Navigating Psychedelic Business Realities: Insights & Lessons


Episode 229

Joe Moore

In this illuminating episode of The Psychedelic Podcast, host Paul F. Austin engages in a thought-provoking conversation with Joe Moore, the CEO of Psychedelics Today.

Recorded in-person at the 2023 reMind conference in Las Vegas, this conversation delves into the profound lessons and insights gained from navigating the unique challenges of the psychedelic space. Paul and Joe unpack the often-overlooked necessity of incorporating best business practices into psychedelic companies and explore the critical components of effective psychedelic training or coaching programs. Join Paul and Joe as they break down their respective programs—the Psychedelic Coaching Institute’s Coaching Certification Program and Vital Psychedelic Training—and compare the content and approach of each.

Together, Paul and Joe share their hard-earned lessons from running psychedelic businesses, discuss the pros and cons of relying on investments in the psychedelic space, and ponder the potential future of the psychedelic landscape amidst legal shifts and evolving healthcare models. This conversation provides an insightful and balanced exploration into the heart of the psychedelic renaissance.

Joe Moore:

Joe Moore co-founded Psychedelics Today in 2016 with his business partner Kyle Buller. As CEO, Joe has created one of the world's best known psychedelic podcasts, blogs and training platforms. Joe combines more than twenty years of avid research and training in psychedelics with twenty years of experience in software and multinational project management. Joe has led countless transpersonal breathwork workshops and is a much sought-after international speaker on the intersecting subjects of psychedelic medicine and healing, breathwork, drug policy, medical innovation, international justice and environmentalism.


Podcast Highlights

  • Joe and Paul’s journeys starting businesses early on in the latest psychedelic renaissance.
  • The pros and cons of relying on investments in the psychedelic space.
  • Paul unpacks The Psychedelic Coaching Institute’s Coaching Certification Program.
  • Joe shares the origin and evolution of Vital Psychedelic Training.
  • How Vital approaches Scholarships.
  • Joe and Paul’s hard-earned lessons from running psychedelic businesses.
  • Considering decrim, access, legalization, and healthcare models for psychedelics.
  • How to learn more about the programs by Third Wave and Psychedelics Today.

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Also brought to you by The Coaching Certification Program by Third Wave’s Psychedelic Coaching Institute. Learn more about our flagship 10-month training program for coaches who want to integrate psychedelic modalities into their practice:


Podcast Transcript

0:00:00.7 Paul F. Austin: Welcome to The Psychedelic Podcast by Third Wave Audio mycelium, connecting you to the luminaries and thought leaders of the psychedelic renaissance. We bring you illuminating conversations with scientists, therapists, entrepreneurs, coaches, doctors, and shamanic practitioners, exploring how we can best use psychedelic medicine to accelerate personal healing, peak performance, and collective transformation.

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0:01:43.4 Paul F. Austin: Hey folks. In this podcast episode, I sit down with Joe Moore, the co-founder and CEO of Psychedelics Today, Joe and I have known each other for years now, probably since 2016. Both Third Wave and Psychedelics Today have been on similar tracks and paths. We both have a podcast. We both focus on education in the psychedelic space. We both have a training program. And so Joe and Joe's team reached out and was like, "Do you wanna sit down and record a podcast episode?" And I suggested that maybe we just do a longer one and we republish the episode on both platforms. So if you haven't heard this episode yet, this is the conversation that I had with Joe Moore at reMind, a Conference in Las Vegas that happened at the end of November. And we talk about our different training programs, the Psychedelic Coaching Institute versus Vital.

0:02:32.7 Paul F. Austin: We go into detail on our different paths as businesses. We talk about investment or lack of investment, in terms of growing and building our companies and entities. We discuss some of the challenges in being so early on in the psychedelic ecosystem and how we've navigated those challenges. Overall, it was a really interesting conversation and if you want to get a deep dive into the ground floor of the Third Wave of psychedelics, this is a fantastic episode to dive into. So as always, if you do want to discuss this podcast, bring up any topics or conversation from it, go to That's our free community platform. And yeah, I just hope you enjoy the episode. All right, without further ado, I bring you Joe Moore, the co-founder and CEO of Psychedelics Today.

0:03:26.1 Joe Moore: Here we are. ReMind Las Vegas. Paul Austin. How are you doing?

0:03:29.0 Paul F. Austin: 2023.

0:03:31.2 Speaker 2: Yeah.

0:03:31.3 Paul F. Austin: It's been a journey.

0:03:33.4 Joe Moore: Oh my gosh, it's been a lot of years. I feel like you're one of the first people I knew in this space actually.

0:03:38.8 Paul F. Austin: Yeah. And we probably connected at maybe Horizons in 2016 after you showed me that photo last night of us, playfully duking it out in 2017. I was like, yeah, I started... I mean, I started Third Wave in 2015 and then started going to conferences in 2016. And we probably met somewhere in that time because I know we traded, we both started a podcast around the same time. And early on you were probably... You and Kyle were probably the 10th or 11th guest that I had on the show. And I know we did something on Microdosing back in 2016, 2017 For Psychedelics Today. So it's interesting to see how the space has developed, how our respective platforms have developed. And we've found ourselves, I think, tracking on fairly similar paths, but with, some unique ways of approaching, whether it's training or media or, other things, philosophies. So I think that'll be a cool thing to unpack and dive into today is, what has Psychedelics Today become? Who has Psychedelics Today become? And respectively I can also talk to that for Third Wave.

0:04:45.0 Joe Moore: Yeah. And Third Wave isn't your only projects. You're up to a lot.

0:04:47.3 Paul F. Austin: It's kind of like Psychedelics Today and Vital. Where Vital is its own sub-brand in many ways. And I think, we really look at what's the larger tent that our respective brands represent. And then what might be really interesting projects that can be launched into those communities, because a lot of trust been established. And, it feels that as a business model is... It's a slower build, but it's a much more sustainable and integrative because it's much less... In the long term, it's much less risky because the chances of becoming a billion-dollar company are slim to none. But also the chances of going bankrupt and going out of business are slim to none. And so you can sort of hedge those risks and those bets. And I've always thought about Third Wave in and of itself as like... I'm really looking at how are we building this for the next 25, 30, 35 years, rather than what are we accomplishing, in the next three months or the next quarter or something that. And having sovereignty and freedom like we both do allows us to do that. 'Cause a lot of these publicly traded companies or companies that have raised a bunch of money from VCs or investors, they don't have that same level of autonomy.

0:06:00.4 Joe Moore: No. It's just really rough in this space, 'cause you come in with, your ideology and you're glowing. You're like, "This is gonna be the best." And then well, you have to act that way, and that's really hard. That's not really what we thought we were gonna get into, thankfully. We're both not living in that space.

0:06:19.0 Joe Moore: And I think you're right. Developing a long-term plan to build a brand and then building products and stuff into that, yeah, absolutely. We started developing training just because we were like, we're not really thinking of this as a business yet. We started developing training just to pay our hosting bills. I was like, "Yeah, do I really wanna pay that much a month? Not really." Let's try to sell some classes, and it was for college kids. No real intent behind it other than helping college kids have an easier time and it's just funny that... I remember way back you were developing kits, microdosing kits. Are you guys still doing those?

0:06:54.6 Paul F. Austin: No, we were just drop-shipping those from a dude in the UK and then he stopped doing them. So we did that for a little bit. Recently, we've rolled out mushroom grow kits. So we'll send a grow kit to your home so you can grow your own mushrooms. We don't send that with spores because that would be illegal. But I'm always looking for how do we create accessibility without breaking the law. What are educational frameworks we can provide? And we'll probably get into this in the conversation, there's... In any sector or industry or any subculture, there are sort of these principles of morality, the do's and the don'ts. And many of them, especially in the psychedelic space, are worth paying attention to. And some of them I think can often be counterproductive.

0:07:39.2 Paul F. Austin: And so I've always wanted through Third Wave and through the projects, be beholden to great work, help people come from a great place, mean well, create community and trust, but don't get caught up in a lot of the extra dialogue because it can often be distracting. And I'll go on the record as saying, which this may be controversial to say, I think one of the reasons Synthesis, which was a company that I co-founded in 2018, we've heard about how they went bankrupt and all that. And I think a big reason they went bankrupt is because they were trying to create a certain external appearance and that led them to not make the difficult and hard decisions that they needed to make in order to keep the business alive and healthy and thriving. So obviously there's more complexity than that, but I do think it's important to stay focused on creating great products and great services, helping people and ignoring most of the noise that people get caught up in where it's like, "Well, you should say this, or you should act like this, or this is PC or this isn't... I'm like, let someone else worry about that."

