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Denver’s first Shroom Fest saw psychedelics emerge from the underground


Festival goers attend the inaugural Shroom Fest Sunday, June 9,...

Anyone looking for a window into Colorado’s psychedelic community need look no further than Denver Shroom Fest. The inaugural event popped up at ReelWorks in the River North Art District Sunday, where mycology enthusiasts gathered to enjoy live music, art and all things mushrooms.

The gathering was something of a coming-above-ground party for local psychonauts, the first of its kind since Colorado decriminalized psychedelics in 2022. That was perhaps no more evident than in a vendor exhibit hall where growers sold cultivation starter kits and handed out free samples of products, such as dried psilocybin mushrooms and infused sweets like chocolate bars and honey.

Perusing the booths felt a lot like walking through “Shakedown Street” — the vending areas — at a music festival, only it wasn’t necessary to poke around to find psychedelic substances: They were all on full display, out in the open and a hot topic of discussion throughout the day.

And that was exactly the point, said Denver Shroom Fest co-founder Eric Burden. “There’s no purpose behind this other than let’s have a mushroom party. That’s what we were trying to do.”

The plethora of booths and the knowledgeable people standing behind them lent an air of legitimacy to the experience, even if some of the companies were standing squarely in the state’s large legal gray area.

In Colorado, it is legal to share or gift certain drugs, but the law is explicit that selling remains a crime. That’s why at some booths, individuals who signed up for email lists or followed brands on social media had their choice of free stickers, microdoses and other substance samples as souvenirs.

Others, however, got creative in how they framed an exchange of currency. One faith-based organization called Wisdom Peak Ministry, for example, was onsite accepting donations, and folks who made an offering received “complimentary” ‘shrooms in exchange.

When artist Android Jones entered the stage to host an art auction, he took a vibe check that summed it up well: “Good vibes, trippy vibes, a lot of commerce vibes, entrepreneurial vibes,” he said.

To that end, it was apparent that future thought leaders in the space were also present. Some, like the folks behind Mycology Now, which sells mushroom grow kits, educated attendees about the forthcoming regulated industry around psychedelic-assisted therapy and detailed their plans to establish a vertically integrated cultivation and healing center. Another company called Shroomy showcased its app for aspiring mycologists that helps them record data and results of each grow, much like apps that exist for homebrewers.

Beyond the show floor, there was live music, a room for educational talks and trippy artwork to entertain attendees.

Burden said he sold about 1,200 tickets to the first event, proof there is demand for a cultural community event to balance the array of science-focused expositions and trade shows that have taken place around the subject of psychedelics. Given the scene is in its nascent days emerging from the underground, it’s likely there will be more events …read more

Source:: The Denver Post – Business

      

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