Colorado Government

Psychedelics Convention Coming to Denver in 2023

A psychedelics convention will be to Denver in September of 2023, less than a year after Colorado voters approved Proposition 122.
A psychedelics convention will be to Denver in September of 2023, less than a year after Colorado voters approved Proposition 122. Anthony Camera
As Colorado's third eye continues to open with the passage of Proposition 122, next year residents will be treated to PsyCon, a convention about all things psychedelics.

While the psychedelics convention had already been scheduled prior to this month's passage of Prop 122, which made Colorado the second state to decriminalize natural psychedelics and set a timeline for legal access to psilocybin mushrooms (and potentially other psychedelics), the passage of the measure further stoked excitement in the space.

"We are thrilled to be a part of Colorado’s psychedelic industry on the ground floor. It’s a truly momentous occasion,” says PsyCon co-founder Chad Sloan, who has also organized the nationally touring Lucky Leaf Hemp Expo. “We plan to provide people with actionable insights, opportunities for connection and, of course, a chance to commemorate this incredible breakthrough for plant medicine.”

The conference, intended for both entrepreneurs and consumers, will take place at the Colorado Convention Center in downtown Denver on September 29-30, 2023. PsyCon organizers say the event will include "top names in psychedelic science" presenting recent research into the medical benefits and commercial potential of psychedelics.

PsyCon plans to hold its first conference in Portland, at the Oregon Convention Center, in May 2023; in 2020, Oregon voters approved a legal medical-access model for psilocybin mushrooms, which will go live early next year. But while Oregon may have been first to approve access to a psychedelic substance, Colorado's measure covers more than just psilocybin. Oregon's initiative also allows for local governments to opt out, while Colorado's does not.

As at the onset of marijuana legalization in the state a decade ago, there are plenty of folks who are now ready to make fortunes off the psychedelics industry in Colorado — one of the reasons that grassroots psychedelics advocates opposed Proposition 122. Count the convention's organizers among those getting in on the boom: According to PsyCon's website, two-day tickets to the expo start at $299, while a VIP option runs $599, and a three-day "all-access ticket" goes for $999. However, those who attend the conference won't be able to partake in legal psychedelics in Colorado just yet.

Colorado's legal-access framework for psychedelic mushrooms will launch in late 2024, with the Colorado Department of Regulatory Agencies in charge of creating the framework. In particular, DORA will be charged with licensing "healing centers," where people can go to ingest psychedelics for therapeutic purposes in a supervised setting. DORA will also license facilitators, who will assist people ages 21 and up during a psychedelics session. These facilitators will also be able to visit users at their homes or in approved medical-care facilities to facilitate psychedelics treatment, according to Prop 122's language.

Aside from immediately decriminalizing psychedelic mushrooms, Prop 122 also decriminalizes DMT, ibogaine and mescaline, but not peyote. These substances won't be available to the public for several more years, but Prop 122 also creates the possibility of building legal-access frameworks for these other substances by June 2026.
KEEP WESTWORD FREE... Since we started Westword, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Denver, and we'd like to keep it that way. With local media under siege, it's more important than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" program, allowing us to keep offering readers access to our incisive coverage of local news, food and culture with no paywalls.
Conor McCormick-Cavanagh is a staff writer at Westword, where he covers a range of beats, including local politics, immigration and homelessness. He previously worked as a journalist in Tunisia and loves to talk New York sports.

Latest Stories