0:08:57.7 Joe Moore: Yeah. There's so much noise in this space and it's so confusing. I was chatting with some ketamine clinic investors yesterday. And they were just having such a hard time engaging in the room, figuring out where to have conversations. And they said they were asking a straight up question to somebody and they're like, "Urgh, businessmen." They turned their back and walked away. It's like, well...

0:09:17.1 Paul F. Austin: No.

0:09:20.1 Joe Moore: Guys, we need investors in this space. We need more capital in this space. I swear you might not believe me, but we do, for a lot of reasons. So we need them.

0:09:28.7 Paul F. Austin: So, that's a great thing to touch on. What's been your approach with raising capital? Not raising capital, bootstrapping, you have a reasonably substantial team. I think there's probably eight or nine, maybe 10 people who work with you, for you, collaborate with you. And we were talking last night and I was surprised to hear that you hadn't raised external funding. Finally on the record.

0:10:00.0 Joe Moore: We never raised money. I was very, very into it for a long time and I tried.

0:10:05.8 Paul F. Austin: At what point, in what years were you there, because this probably tracks, 'cause I have a similar story. What years were you like, "Oh man, if we could only raise a million or 2 million or if we could get some of this funding that was coming in. Did you attempt? Did you try? Was it just not a fit? What like...

0:10:27.6 Joe Moore: When was peak? Was it... First Wonderland was super peak.

0:10:29.6 Paul F. Austin: Peak was End of 2021 until mid-2022, probably. Mid 2021 to mid-2022 I would say was probably peak.

0:10:35.6 Joe Moore: It was... Going into that was when I was curious because I had a 20-year software career. I very thankfully got laid off. I had the best powder year of my life and then, jumped into psychedelics day full-time. And I'm like, "Okay, cool. This is great. Let's figure out how to make this work." Didn't click that investors would make my world different or better. But somebody had started getting in my ear, yapping about it. And I'm like, "Oh, that's interesting. Cool. That would be fascinating. And I tried, I tried a lot and what was... Some of the interesting feedback was I don't see the venture scale. I'm not gonna get, 5 to 20X back. Some really interesting hedge funds or I guess family offices were like, "This is more of a safety investment."

0:11:20.6 Joe Moore: This is like a hedge, almost like a bond like you were saying earlier. And that you can't really super fail. You could have a rollercoaster ride for sure, but it could be so cheap to operate that we could do this forever. And I loved hearing that, but I'm also like, how do I wanna relate to that? And eventually I'm like, "I don't see the traction." I think we're still seeing okay money from education, which is great. And let's just try to make a go at it and do it ourselves and build our marketing team. And I'm certainly not a great marketer. I to imagine I'm decent, but I'm not. And I think that was it. I said, "Okay, I can have more autonomy. I'm not gonna lose too much here." I'm like, "Why, should I go for it?" And I go in waves now because we're usually operating so thin.

0:12:15.0 Paul F. Austin: Thin?

0:12:15.3 Joe Moore: That we're like, well, how are we really going to grow in meaningful ways to continue to help the space and ourselves and everybody else. And how are we gonna do that? And so it's coming... It comes back. I keep flirting with the idea, but I'm like you know, it's like when you meet somebody that you think might be an amazing partner, but the timing is just six months off for both of you. And you're like, this just might not fly. And I think that's kind of what I've been feeling. If it was six months earlier or later this would've been the best thing ever. But I'll probably enter back into that arena maybe within a year or two. I just wanna make sure my investors are super aligned. 'cause like we were saying earlier, you can get really co-opted and then aligned and that's probably it. Aligned. And they're out there. There are folks that believe in what you're doing with all sorts of cash that are just waiting for the situation.

0:13:20.4 Paul F. Austin: Yeah. I mean we had a similar thing. I raised a little bit of capital in 2019, 2020, small check sizes around 25K give or take from 10 or so people. And that was just helpful to create a stronger base to higher rollout, make some changes to the brand, these sorts of things. And then I was like, I think, it was late 2020, early 2021, I remember I was living in Montana at the time. I was spending a month in Whitefish and the company was thin on cash. And I'm like, either I gotta raise another... I gotta figure out how to raise more funding. And I was having a lot of conversations with a lot of people and getting a lot of the same feedback that you were getting, which is, you're already revenue positive. We don't necessarily see the opportunity for this to scale huge. You're sort of in a middle ground.

0:14:21.1 Paul F. Austin: And I think a lot of people thought, "Oh, he's a great... Let's say the business people were like, he's a great activist or a great speaker for this, but is he a great CEO and a businessman? And so what I did is when I could not raise, I was trying, trying, trying, it wasn't happening. This was early 2021. I got a loan and I basically was like, "Okay, it's do or die. We have to launch something else that is going to get us through this next phase." And so that's when we launched our training program for coaches. I think we rolled it out in May, 2021 and then started our first cohort in June, 2021. And we enrolled 22 people in the first cohort. It was... I think early bird was 8k and the main price was 10K.

0:15:11.5 Paul F. Austin: And so it brought in enough cash then to like, "Okay, we're good for the next little bit. And now, the training program that we have is a substantial percentage of our revenue because it is a huge point of interest for a lot of people. And about a year ago I brought in an investor for Third Wave and he is like, "Look, you have two businesses here. You have Third Wave, which you're trying to make into a scalable educational platform or booking platform." So we rolled out a directory of providers. We now have a private community through an app called Mighty Networks. You can go into the app store and download the Third Wave app and connect with people from all over. But he is like, "That's a scalable investment-backed model."

0:16:00.0 Paul F. Austin: Your training program is not, necessarily. Meaning it could probably cap at 5-$7 million a year, but you should just run it as a cash flow business. Bootstrap it, don't raise investment for it because sometimes investment can fuck things up. It can be problematic. And so we've done that. We now basically have two different entities and the intention is for Third Wave to continue to grow and develop. And for the... Psychedelic Coaching Institute is the new brand that we rolled our training program out under. For it to continue to focus on doing great trainings, we'll probably roll out a level two program as well, which I'm happy to talk with you about. Just don't steal my ideas.

0:16:41.9 Joe Moore: We're already doing level two. No, we're not actually doing level two. We've just been talking about it for two years. But, that's just so Interesting.

0:16:49.9 Paul F. Austin: Wait, what's your level two Joe?

0:16:52.5 Joe Moore: We're Calling it the Psychedelic Coaching Institute program. No, just kidding. So we haven't really pinned down exactly what we wanna do yet, but we wanna get more niche with people. So, say you're a physician that came through Vital, we're putting physicians and coaches and everybody else through the same curriculum, which is cool for a lot of reasons. And then imagine a niched program by profession perhaps, or a cohort of professions. I think there's something interesting there. I think just having people from different backgrounds together is a bit of magic. That's why we like these kinds of conferences. 'cause we get to talk to the growers, the underground people, whoever, and learn a lot. And it's kind of the same thing like "Oh, this physician now gets to talk to this person." And they get to understand a normal user's perspective as opposed to staying in physician land and being kind of an island and not understanding the rest of culture, which can happen often in physicians and, vice versa. People actually understanding physicians and all the things they have to deal with.

0:17:55.9 Paul F. Austin: Hey folks, I wanna pause this conversation for a moment. Look, if you're a coach or a practitioner or you know someone who is, this is for you, whatever domain of coaching you work in, ultimately you're in the human potential and behavioral change field because every single thing that we do as coaches hinges upon changing established patterns to tap into our greatest potential. Patterns that are neurologically anchored in the brain. So whether you're talking about shifting, limiting beliefs, habits, conditioning, negative images, set points and resistance, or you're focusing on creating breakthrough aha moments, mindset work, shifting relationships or unlocking the next level in any domain. Ultimately you're talking about changing neurological patterns. As you may have experienced with clients or maybe even in your own life. Getting changes to stick is not easy. And that's why psychedelics are so incredible because they work directly on the neurological level to make these changes more accessible and sustainable. They're the biochemical keys to transformation and behavioral change. And with guidance, they can accelerate just about any growth or create a process by facilitating the release of old patterns and the rapid adoption of new ones. Used within the frameworks Psychedelic substances are the cutting edge of leadership, performance and wellbeing.

