woman hands holding cup with magic mushroom at psilocybin retreats

Powerful Purpose: How Psilocybin Retreats Are Helping Women Executives

by | Mar 27, 2024

woman hands holding cup with magic mushroom at psilocybin retreats

Written by Jessica McKeil

Jessica McKeil is a cannabis writer and B2B content marketer living in British Columbia, Canada. Her focus on cannabis tech, scientific breakthroughs, and extraction has led to bylines with Cannabis & Tech Today, Terpenes and Testing, Analytical Cannabis, and Grow Mag among others. She is the owner and lead-writer of Sea to Sky Content, which provides content and strategy to the industry’s biggest brands.

The cannabis industry is as rewarding as it is challenging. As women, these highs and lows are even more extreme than what our male counterparts may experience. The landscape, as it is elsewhere, is marred by systemic barriers, sexism, and discrimination. But despite all this, we persist because of our profound passion for the plant.

But what happens when burnout hits? When grinding it out in a male-dominated world finally cracks our tough exterior? Increasingly, women founders, leaders, and executives are turning to mind-altering psilocybin retreats, seeking out profound personal and professional growth.

The Journeymen Collective, founded by Rob Grover and Gary Logan, is one such executive-level retreat that helps everyone, women and men alike, to find their inner drive and reignite the potential in their professional lives. With enough magical guidance, it may just shift the direction of the industry at large.

The Pressures for Women in Cannabis 

Although it may be 2024, women in today’s workforce continue to face both visible and invisible types of discrimination. In the cannabis industry, there is reportedly less stigma against women, but serious and often systemic barriers still exist between us and the levels of success our male counterparts get.

According to The Women in Cannabis Study Report, which interviewed 1,500 US women working in the sector, women “make overwhelming sacrifices” and “face systemic barriers to success, including sexism, harassment, bullying, lack of support, lack of opportunity, lack of benefits, lack of respect, difficulty obtaining funding and resources, low pay, shame, stigma and more.”

The good news is that, despite all this, our numbers are up. The latest state of the industry, published by MJBiz for 2023, shows that women make up 39% of cannabis executives. Why do we persist? The Women in Cannabis survey respondents (40% founders) reported being driven by “a sheer passion for the plant,” and most had direct experience with the plant’s healing powers. This passion is what drives us, even if we are operating in a system that inherently isn’t fair and, at times, is outright discriminatory. 

But this doesn’t mean the high-pressure, roller coaster that is the cannabis industry doesn’t get to us. We can all put our heads down for a time and grind it out to carve out a corner of the market for ourselves—but this is exhausting work. 

What happens when female founders in our industry finally burn out? What happens when we lose sight of the passion that brought us here in the first place? 

As many women founders are discovering, it may be time to step back from the day-to-day, reset, and seek a new perspective.

Enter Psilocybin Retreats

The quest for clarity is precisely why Rob Grover and Gary Logan of The Journeymen Collective see so many professional women walking through their doors. 

In their experience running a high-end luxury psilocybin retreat center a few hours from Vancouver, BC, women are looking for alternative ways to get perspective on their life purpose and unique contributions to the world. 

Psilocybin, a psychedelic chemical found in hundreds of known species of fungi, is helping women release, reflect, and perhaps completely redirect their life’s trajectory. 

They explained, “In 2023, we saw an amazing 183% more guests come to The Journeymen Collective. Almost 75% were women.” They’ve witnessed that “Women appear to be ahead of men in understanding [psilocybin] can positively impact their life, love, and careers.” As Grover suggested, “I think there’s a large portion of women who are seeking true empowerment and form an inner sense of who they are and what they’re here to create.”

No matter what society and culture tell women about how they should act or what they should strive for, Grover sees women coming out of these experiences with “a universal permission slip.” Psilocybin is the key to opening an inner pathway and, as Grover and Logan have seen, helping women decide to tackle the big idea, the grand vision, they’ve been holding on to. 

What Does My Future Look Like?

woman looking out window at psilocybin retreats
What does my future hold? Tapping into your inner self to find purpose, with psilocybin as guide.

A recent article in the Wall Street Journal told us that “The Working Woman’s Newest Life Hack” is magic mushrooms. Yet, in speaking with Grover and Logan, it seems less of a quick-fix “hack” and much more of a long-term process. It’s by no means easy; it requires intention and deep inner work, some of which can be very challenging.

Grover explains, “The journey is, we believe, a sacred process. It’s a reverential process. You can go on one journey with a Journeymen Collective, and be presented with enough information and for you to synthesize and distill for the rest of your life.” 

“We really challenge people to consciously envision what that is, and really allow yourself to step into a journey,” according to Grover. This type of profound clarity can only happen when the journey is purpose-driven, not undertaken on a whim or as a weekend trip. 

Traditionally, these sacred ceremonies only happened every few years and were a very intentional ritual, carefully guided by a trained shaman or leader. Ceremonies involving such deep inner work certainly didn’t roll out every few weekends or months, which is what is happening now in places across North America and even further abroad, in tropical destinations like Costa Rica and Peru. 

