Matawan, NJ-based Vigor Dispensary, was there representing the Asian Cannabis Roundtable, a national advocacy organization.

He noted the need for a group of independent businesses who see their interests as vastly different than large corporate Multi-State Operators (MSOs) to work together as a collective to pool and increase buying power to buy in bulk and get discounts.

Ao said this is common among independent pharmacies. He explained they’re known as buying collectives. They negotiate rates and bulk discounts for their members.

“That’s what I’m really looking for,” Ao explained.

He said that no group in the New Jersey cannabis industry is structured to handle that.

CWC Celebrates 10 Years

The CWC celebrated holding its 10th annual conference. It was a very New York-centered conference in midtown Manhattan at the Javits Center.

Like most cannabis business conferences, it featured a lot of high-end ancillary businesses trying to sell things to license applicants and open licensed businesses.

It’s not easy to succeed in the cannabis business due to barriers to entry like access to capital or money and town politics. That limits the number of starry-eyed newbies looking to get rich quick on weed. It leaves toughened people often as the sort who regularly attend such conferences.

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