0:19:19.7 Paul F. Austin: And that was the inspiration behind our coaching certification program. Our certification program helps you to integrate psychedelic work into your coaching practice for the right coach, facilitator, or even therapist. Psychedelic modalities are a game changer for client results and overall impact. And our coaching certification program gives you the ultimate toolkit to help clients overcome resistance, emotional blockages, and living and beliefs. It gives you neurobiological access to co-create breakthrough results for your clients with greater alignment between mind, body, and spirit. In fact, we've trained coaches in every industry you can think of, from executive and in high performance to relationships, life coaching, creativity, mindset. Psychedelic substances are an incredibly important tool for any coaching practice because the fundamentals of neurochemistry and human behavior are the same across every domain. So if you want to join the leading edge of coaching and human potential, or you're just curious about what adding psychedelic substances could look like for your practice, go to That's to book an alignment call with our team to see if it's a good fit. Alright, thanks for listening. Now let's drop back into this riveting conversation.

0:20:38.8 Paul F. Austin: I love that concept. It's the technical term that, I interviewed Jonathan Sabbagh from Journey Clinical for this, and he talks about it as a collaborative care model. Where I find with our program, and I'm sure you find the same with Vital, people come in thinking they want X and they leave having gotten Y. Oftentimes they come in thinking, I just want to know how to do preparation. I want to know how to assess, I want to know the key and fundamental aspects of integration and all of that is important to cover and in any sort of training program for coaches, for sure, you need to cover those basics.

0:21:15.2 Paul F. Austin: And what I find time and time again is people need way less information than they think they need. And they need way more courage and just a willingness to go out and make stuff happen. And so a lot of the relationships that are then formed in these cohorts that we have, people will then go out and start to collaborate and do things together out in the real world. They'll start retreats together. They may do...

0:21:38.8 Joe Moore: How cool is that?

0:21:41.3 Paul F. Austin: And it's fantastic. And it's just sort of emergent. And people tend to find their way. You don't need to make specific introductions as people find their own way in that. And that's why I love the cohort model. And that's probably, I mean, a key difference between ours and the current Vital is from what I understand, I'll talk about... We should talk about that. What are some of these differences? 'cause for us it's...

0:22:08.7 Joe Moore: Well, maybe let's set the table, what is your program?

0:22:12.1 Paul F. Austin: Okay. All right.

0:22:13.5 Joe Moore: And then I'll do mine and then we can duke it out.

0:22:14.8 Paul F. Austin: All right, 'cause we're... So, and the thing is just, for the audience that are listening, we're planning to publish this on both of our podcast platforms. And so initially Joe and I were talking about, well how about Joe interviews Paul and Paul interviews Joe. And then I was like, what if we just did a longer form interview where we can go into a lot more deeper stuff rather than it feeling like, okay, quick, quick, quick and quick, quick, quick. 'Cause we're at this conference and we gotta make sure happen. So what I noticed in 2021 when I was looking at the landscape of training programs at that point in time is all of them, basically without exception, we're focusing on, let's say, the clinical therapeutic or medical use of psychedelics. And there's different twists on that. That doesn't mean everyone is medicalized, but there is an orientation on trauma healing, an orientation towards a trauma informed, let's say program.

0:23:12.4 Paul F. Austin: There is a focus on how this could be helpful for depression, addiction, PTSD. And a lot of the faculty of programs, they tend to be medical people. They tend to be people who are doctors or psychiatrists or psychologists or social workers or researchers who are really explicitly focused on the therapeutic use. And so I was like my background in this space has always been... I've been much more interested in leadership performance and wellbeing. How can psychedelics not just help us heal trauma, but how can they help us to become better parents? How can they help us to become better leaders? How can they help us to take better care of ourselves? That's always been more of my focus. And so I was like, I would love to create a training program for coaches who are not necessarily looking at just the trauma, healing and therapeutic side, but are really looking at the whole entire picture of what it means to be human.

0:24:05.6 Paul F. Austin: And yes, there's shadow work that often needs to be done, and yes, there could be some healing that needs to be done, even with CEOs or entrepreneurs or executive leaders who think they're coming into psychedelics for this reason. They often are taught something different. But keeping that sort of broader lens. And so what I did was, I was very intentional then about choosing, well, who do we want as faculty? Who do we wanna bring us in as facilitators? And so what I chose to do was choose faculty who have clinical credentials. We have two MDs, we have a doctor of Chinese medicine, we have two clinical psychologists, there's a few other folks as well. And almost all of them, not all of them, but almost all of them, they were a doctor for 10 years, or they were a therapist for 20 years, or they worked in that lens.

0:25:00.6 Paul F. Austin: And at some point, they were like, this feels limiting. This feels there's so much more that I could do rather than just one-on-one work, or rather than just healing work, there's something else that wants to come through. So a lot of them got into coaching, and coaching is much more about the quest or the objective or the thing that we're reaching out into rather than the story or the narrative of what's happened to us in the past. And so that I think was my intention. And to really gear it specifically towards executive coaches, holistic health coaches, life and relationship coaches, and then some clinicians who feel I don't want to just do clinical work. I really want to start to get into a more expansive space with the work that I do. And what we found also to be true is a lot of people enroll who they've maybe been in a corporate work environment for many years and they've had a transformative experience in psychedelics.

0:25:55.2 Paul F. Austin: And they're like, I'd to maybe do a career transition and work more with this as well. So we also accept some folks who might not have a coaching background, but are really looking at a career transition. And we make those decisions on a case by case basis. And for me, the North star of the program, or the sort of ethos or focus is, inner transformation leads to external mastery. And what that means is, we can give you all the theory, we can teach you what we call the five key elements, assessment, prep, experience, integration and microdosing. We can teach you different models, different frameworks, but if you don't actually walk the path yourself, then you aren't really being a full service to the clients that you want to potentially work with. And so what we emphasize again and again is it's important to walk the walk.

0:26:39.0 Paul F. Austin: It's important to have a beginner's mind as you come into this space and come into this training program. It's important that also we emphasize individual responsibility that sometimes, there can be challenges or difficulties. So to communicate those, to speak up about those is important. And the main focus of the program, which we'll do about a week after recording this, we go to Costa Rica and do a six-day intensive with all the coaches. So they fly down there and we essentially do a Hikerdose, which is a nature hike, silent nature hike with a low dose of mushrooms, a tennis skull, which is a sweat lodge and a clay thing, a high dose psilocybin ceremony, and then a hot springs as an integration day. And then weave other aspects and elements into it. And the whole idea is to... We do it at a center in Costa Rica called Brave Earth.

0:27:29.8 Paul F. Austin: The whole idea is to bring them into a... It's in the middle of the jungle in Costa Rica. Bring them into deep nature. Look at how psychedelics can be an opener to connect even deeper to nature and do it in a really safe and transformative container where they leave that feeling both their internal world has been transformed, but also as we talked about before, the collaborations and the bonding that have been established with the rest of the cohort will really serve them from this point forward. And then the final part of the program, so we have theory first where we cover safety and ethics and the history of psychedelics and the difference between microdosing and higher dosing and what are the intentions for integration and the legal landscape and all these things. And then our practicum in six months.

0:28:18.1 Paul F. Austin: And in the practicum what we do is we just cover like I said, those five key elements. So how do we spend a month on assessments? If a client's coming in, how do you assess them properly? A month on preparation, a month on facilitation, which we don't emphasize. What we tell folks coming in is this is not a training program for if you wanna become a guide. There's a lot of people who do join who wanna become guides. We emphasize this is about the prep and the integration. This is about the coaching and this is not about guiding. 'Cause I think a lot of people get confused about that distinction and that difference. But it's still important to cover aspects of facilitation. So even if you're a coach, you know what to look for if you're gonna recommend that your client go somewhere.

0:29:00.7 Paul F. Austin: And then we have a month on integration and a month on microdosing. And that's our current, what I would say level one, it's our flagship. It's what we found a lot of success with. And what I'm looking at as a level two, we've thought about that as well. Maybe it could be profession specific like you were mentioning. Maybe it could be even outcome specific. Meaning if you wanna work with microdosing, we have one for microdosing. If you wanna work and specifically be high... Integration for high dosing, we have one for that. If you want to work with another sort of way, it could be indigenous, you have one for that. But for now, the level two I'm really looking at is a training program on how to guide psilocybin experiences. And not... Again, as an entrepreneur, I'm always looking at when everyone is zigging or when everyone is zagging, how do you zig?

