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5 Black-Owned Psychedelic Businesses and Groups You Should Know About

These Black-owned businesses and organizations are looking to make the psychedelic space more inclusive and accessible, working both with and outside of the psychiatric establishment.

Min read
Kiki Dy
February 16, 2023

Cultures across the globe have harnessed psychedelics in their own traditions and customs for thousands of years, but the loudest psychedelic voices in the U.S. in the third wave of the Psychedelic Renaissance have tended to be — unsurprisingly – white. 

LSD, the country’s most recognizable psychedelic for decades, was gatekept due to the need to create the compound in a lab. Its buzzy popularity in the 1960s was first filtered down through intellectual groups at Ivy League colleges and pricey therapists to the elite. The flower children of the summer of love were usually from white, middle-class backgrounds, running away from the restrictive trappings of such a life. “Tuning in and dropping out” might not have been so appealing to someone who spent their days just trying to survive. 

Today, many kinds of psychedelics seem to be heading toward mainstream acceptance after the carnage of the War on Drugs. Unfortunately, a lot of that progress is still within the realm of expensive mental health therapies and studies, or luxury retreats. That means that marginalized groups (who might benefit most from psychedelics’ therapeutic effects) are met with more obstacles. A literature review in BMC Psychiatry revealed that since 1993, 82.3% of participants in psychedelic psychotherapy studies have been white. 

These Black-owned businesses and organizations are looking to make the psychedelic space more inclusive and accessible, working both with and outside of the psychiatric establishment. 

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Black People Trip

Robin Divine founded online community Black People Trip in 2020 after finding success in treating her depression with psilocybin. Though she was convinced psychedelics could help Black people process their trauma, she was disappointed in the lack of racial understanding and safety in the current therapeutic infrastructure. 

Her outreach workshops are aimed at destigmatizing psychedelics in the Black community. Divine also helps people find supportive BIPOC therapists, as well as educating white therapists and facilitators on sensitive care. The Black Psychedelic Equity Fund collects donations to cover both psychedelic therapy costs for Black clients, as well as educational fees for psychedelic training for Black therapists and facilitators. 

Though Black People Trip once utilized Instagram, Divine has stepped back from the platform. 

“I've removed myself from the chokehold of social media,” Divine said. “Those platforms are racist, biased and honestly, don't deserve our content.” 

However, information and resources can still be found at her website or by listening to the Black People Trip podcast

One Village Healing

Looking to go beyond the simple use of psychedelics, One Village Healing was founded in New Haven, Connecticut in 2019. Its offerings include reiki, meditation, yoga, counseling, psychedelic education and much more, all held with an anti-oppression ethos. During the pandemic, the healing center took its spectrum of daily learning activities online. 

The center’s stated values are inspired by the Healing Justice Movement, which “identifies how we can holistically respond to and intervene on generational trauma and violence, and to bring collective practices that can impact and transform the consequences of oppression on our bodies, hearts and minds.”

Their online content is expansive and accessible, but One Village Healing is also branching out to facilitate plant medicine retreats abroad. These kinds of retreats might seem restricted to the likes of wealthy Gwenyth Paltrow devotees, but with the support of the trailblazing Black psychedelic researcher Dr. Monnica Williams, One Village Healing has secured funding to provide partial scholarships for Black women to access legal and safe psychedelic spaces. Apply for a scholarship here

Oakland Hyphae

A veteran of the exploding U.S. cannabis industry, Reggie Harris didn’t want to see the decriminalization of psilocybin leave the Black community behind. Though the War on Drugs disproportionately affected and imprisoned Black people, it’s white Americans who are poised to collect if psychedelics become a similar big business. That’s why Harris created Oakland Hyphae

Oakland Hyphae’s mission is to help “legacy plant medicine workers” navigate an emerging industry, as well as promote safety and efficacy in the psilocybin space. Hyphae Labs, which supporters can access information from on Patreon, conducts research on mushrooms and provides grassroots education. They state their mission is “to educate the public how to safely utilize entheogens through the scientific method and community conversations.” In short, to “F*** around, find out and write it down.” 

The Oakland Hyphae also hosts exciting recurring events in Oakland, California, such as the Oakland Psychedelic Conference and the Hyphae Cup, in which growers strive for potency. 

The Ancestor Project

The Baltimore-based Ancestor Project is a resource for BIPOC people looking to use psychedelics in a manner that is not only safe, but also informed by traditional indigenous wisdom and practices. 

Its “Surrender” self-guided ceremony kit can be used to plan and integrate personal psychedelic use, or with other mindful activities like breathwork and meditation. It includes recorded prayers and meditations, journal prompts, holistic recipes, ceremony tools from BIPOC and women-owned companies, and more. 

The kit and other services offered by the Ancestor Project are priced on a sliding scale so practitioners can easily help fund resources for those who need it. 

Zion Life Retreats 

Owner and operator of Zion Life Retreats Stephanie Barnwell is not only a veteran and nurse, but also a native Gullah Geechee from the Sea Islands of the Lowcountry in Beaufort, South Carolina who brings her ancestral knowledge to psilocybin rituals. 

Barnwell’s retreats are held in Jamaica, where psilocybin and cannabis are legal and BIPOC people who have been leery of trying psychedelics due to fear of harsh criminal prosecution can feel safer. The retreats aren’t held in a clinical or resort setting, but in a small community, the parish of St. Thomas, where participants will experience a “private home-like environment.” 

“If you are opposed to reggae blasting in the streets and on the radio, all black staff, Rastas showing off their dreads, and beautiful black and brown people as far as the eye can see, then this is not the place for you,” Barnwell’s website warns. 

Facilitators will stay present to maintain a safe, private environment for participants, and will be there to help talk through experiences afterward, but say they will not interfere with the organic flow that comes from the sacred earth medicine they dispense

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About the Author

Kiki Dy

Kiki Dy is writer, tea drinker, and dreamer living in Savannah, GA. Her work about psychedelics and women’s health can be found in Psychedelic Spotlight, Healthline, Blood + Milk, and more.

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