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Ronan Levy (Field Trip): The Promise and Peril of Industrialized Psychedelics

November 13, 2020

From health centers, to trip apps, and new psychedelics, Field Trip aims to play a central role in psychedelics for the mainstream.

Today I’m interviewing Ronan Levy, co-founder of the psychedelic healthcare company Field Trip. The company includes Field Trip Health Centers for ketamine-assisted therapy, Field Trip Digital (including the apps Trip and Portal), and Field Trip Discovery, which amongst other pursuits is developing the novel psychedelic FT - 104.

On the show we talk about Ronan’s experiences with psychedelics and meditation and the business of Field Trip in detail. Ronan shares his perspective on the modernization and industrialization of psychedelics and addresses the concerns of the existing psychedelic community on the impact of big business on the community. We also talk about the role of therapists, equal access to medicine, and whether it would be a good thing to get mental health benefits without the trip.

As one of a few large organizations hoping to industrialize psychedelic medicine, Field Trip is controversial within the psychedelic community. While Maya Health and I personally don’t endorse all aspects of the Field Trip model, Ronan is a thoughtful person and was gracious in inviting a nuanced conversation about these issues. During the interview, we discuss the North Star psychedelic ethics pledge, of which Maya is a signatory, and the cautionary fable We Will Call It Pala about unforeseen consequences in the rush to psychedelic medicalization, which I would recommend reading prior to listening to this conversation.

Ronan is the Co-founder and Executive Chairman of Field Trip. He is also a partner at Grassfed Ventures, a cannabis and biotech VC firm, and Chief Strategy Officer for Trait Biosciences. He co-founded Canadian Cannabis Clinics as well as CanvasRx Inc. Originally a lawyer, Ronan holds a Juris Doctor and Bachelor of Commerce degree from the University of Toronto. You can hear Ronan on The Field Tripping Podcast, a place for epic personal, spiritual and business journeys on — and in — psychedelics.

Show notes

Links

Timestamps:

  • :05 - Ronan’s describes his first experience with psychedelics and his meditation practice
  • :12 - Ronan describes Field Trip Health Centers and Field Trip Digital
  • :19 - Ronan describes Field Trip Discovery, including the development of a novel psychedelic molecule called FT-104
  • :23 - Ronan shares his perspective on the industrialization and corporatization of psychedelics and Field Trip’s place in that process
  • :33 - How Field Trip approaches the therapists who work at their clinic
  • :37 - Field Trip has not signed the North Star psychedelic ethics pledge but they did apply for B-Corp status
  • :44 - I suggest Ronan get input for Field Trip by sitting in a traditional ayahuasca ceremony
  • :51 - Would it be good thing to get mental health benefits without the trip?
  • :58 - The question of equal access to psychedelics
  • 1:08 - Ronan speak to psychedelic therapists
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About Maya’s Podcast

A conversation series with leaders in the psychedelic community. Designed in service of therapists, healers, retreat leaders, and passionate enthusiasts

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