0:29:53.0 Paul F. Austin: There's a lot of training programs that are coming out for guides. I see a new one every week at this point in time. And almost all of them are really focused on the deep one-to-one work, because that's the model that the FDA has approved. That's what is often talked about in Oregon, and yet one-to-one work is not scalable and accessible has been always my sense. So we're really looking at how do we roll out a level two, which is a training program for guides to guide small groups. You know, it could be six to 10 people in collaboration with other facilitators and holding that space rather than the deep one-to-one work, because that's really within our ethos at Third Wave is, I wanna focus on programs and training that I think are in alignment with accessibility on a broad scale and helping students know how to guide or just hold space in a group container I think is a great way to accomplish that.

0:30:47.5 Joe Moore: That's dope. Yeah. I the structure. I like the way you're doing it. It's fun. There's a lot of overlap, obviously. Anything else you wanna jump...

0:31:00.4 Paul F. Austin: I mean, the only thing I would say is, with these training programs, they're still evolving. Ours is still figuring out fully what it wants to be. There's always slight changes and iterations, and that's how any organism should be. An organism is, if you're not growing and evolving, you're dying in some ways. There's no such thing as being static. And so I think that sense of aliveness that we bring into it is also really important. And again, what I emphasize is there's no prescription. We often want a prescription just tell me what to do. What's the cookie cutter model? If I have a client, just give me... I want to do this, this, or this, and I'm good. I'm like, no. You gotta learn yourself. You gotta know the different aspects and elements, but at the end of the day, this has to be yours and only yours and fully yours because that's the only way to really be a great practitioner or facilitator. There are no cookie cutter models when it comes to psychedelics.

0:32:00.0 Joe Moore: Learn the rules so you can break them. Also, one thing I think often about is how little broad agreement there is even in psychology around theories of mind behavior, et cetera. It's even worse in psychedelics. It's a very fragmented space.

0:32:15.0 Paul F. Austin: What just with default mode network, salience network or somatics versus psychoanalysis or.

0:32:22.2 Joe Moore: Default mode network. That explains everything for me. Yeah, exactly. So yeah. Fundamental theories on what's going on. To what degree are the DMT entities influencing my LSD trip? Who knows.

0:32:34.1 Paul F. Austin: Substantially. Really?

0:32:37.6 Joe Moore: That explains it.

0:32:37.7 Paul F. Austin: I just want that DMTX. That's what I want.

0:32:39.0 Joe Moore: You're in?

0:32:42.1 Paul F. Austin: Oh yeah. If you can give me intravenous DMT and I can just be in that space for...

0:32:46.7 Joe Moore: For how long?

0:32:47.4 Paul F. Austin: I'd probably do it for an hour. Start there...

0:32:49.6 Joe Moore: Yeah, I think... I think that's right around where they're starting. I think so.

0:32:54.6 Paul F. Austin: Have you tried it?

0:32:55.1 Joe Moore: No. No. I've never shot DMT. It'd be interesting for sure.

0:32:57.3 Paul F. Austin: Have you smoked DMT?

0:33:00.2 Joe Moore: Yeah. Yeah, a few times. Yeah. It's pretty neat fun stuff.

0:33:02.3 Paul F. Austin: It's Interesting. Yeah.

0:33:07.9 Joe Moore: Yeah. There's something really curious about it, for sure. But you know, that's the kind of stuff that challenges our assumptions about. Is my theory of mind right? Is this all just coming from my cells and weird emergent phenomena? Perhaps, but you know, we need a lot more science before we have hard answers.

0:33:22.8 Paul F. Austin: Well, I'm glad you're bringing this up because there's often wisdom in tradition and lineage, and that's why it's so important that a lot of the "science and psychology" is balanced with how indigenous cultures and ancient cultures worked with psychedelics and have worked with psychedelics for thousands of years because clearly they're doing something correct. And so instead of getting caught up in theories, it could be this, it could be that, it's a very much a mind activity and not actually all that useful for real transformation. What are the containers that indigenous peoples and you know, even the ancient Greeks created that allowed for transformation. Because there will always be disagreement about things that are this recent, about anything that's sort of cutting edge from a scientific perspective. But I don't think there's disagreement necessarily in the psychedelic space. I mean, I'm sure there is, but there's disagreement about everything.

0:34:13.6 Paul F. Austin: But by and large people would agree that a safe container is important. Intentional use is important if you're working, especially with ayahuasca having lineage and sitting with curandero is important. So I think paying attention to those elements rather than, well, what about this theory of mine versus that theory of mine? A lot of that is just, it's just noise for anyone who wants to be serious about I think, real transformation as a practitioner.

0:34:41.6 Joe Moore: Yeah. I spend a lot of time with this stuff, so I think there's so much to it. So the idea that a practitioner should ignore the science is wrong.

0:34:51.9 Paul F. Austin: Correct.

0:34:55.6 Joe Moore: The idea that they should enter the debate, I think is right, because it's fruitful for ways in which it might improve their practice. If and when they can experiment with things and employ things that comes from the research more. "Oh, the data isn't so great here, so let me try this one. Oh, interesting. I had better performance. Great." So it's like finding your path forward with science, even if you might not agree with the sentiment of any individual paper.

0:35:21.0 Paul F. Austin: Well, and research can be useful in that way. An interesting anecdote is in our last intensive, we had a... We do a high dose psilocybin ceremony in a Molokai. And we had one woman who had a couple of comorbidities. She was a little older, a little more overweight, and also had a history of, not epilepsy, but seizures. And we gave her a very low dose of psilocybin, very low dose, but it still substantially impacted her. And so one of our facilitators did research on it right after and was like, "Oh, I found this research paper that shows that if there are more than two comorbidities and the person is potentially elderly, you need to be very cautious and careful about the potential use of psilocybin within that context and container." I never would've known that. I've facilitated a lot. I've been in this space a long time. I never would've known that. And yet having that research then shows, oh, okay, now this is a way that we can approach it differently. And so I think having that sort of accountability or sense of, oh, okay, this is what the research shows, there is something useful here is important. I think more what I'm talking about is too much emphasis and too much focus on theory and getting caught up in the head games of that and debating it and discussing it. It's interesting. We do it on the podcast, but when you're a practitioner and a coach in a transformative container, theory goes out the window.

0:36:41.9 Joe Moore: Especially arguing about theories.

0:36:44.1 Paul F. Austin: Especially arguing about theories.

0:36:45.0 Joe Moore: Yeah. 'Cause you don't get traction there in your inner process, I don't think necessarily.

0:36:49.7 Paul F. Austin: That's more, it's much more experiential, and we want it to be experiential because it is about a process that we're living through. It's not a process that we're thinking through.

0:36:58.9 Joe Moore: Yeah. All right, so process. That's one of my favorite words.

0:37:02.5 Paul F. Austin: So Vital. Okay. So I saw Vital come out. What I was most impressed with when Vital came out was the branding.

0:37:07.1 Joe Moore: It felt like I found some branding wizard.

0:37:10.2 Paul F. Austin: I agree. I remember, and I think that one of the women who worked in there had... Maria, had worked with us for a little bit, had helped us out with our newsletter.

0:37:19.4 Joe Moore: She was amazing.

0:37:23.7 Paul F. Austin: And I remember prior to that, I was like, what's Psychedelics Today? I was like, the branding is fine. It's okay. It gets the job done. It clearly wasn't a focus or an emphasis necessarily. But then when that came out I was like, I the name, the design of the little rhombuses and circles is really cool. And the offering was very aligned, different, but very aligned as well in terms of what we've talked about and discussed. So I'd be curious A, where did the name Vital come from? Why'd you choose it? And then B, just as I did, tell us a little bit about the intention of the program, the structure of the program and maybe even you're... This is I think the third year you're doing it. You have a third cohort that starts in January, is that correct? And you're enrolling for that now?

0:38:08.8 Joe Moore: Yeah.

0:38:09.3 Paul F. Austin: So what have maybe been some of the less like... What have been some of the hard lessons and learnings from the first two cohorts? And I can actually share mine as well.

0:38:21.7 Joe Moore: Yeah. So the origins here for Vital. Kyle and I have been in this space for quite a bit. I started studying LSD psychotherapy pretty hardcore in 2001.

