In this episode, Joe interviews Erik Vaughan: Co-Founder and Manager of Epiphany Mushroom, a mushroom and mental health company based in Akron, Ohio.
Epiphany mushrooms will initially be selling Lion’s Mane, Reishi, and Cordyceps, and they plan to expand into more functional mushrooms while also pursuing a license to operate healing centers in Colorado. Vaughan was involved in changing Colorado’s psilocybin legislation after lobbying to add a section that allows product testing labs to register and charge for their services – while voluntary and complementary to required testing, it allows growers to have an unlimited amount of product for testing purposes; adds an extra step in keeping the grower and lab in compliance with state law; and, as more states work on their own legislation, highlights the need for potency testing to let customers know exactly what they’re ingesting.
He discusses changing attitudes and how Michigan can lead the way for the midwest; why he’s excited about Colorado and what they got right; the enthusiasm of the mycology crowd; Rick Perry’s speech at Psychedelic Science 2023; the iron law of prohibition and mushroom products sold in Ohio; and the incredible inefficiency of the drug war (when viewed like it was not designed to do exactly what it’s doing).
“This is how we get to maximum access. There’s a lot of the population that wants a regulated, licensed program. But also, that is going to price out a lot of the population. And so, having access to all of these different delivery methods, all of these different programs, [all of the ways] you can do it, all of the different ranges of costs: I think this is how you allow responsible access to the most amount of people with the least amount of damage.”
“It’s just such an incredible inefficiency. We’re losing that war on every metric, and how is that good for anyone? …You don’t even have to care about the good that it does for the individual, you can just look at it purely from an economic standpoint: it creates this untaxed black market that has dangerous products. And how’s it going? That, again, is what excites me to see; that in 50 years, we’re going to look back and say, ‘Ok. Hey, we made it through that.’”