0:38:31.7 Paul F. Austin: With Grof?

0:38:32.3 Joe Moore: Grof's books.

0:38:34.8 Paul F. Austin: Grof's books okay.

0:38:35.7 Joe Moore: Yeah, there was some reference in a Philosophy 101 course that I was taking to Grof. And the story was like, it looked like Exorcist meets Poltergeist and I'm like, is this real? I'm in college, they're supposed to be teaching me true things. So I went to the library. Thankfully, small State school in New Hampshire. We had four Grof books, which was crazy. So luckily I was able to just start digging in which was not easy as a freshman to dig into pretty dense clinical literature. So it took me a while but I started going on all the forums like digging in and found my community and the Grof world and through Breathwork and stuff and it's been great. So that's our origin point and then Grof has been part of our whole thing. Originally I'm fawning over MAPS, but really I wanted to do the Grof training that's where I think the real the structure of that training is so good for this work. It used to effectively be psychedelic training, they just wouldn't call it that. That's what Doblin told me at one point.

0:39:37.0 Joe Moore: So we always say what what would they have done? And that's kind of what we have tried to do. So we wanted to make sure people had a training that we thought would outpace MAPS and CIIS. Those were our specific targets to like, "I want to perform better than them." So as usual...

0:39:52.7 Paul F. Austin: And perform and perform for one intention or for what reason because I think that's an important particular...

0:39:56.4 Joe Moore: We just want them to have better content. So we're not... So MAPS specifically is developing facilitators.

0:40:04.0 Paul F. Austin: For MDMA assistance in psychotherapy.

0:40:06.3 Joe Moore: For one drug. The Grof program is two years. There's no drugs and it's just Breathwork.

0:40:12.4 Paul F. Austin: And you did that. Yourself.

0:40:14.7 Joe Moore: I've not done the Grof stuff. All of my training effectively has been with Dreamshadow in Vermont. They're all close with Stan and got the thumbs up from Stan to operate. It's a very similar training just far more apprenticeship the level of apprenticeship Kyle and I got there is just not to be understated. It was insane. It's so good.

0:40:33.1 Paul F. Austin: So if two years for Breathwork is the bare minimum and some programs are pushing people out to be real facilitators in a short period of time, that doesn't feel great. But how can we contribute in a one-year frame because it's not we can just say, oh here we are with a five-year program that doesn't work. It's not practical. We started with one year, which is pretty ambitious coming from 47 hours nine weeks.

0:41:00.6 Joe Moore: That is ambitious. I think our first camp was four months.

0:41:02.7 Paul F. Austin: Dude. This is a lot. So nine weeks is our program with navigating psychedelics that we've been teaching forever for 47 hours. You've been a contributor there too. How do we make that jump? We're like, well, we just up skill? We just make the real gamble? This was instead of investors. Let's really roll the dice on this and really see what we can pull off and the branding was great and people came over and it worked and we were able to attract all sorts of top talent and what's interesting is we thought we were just going to make an educational program. What we ended up making was you were saying earlier transformational educational experience where people know far more about themselves at the end of the program than they did at the beginning.

0:41:43.7 Paul F. Austin: They know perhaps where they will fit in the scene better. You start out gung-ho, I'm going to move to Costa Rica and start a retreat and facilitate full-time. You're like well, maybe I just want to do prep or integration work or whatever it is, or work in biotech because novel molecules are pretty interesting sometimes.

0:42:02.0 Joe Moore: So we also started with a foundation of inclusion. We in our experience teaching navigating psychedelics kept seeing how magical it was for people with licensure like therapists, psychologists, doctors to be in the room with yoga teachers, life coaches, whatever it was, and there was a really interesting chemistry there. So we wanted to amplify that and not have it be purely clinician focused. Because when clinicians are together, I think they get tighter there's a lot of contraction. They're like I'm going to shrink who I am and play my role as licensee versus play my role as fully expressed human which is like we want people to be more fully expressed.

0:42:44.0 Joe Moore: We want people to really say what they believe and ask all the questions they need to ask not just feeling, I'm a therapist so this is my only scope of practice. I'm only concerned with this little circle. It's a big circle, but there's other things in there. And so we wanted to be able to challenge those assumptions. We wanted folks to get exposure to everything from ancient psychedelic history to the '60s to the research back then and now and also have instructors. So we pulled rock stars from from everywhere? So anywhere we could get a big name that's published a bunch or has recognition or contributed to major ways that we like, we tried our best to get them to be kind of our weekly guest lecture.

0:43:28.0 Joe Moore: So we do a lot of those. So that's usually like hour, hour and a half plus a Q&A period with all of our students and then people would then break into their... For lack of a better word, homeroom groups. So we would have you with two support staff and somewhere between I think 12 to 20 students in each group and they would be able to debrief on that week's material both in that lecture and whatever the homework was from the previous week. So you could have a learning and processing group and what we've noticed is the bonding that happens and you've probably seen very similar stuff. But we were seeing it in a four-week program. Never mind a year. They're almost family at the end. It's shocking. You're like let's move in together. I'm like, well, not yet, but it's fascinating to see what people have done. They've started retreats. They've started businesses. I think some people are now at a fund. It's amazing really.

0:44:28.9 Paul F. Austin: And tell us about the the retreat that you have as part of it because I know it's... From what I understand when I was doing some research on it, you have four or five or six different retreats that people can attend as part of that.

0:44:41.7 Joe Moore: I like your model though one big retreat. I like that.

0:44:43.8 Paul F. Austin: It's simpler.

0:44:44.4 Joe Moore: It's so logistic heavy to do retreats.

0:44:48.9 Paul F. Austin: Retreats are very logistic heavy and then if you don't fill all the spots then it's... Because I noticed that as well. You'll enroll... And I'd love to hear the sort of... I'm sure it's just to help with covering cash flow and whatnot. So you have these different retreats. I think one is for Breathwork. One is for psilocybin one is for maybe ketamine or...

0:45:06.6 Joe Moore: Or we're working on ketamine. We'll probably have that as an option this year.

0:45:12.6 Paul F. Austin: Over 24?

0:45:13.1 Joe Moore: I guess we don't include it in the price because it's so variable depending on what people want to pick?

0:45:20.9 Paul F. Austin: Oh interesting. Okay.

0:45:21.4 Joe Moore: So it's five grand to go here and get a single bedroom or it's 1,200 to go to this one. So we want to give people a lot of options. We also don't wanna make it mandatory for people to have to consume drugs for whatever reason. So we made a Breathwork option available with optional cannabis. We were doing that with Daniel McQueen and Boulder. We did another one Everland Ranch outside Denver, which is super cool. I hope they recover and we can use them again, but it's a brilliant space.

0:45:52.5 Paul F. Austin: What happened?

0:45:53.0 Joe Moore: Burners doing business. I don't exactly understand what happened there. Oh what it was the town started revolting super conservative kind of Ranchi area. The first thing they did was, I think the tenants moved in and took down a large cross off the barn and the neighbors didn't love that.

0:46:12.6 Paul F. Austin: But it's cool? Not only is it a retreat center, but it's surrounded by Burning Man art in the woods. So they'll get large installations and put it all in these woods in Colorado. And it's beautiful.

0:46:23.9 Joe Moore: But yeah, I think it was a mix. That's what it was. They could only... But the county have a few designated days for retreats per year and that doesn't work as a business.

0:46:33.5 Paul F. Austin: Not at all.

0:46:34.1 Joe Moore: So they say like, oh, you can only do four. It's like great, great. What do I do with this whole thing?

0:46:40.4 Paul F. Austin: Yeah, it doesn't work. So you have these different... You have these different retreat options. It's not included as part of the overall year long program. Do you require people to attend a retreat in order to graduate still?

0:46:49.2 Joe Moore: Yeah, so we started with these Breathwork cannabis retreats in Boulder. That was really good. We did a few retreats partnered with Atman in Jamaica. That was pretty good. We like working with them and then we wanted to include Europe. So we worked with Kiyumi. We might work with a group called Kaizen next year in Netherlands and our retreat partner Prasada. They've been really fun. Alice has she comes from our Breathwork world Dreamshadow. She took Vital in our first cohort and might have been the second cohort. I forget but she was producing all of our retreats and said I would to do one on coastal Costa Rica the resort butts up to the water. It's gorgeous. It's going to be great. We did Breathwork there was perfect. We just did one in Portugal very similarly just Breathwork. We're doing Breathwork Fitness.

0:47:38.4 Joe Moore: So we have a movement like CrossFit coach that will come there'll be yoga options and that kind of stuff feels neat because it's getting people embodied before big experiences. I think generally a boon to the process, but not everybody's at the point in their lives where they can get embodied. So that kind of stuff's really good and that kind of shows a model of wellness here's what a wellness retreat would look like and I was it's been a fun conference. It's a training retreat. It's not a wellness retreat because I want it to be as cheap as possible for folks to go to these but also by making it super cheap you could lose out on a lot of lessons and available experiences.

0:48:20.8 Paul F. Austin: And in your first cohort I know I read something on LinkedIn, you provided a lot of scholarships. I don't know if you've done the same for the second cohort. How do you approach the scholarship angle when it comes to the enrollments for Vital and maybe even more broadly. How do you approach curation of the group? Do you curate? Do you just sort of allow anyone to come in? What do you vet for and again, what are... I still want to hear because I'll share mine as well. What are some of the hard lessons you've learned in building Vital over the last couple of years that might be a good perspective from someone on the inside.

0:48:56.7 Joe Moore: Yeah, so scholarship-wise last year, I think we did $511,000 in scholarship self-funded. Which is pretty wild probably to our detriment financially because we only received a handful of donations to help back that. But we want to teach as many people as possible in our framework. It's not... I wish I could say it's all about money. My life would be a lot simpler if it was all about money, but it's not it's a really big mission and I think a lot of us feel it and that's why we're here. What else is possibly so radically world-changing it's this and AI now.

0:49:34.0 Paul F. Austin: Exactly. Maybe together.

0:49:37.2 Joe Moore: Yikes, but yes. We did that our first year too. I think we did about 170-250K year 1. 511 last year. We received I think some donations from Nue Life to help cover and... Was there other groups? I guarantee there was another group and I'm sorry there for not remembering it's more about them. But yeah, I think in terms of how do we pick those people? We were going for geographic diversity, racial diversity, gender, sexual identity diversity, all this kind of stuff and what I thought was unique for us was, you're disadvantaged, you live in super rural North Dakota, you need a scholarship, you're white. We still want to help you it's not just exclusively BIPOC inclusion which was big for us too, but we wanted to include, where else do we need Rock star players in the space and we need rural people to be advocates, evangelists Etcetera for their region.

0:50:39.4 Joe Moore: So for when legalization comes around federally or the state level, they can advocate smartly and perhaps start clinics or whatever it is. So that's kind of our angle. We have people apply. They write a letter. We give them a discounted application. I think we're already fully subscribed on scholarships this year so is everybody but try maybe. But it's an interesting process and it's really at times gut wrenching to say no we just we just ran out, I'm sorry. We picked so many amazing people and it's not even necessarily about stack ranking theoretically a Harvard might want to theoretically, and how do you get through that? It's debate regular debate and discussion with your team about how does this line up with your values and where you want to go all that kind of fun stuff.

0:51:31.3 Paul F. Austin: And lessons learned in the last couple of years. What are some of the hard ones.

0:51:34.3 Joe Moore: Oh lessons learned. Joe likes to go really fast and he shouldn't always go so fast. What else? Things take more time than you'd think to get, especially to get it really right. And I think a lot of people in the space would do well to learn from contemporary business practices and try to employ stuff that other businesses are using because it will make your world easier. For instance if I had somebody maybe not a PMP but somebody with some familiarity of project management helping with a lot of these projects it would have been so much better.

0:52:14.3 Paul F. Austin: You didn't, and this is to start with.

0:52:14.7 Joe Moore: No I'm the one with project management experience and it was like I was doing too much to manage the projects. I used to manage all sorts of international software projects. It was crazy. It was fun. It's great. But I'm not wearing... Not enough hats to have deployed my skills there. So that would have made everything so much easier in terms of retreat planning booking all the teachers for the whole year because you know our schedules, sometimes people get sick and can't lecture and who's the backup and all this kind of fun stuff and who uploads the videos to the Ed platform, all that. So things that, if I went a little slower, which, we're on year three.

0:52:54.7 Joe Moore: So we've learned everything really already. But you know people want super responsive customer service and we have effectively a dedicated customer service person now and I'm in touch with them daily about here's how, here's what I think we should do with that person or whatever it is. And yeah, I think psychedelics aren't... They're amazing, they are unique, but they're not the thing that makes your business not need to follow normal human behavior. We need to fall into some sort of normalcy in the way we're showing up and I think we thought that a few times like, oh no, we're so virtuous, we're great. No, you still need to function like a business guys and slow it down and it's not just because you're doing good it's gonna work. There's plenty of businesses that were doing good and are out now.

0:53:44.2 Paul F. Austin: House of cards. In a way not enough SOP's not enough structure, psychedelics...

0:53:50.2 Joe Moore: Agreed. That's was envious about with you. I always knew that you were building a good foundation. I'm like urgh, I wish I could have slowed down to actually build that.

0:53:58.0 Paul F. Austin: Well, I mean it's interesting because the external is different than the internal. Because I look at my business and I'm like "Oh there's still a lot of operational improvements." I think for us and I've looked at the training program. One is just managing expectations. People come in they want X, Y and Z or they're looking for X, Y and Z, you've probably had this. We've had it there will be people who maybe get disgruntled at some point in time or this wasn't what I thought I paid for.

0:54:27.5 Joe Moore: It can get wild.

0:54:28.5 Paul F. Austin: It's interesting, 'cause now I take an approach. We get very specific on... We have an admissions interview. This is what it is. We clarify what it isn't and what it is. And then in our orientation I also cover like these are the agreements that we're making as part of this container. If you don't uphold these agreements, then you may be asked to leave the container and I've had to ask, very rarely it's happened. Maybe we've had about 200 students go through it, it's probably happened with two of them, but it does happen. Because what I've noticed is one person who is angry or disgruntled or looking to cause trouble or just trying to go toe-to-toe on a an ego bend with the teachers or facilitators one person who does that could shift the entire energy of the cohort or the retreat.

0:55:18.7 Paul F. Austin: And so we really have to be impeccable about how we're welcoming people and the expectations that we're sending. I found that to be the most difficult and challenging. And we're still learning things about oh, small tweaks here and there.

0:55:33.8 Joe Moore: Even saying something 10% differently? It's crazy.

0:55:38.6 Paul F. Austin: It's crazy and it is this sense of... In a space psychedelics there's a lot of trauma sensitivity. There's a lot of sensitivity to word choice and language and navigating that is important while not being suffocated by it. So I'd say that's been one of the bigger lessons. I'd say the other big lesson for me, and this is probably more on the positive side is I really love teaching and education and retreats and I just find that when I think about Third Wave as more of a media platform and the Coaching Institute as more of a training platform. I really find myself much more pulled to trainings, intensives, in person because there's a lot more richness than just sitting behind a computer screen. But as you know content marketing, media, podcasts, email, newsletter all of that is also really important if you wanna grow and develop.

0:56:46.2 Joe Moore: It's what keeps the other things alive. A training program.

0:56:47.9 Paul F. Austin: And we probably both reach this point in time now where word of mouth for training programs like this is really important. We haven't done any ourselves any paid advertising or public advertising. What I found to work really well is I'll go on a lot of podcasts that are not in the psychedelic space and talk about this and so people will learn about it and come.

0:57:12.0 Paul F. Austin: We talk a lot about it on our... I saw you all do this as well. We talk a lot about it on our podcast as well. We interview old students or things that. So I think, this sense of not looking at this as a massively scalable thing, but if we could train, upwards of two to 300 coaches a year, coaches and practitioners a year, that for me feels a really good, from a business side, a really good model. And it...

0:57:42.1 Joe Moore: That's about the numbers we hope for as well.

0:57:43.7 Paul F. Austin: And it allows for a level of selectivity because, the fundamental truth is when you put your stamp of approval on an individual, when you certify them, they represent your brand. They represent what you're up to. So they're also I think... It can't be a rubber stamp because it not only puts the potential people at risk in terms of who they might work with, but it also puts your brand at risk. And so I think that aspect as well of they deserve this. They went through a lot to get this, they met these certain requirements and then they get certified as a result of that is important, especially in the psychedelic space.

0:58:27.6 Joe Moore: Agreed. It's really, it's not easy in the whole Breathwork world. It's very similar. You might go through the whole thing, but if two or three of the elders there are no, you're not coming through, you could get really frustrated. And it's not necessarily like, "Hey, you're done." It's more like, here's what we want you to do. Yeah. To get to done.

0:58:45.4 Paul F. Austin: That's important. You're not cut out necessarily.

0:58:50.7 Joe Moore: Yeah. We just want you to do a little bit of finishing work. I don't actually know how that works at Vital. I know that's something we've chatted about a lot. Thankfully what we have is we're not a facilitation training. We're just short of that. And as a result, thankfully people aren't facilitating with our thumbs up. We tell 'em we're not giving you the authority. If you wanna take that authority, great. But it's not from us.

0:59:13.7 Paul F. Austin: So it's a certification for coaching.

0:59:16.9 Joe Moore: We call it harm reduction and integration.

0:59:19.5 Paul F. Austin: Interesting.

0:59:20.3 Joe Moore: A certificate in harm reduction and integration. And really, I suppose what's perhaps slightly different is from yours in that you're kind of really focused on coaching, which is great. We're really broadly focused. We kind of consider what we're doing a liberal arts degree in psychedelics. And we're, okay, so what if the accountancy needs somebody who can speak to this population? Maybe they'll pick up a Vital grad or a retreat center doesn't want, just somebody with a lot of legacy experience, they want legacy experience plus a training. Or a branding company really needs to do that or... There are so many different subcategories of jobs. That's kind of what we're seeing is, there are so many jobs coming to psychedelics. We don't know if it's in two years or 10, but it's gonna be a gigantic explosion in the next period of time here. And we both feel that I think and we just want to seed good actors into all aspects. It could be from government to a lobby to a fund.

1:00:22.0 Paul F. Austin: So we've been... When did you start Psychedelics Today? Was it 2015 or 2016?

1:00:27.7 Joe Moore: Our first episode was May, 2016. That's what I remember.

1:00:31.9 Paul F. Austin: Okay. So seven years now. A little more than seven years.

1:00:36.2 Joe Moore: Seven and a half.

1:00:36.8 Paul F. Austin: Seven and a half. We'll probably wrap up here in the next little bit. What are just some of the most interesting insights and perspectives and observations over the last seven years? As you've been in the space that you've noticed that you've observed, that you've reflected on, what have you learned and what's that been for you?

1:00:54.0 Joe Moore: It's been weird. [laughter] It's been good.

1:01:00.4 Paul F. Austin: Psychedelics are weird that's for sure.

1:01:00.5 Joe Moore: [laughter] So, you know what I loved early, when I was going to Early Horizons, listening to too much Terence McKenna and stuff like that was, I was really enlivened by how Vital everybody was, there it's, yeah. [laughter] and how amazingly lit up they are by expressing their creative ideas. I think that was a big thing for me. And I believe to a degree we're seeing even more of that now. People are getting permission. The old timers didn't exactly need it, but, we needed a little permission this time around for whatever reason. And people are really running with amazingly creative ideas all the time. I'm sure you hear about at least one interesting thing a week and you're like, oh yeah, hell, yeah. That's awesome they're doing that. I kind of wish I was doing it, but I'm glad somebody's doing it.

1:01:47.6 Paul F. Austin: Yeah, we have a few facilitators who went through our first cohort who are doing a Grateful Dead retreat where they're gonna create a whole sort of experience around dead music in ceremony with psychedelics. So it's like...

1:02:03.6 Joe Moore: Somebody needs to research that [laughter], but I'm glad I did a little bit of that research on my own at Phish shows. It was good... But yeah. How do we bring in this novelty? And I think that's what I like is it's not just boring medical stuff. I'm still seeing an amplification in this topic around the drug war and psychedelic exceptionalism. We just published a piece, I think healing well harming about, yeah, cool, we're healing, but we're also, at the same time as we're healing, we're strengthening the drug war and ruining families and whatever else, blah, blah, blah. Anti drug war talk.

1:02:36.7 Paul F. Austin: Interesting. Who wrote that?

1:02:38.6 Joe Moore: So that was by I think Clayton Ikes, he's a Boulder guy. I can connect you later with him if you'd like. And it's yeah, this is the thing I've been talking about, Carl Hart, all this kind of like, we're not free until all the drugs are free [laughter] How do we get safe supply? My friends are dying from this stuff. My friends are going to jail from this stuff. How do we not go to jail anymore for these things? And I think that debate is warming up. It's still a debate though to me because, I thought the question was settled years ago, but it is surely not. Should taxpayer dollars go to keep people in jail for non-violent offenses?

1:03:19.7 Paul F. Austin: Absolutely not.

1:03:20.6 Joe Moore: And also put them at risk of dying from an untainted supply.

1:03:23.8 Paul F. Austin: Ethan Nadelmann put... I interviewed him for the podcast a couple of years ago, and he put it really well. 'cause I've always had a little bit of a hard time with... All drugs are the same. And the fact is...

1:03:34.0 Joe Moore: They're certainly not the same.

1:03:35.2 Paul F. Austin: They're not.

1:03:35.3 Joe Moore: It's just what about what penalties should be or should the government be trying to keep people alive. Alfentanyl, contamination's cool. Only, 80,000 people a year are gonna die, so we're fine with it or... It's not that the drugs are the same, it's that what is the government's role in relation to drugs, and should we have a science-based drug policy? Totally. What else should we have?

1:04:00.3 Paul F. Austin: Well, the way that Ethan described it, he's like, the First amendment protects both good speech and not so great speech. And he's like that's how I think about it with drug policy. With drug policy, regardless of how harmful the drug is or potentially harmful the drug is. And as we know, this is all about context, 'cause in some cases, cocaine can be used for surgery, or opiates can be used for pain, or methamphetamines can be used to help 6-year-olds focus, which is a whole different issue. But I think at the end of the day, there are certain substances that science shows us are more beneficial to human health, psilocybin and LSD neuroplasticity, even anti-inflammatory properties. And there are certain substances or drugs that are maybe less beneficial for human health, but these are all drugs.

1:04:46.5 Paul F. Austin: They should all be protected. People should be able to utilize them as they need when they need. And none of them should be criminalized whatsoever. And so having that basic fundamental aspect of protection, I think you can't cover the good if you also can't cover the "bad". Good and bad is very comparative, relative in this sense. But when he described that to me, I was like, I get it now.

1:05:10.4 Joe Moore: It's hard. It's...

1:05:10.9 Paul F. Austin: I'm like, that makes sense because it is a natural human impulse or right to alter our consciousness. And...

1:05:23.4 Joe Moore: So isn't hierarchy making?

1:05:25.4 Paul F. Austin: Exactly. 99% of the harm comes from the fact that these are prohibited 99% of it...

1:05:29.9 Joe Moore: If we know the dose, we knew the purity. Fuck yeah. And I could sue the drug dealer for giving me something that wasn't what I thought it was. Imagine being able to trust the police again. I still feel very uncomfortable. I'm a white guy in America and I'm afraid of the police. It's ridiculous. But I am because I'm in this world.

1:05:48.2 Paul F. Austin: It is. Yeah. It's a tough one. It's complex, it's nuanced, but at the end of the day, all drugs should be decriminalized. People should be aware of their benefits and risks. They should know that it's a pure supply. And I find myself personally, I'm just less interested in drug policy and more interested in psychedelics on a personal level as well. So it's like...

1:06:10.0 Joe Moore: It's when we're doing the government, we're talking to politicians and stuff that's when it seems to me, incumbent on us is people that want more healing in the world. If we want more healing in the world, let's do also less harm. And stop harming people that way, so we can heal more.

1:06:27.5 Paul F. Austin: Well, and I think... Healing is important. Healing is super important. And I think another aspect that I've noticed is there was this Washington Post editorial that was published, I don't know, two, three months ago that you probably saw as well about how people shouldn't be self-medicating with psychedelics.

1:06:43.6 Joe Moore: I was so frustrated by that headline. I didn't read the article. I was running around my house yelling, [laughter] yelling about the tweet they posted it.

1:06:52.3 Paul F. Austin: And the irony of it was, and I love Michael Pollan and what he's done for the space, but then Michael Pollan sort of retweeted it. And of course a retweet is not necessarily endorsement, but there was this sort of sense of we've opened Pandora's box now, especially with how to Change Your Mind. That was published in 2018. A friend of mine who you may know as well, Dennis Walker, who does the Mycopreneur stuff, he made a really good point, which is in the 60s, we didn't have grow kits. Now everyone can just simply grow their own mushrooms. So it's this whole model that you think is the way that psychedelics should roll out is not the way that it will roll out. And that's I think, an important distinction.

1:07:30.7 Joe Moore: You probably actually know this stuff already, but theoretically, the FDA is gonna keep all of us in line and only using government MDMA or whatever it is. Great, cool. Whatever. But what's happening is engineers have figured out how to splice DNA and de yeast bacterias and things. So these...

1:07:51.8 Paul F. Austin: Are we gonna talk about Syl Methvin now?

1:07:51.9 Joe Moore: No, we're not gonna go there. This is actually real, and it's in actual biotech.

1:07:57.8 Paul F. Austin: I talked to Hamilton. No, I talked with Hamilton about this when, when I interviewed him. Yeah.

1:08:02.4 Joe Moore: Yeah. So, algaes can excrete amazing drugs in unique environments. So in terms of deflating cartels, we're one invention away from eliminating cartel control over cocaine through...

1:08:14.0 Paul F. Austin: How interesting.

1:08:14.1 Joe Moore: Grow and democratizing cocaine manufacturing closets, small little brew kits. So, any smart engineer out there could take this idea, learn about CRISPR and figure out how to do that and radically democratize manufacturing. I think we're gonna continue to see democratize manufacture. And likewise with grow kits being the most obvious aspect of that, it's gonna be a really interesting ride from here. It's already been pretty weird and interesting.

1:08:45.2 Paul F. Austin: It's this whole mycelial network. That's starting to emerge, I often call mushrooms the medicine of the people that they can't be prohibited or criminalized. It's literally impossible. Unless we lived in a total fascist police state. And so all of these... We're at a business conference right now in the psychedelic space. We know there've been I think over $2 billion invested in the space at this point in time. And my bet is that only 10% of people who work with psychedelics will go through that FDA route even...

1:09:20.5 Joe Moore: At most, yeah.

1:09:22.1 Paul F. Austin: At most. Only if of course MDMA does get approved, which we're still waiting to see. And see ibin does get approved in 2027. And these other sort of interesting psychedelic drugs are also approved, which I think is likely, I do think is likely and it get's to be seen by the end of this decade. But after people have that first experience and they start to meet and connect with community. This grow gather gift model of how mushrooms grow everywhere like, okay, do I want to pay a thousand dollars a month for health insurance to cover my $15,000, psychedelic assisted psychotherapy, or do I want to pay $50 for a grow kit or, $100 for enough mushroom medicine for the next year or two years and just do it in sort of a church style community aspect where, I know I can trust the facilitators.

1:10:08.0 Paul F. Austin: The space has been held well, and I think that's also really important to emphasize with accessibility. Churches have figured this out pretty well, how to create accessibility. I grew up in a church myself, and every week we would do a soup kitchen and every week we'd have a food pantry and homeless people in Grand Rapids, which is where I grew up, would come and they would get food and, be able to be taken care of. And anyone can come to church. You don't have to pay to go to church. Now you tithe, you donate as part of that. And so I think looking at that model for how we roll out psychedelics, and we are, we know there's, I mean, how many churches by now would you estimate there are Joe? 500, 600,000?

1:10:51.5 Joe Moore: I'm nervous for all of them.

1:10:52.3 Paul F. Austin: 'Cause only three are actually legal. Not three, sorry. Two.

1:10:54.9 Joe Moore: I got two.

1:10:55.1 Paul F. Austin: UDB Santo Diame then you have ONAC. But ONAC is not necessarily a church that's a native American church, but. It's a little different.

1:11:02.6 Joe Moore: NAC, regular NAC for sure. Which I'm learning is not exactly as clean a story as we want to think it is. But there are so many ways forward. I actually did a project a couple of years ago trying to get Christian leaders more educated and it ended up making a lot of groups do Christian retreats to Netherlands. And I was, guys, you could do this in your basement with... Get some sort of therapist to donate their day and a prescriber. And you can be doing this in your church basement all day with your community doing amazing cap work. And if you wanna break the law, great bring some mushrooms in. Do it. Imagine the Episcopal priest getting arrested for mushrooms. Amazing. What good press. So I'm always subversive, I want...

1:11:51.2 Paul F. Austin: You gotta be subversive. Psychedelics are nothing, if not sub subversive.

1:11:51.5 Joe Moore: I want change. [laughter] I want so much change and we'll figure it out. Cool. Anything else we want to fit in.

1:12:01.8 Paul F. Austin: Well, I mean, so you have a Vital cohort starting what, January?

1:12:05.1 Joe Moore: Late January. January 23, I think it's.

1:12:06.0 Paul F. Austin: Late January, so by the time this podcast is published, it will still be open. So if people wanna learn more about Vital, where where can they go to learn more?

1:12:14.7 Joe Moore: And there's an application, so fill that out. Hit us up if you have questions, info@psychedelicstoday or socials or wherever you wanna hit us up. That's fine.

1:12:24.0 Paul F. Austin: And then for your listeners. 'cause that would be for our listeners. For your listeners. Ours is the Psychedelic Coaching Institute. That's And we have our next cohort that starts around the same time, early February. The retreat will be in Costa Rica in June, June 20 to 25. And then we also have a free community platform. You can go and download the Third Wave app. We I think have 3,000 members who are a part of that. We have discussion on how to grow mushrooms and microdosing and what's going on in the scientific and research aspect. So if you do wanna join an engaged and thriving community, you could download Third Wave's community app from the app store as well. And then the is our domain.

1:13:07.0 Joe Moore: This feels late to ask this, but, how many hours a week typically would somebody want to commit to your program?

1:13:12.7 Paul F. Austin: So the first three months is a little bit more intense. It's probably anywhere from eight to 10 hours a week. The intensive is full on for six days in Costa Rica. And then in the practicum it probably goes down to maybe three hours a week, 'cause the practicum is a bit more spread out. So it might be three to four hours a week. So if the program is 10 months, that's on average probably 45 weeks. And yeah, it might be on average six hours. So it's, let me do the math quick. 270 hours or so. We'll even round down, it's a 250 hour program is probably a good way to definitely...

1:13:49.1 Joe Moore: I think softly we're at four to five hours a week. That's probably in the low end probably, but for a full year.

1:13:54.9 Paul F. Austin: And some people, we have three books that we ask you to read as part of the theory, one of which is Pharmako Gnosis. Have you read Pharmako Gnosis?

1:14:01.4 Joe Moore: No.

1:14:01.5 Paul F. Austin: Oh, Dale Pendell. Do you know Dale Pendell?

1:14:07.3 Joe Moore: Yeah. I'm actually surprised I haven't read that one. Dale. He's a legend in this space.

1:14:08.0 Paul F. Austin: Oh, it's fantastic. And so I was looking for a book that... What's an interesting book that's not just, here's all the science about, mushrooms and MDMA... So I have our students read, 'cause it has a deep dive on every psychedelic, but it includes the historical context the pharmacology, the sort of applied use, all that. And then now the other two books are Stealing Fire by Steven Kotler and Jamie Wheel. And then a book called The Path of Least Resistance [a guy named Robert Fritz, who's a composer, musician, artist. And that talks a lot about the creative orientation, which is a good book just to think about how you sculpt the life that you wanna live.

1:14:45.4 Joe Moore: Super important in coaching.

1:14:46.7 Paul F. Austin: Yes, in coaching in particular.

1:14:47.8 Joe Moore: Yeah. All right.

1:14:50.9 Paul F. Austin: This has been fun, Joe. Seven years in the making.

1:14:52.0 Joe Moore: Yeah. It's ridiculous. It's been so long.

1:14:54.9 Paul F. Austin: We should talk again soon. Thanks for your team reaching out and organizing this. And thanks for everything you're doing for the psychedelic world.


1:15:02.2 Paul F. Austin: I feel like we just need Shelby from DoubleBlind and we'll have the triage of [laughter] psychedelic media companies.

1:15:09.6 Joe Moore: Well you guys both live in SoCal, so let's try to figure something out it would be fun.

1:15:13.5 Paul F. Austin: Yeah, we could do that. This is an official invitation.

1:15:16.8 Joe Moore: Shelby, if you do this, [laughter] All right, Paul, thank you so much and I hope we can do more.

1:15:19.3 Paul F. Austin: Thanks, Joe.


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