In Grover’s opinion, this rapid-fire psilocybin experience is “just going to create greater confusion in your life. You have to give yourself time, it’s like a journey, to give you all these different puzzle pieces that you’ve been looking for. But you have to take that time to integrate it and embody it and work with it and move with it over time.”

Not all Retreats for Women Created Equal

With the explosion of psilocybin retreats now flooding the West, it’s essential to differentiate those set up with integrity from the rest. Especially for women, a retreat involving any mind-altering substances led by powerful or charismatic gurus is a ripe setting for sexual assault and manipulative power dynamics.

Reporting from the BBC and The Cut has covered this issue in depth, mainly within the context of South American ayahuasca retreats. In this scenario, women travel to the Amazon to seek healing from a shaman, only to find themselves assaulted at the moment of their greatest vulnerability. 

But it’s not just in Peru or with ayahuasca. This has even happened at a MAPS-sanctioned MDMA clinical trial, as reported by the CBC

Author’s Note: In my area of the Pacific Northwest, where psilocybin retreats are a booming industry with dozens of self-proclaimed sitters, gurus, and shamans, I’ve personally heard serious accusations from women who have gone through psychedelic ceremonies with harrowing experiences. This is an alarming and, I believe, under-reported issue in this world.

Another rarely discussed dilemma for the booming industry is the complete lack of pre- and post-trip support. All too often, even shaman-led psilocybin retreats require only a deposit before arrival. 

Jessica McKeil

There is no pre-trip introduction to the people hosting, no establishment of trust, and absolutely no follow-up after the trip event. Not only does this put women in danger, but it risks losing the powerful lessons gained through the journey without any supportive interaction. 

Designing Safe Psilocybin Retreats for Women

woman going to a psilocybin retreat, Rob Grover as shaman
The Journeymen Collective creates a safe, spacious experience.

In conversations with the Journeymen Collective, it’s clear they run an entirely different program—one wholly designed around the safety of their guests and the integrity of the psilocybin journey. 

The experience they facilitate is not just a trendy weekend trip where their guests are unceremoniously served a high dose of magical mushrooms and immediately released into the real world to process their experiences alone. Instead, it’s thoughtfully and expertly guided, helping founders, visionaries, and leaders “weave the transcendental threads of knowledge […] through the eye of the needle of your embodied heart into the tapestry of your visionary reality.”

Intensive Personalized Support Critical to Integration

Firstly, working with The Journeymen Collective isn’t a weekend trip. Their offerings range from six to 18 months, with intensive, personalized support for pre-retreat preparation and reintegration. In preparation for the journey, taking place several months before the event itself, clients get to know both Grover and Logan long before meeting in person. This lays the foundations for an experience that is safe and built on trust.

Intentionally Spacious and Luxurious Setting

Secondly, you’ll never be crammed like sardines into a dark, dingy environment with other people. Even on their group psilocybin retreats, there are only four guests at a time. Plus, it’s set in what they call their “five-star Boutique Resort” to ensure “you have a nice amount of space for yourself, and you’re cared for at a very high level.” As their guests have told them, “It’s the Rolls Royce or the Four Seasons experience.” 

One-to-One Ratio of Support

Third, you will never be neglected, especially during your most vulnerable moments, traveling deep within the inner metaphysical world. The Journeymen Collective maintains a one-to-one ratio of guests to support people. On solo journeys, it can be as high as three support people per guest.

“To be clear, they’re not sitters, “says Logan. “Everybody who works with us has come through the journey. They know how the Journeymen Collective works. They bring their own magic, we’ll call it, to this space because there is a vast difference between guide and sitter.” 

For female clients, they also bring on a female support person to be part of the staff. First and foremost, she’s there for her experience and skill set, but she can also help balance the gender dynamic.

Experienced Multidisciplinary Shamans

Finally, Logan and Grover, your guides, have more than 50 years of combined experience. Logan has spent over four decades exploring the mind-body-spirit connection, encompassing the study of stillness and the Alexander Technique and culminating in a significant transformation during a shamanic journey to overcome grief and mild depression. 

Grover’s journey into awareness began in 2003 with a profound awakening, leading him from a successful corporate career to explore spiritual and shamanic paths under the guidance of several spiritual teachers. His path to self-mastery involved connecting with innate guidance systems and universal truths, utilizing his scientific background and spiritual awareness to prepare clients energetically for shamanic journeys. 

Rob Grover and Gary Logan, Co-Founders of the Journeymen Collective

Psilocybin Retreats: “This is a game changer….This is a life changer.”

From past guest testimonials, it’s clear that The Journeymen Collective guides entrepreneurs on a life-changing journey that has profound effects on their lives, relationships, and businesses.

Across the chaotic landscape of the uncertain and competitive cannabis industry, it may just be what female founders need. Under the guidance of people like Grover and Logan and the magic of psilocybin, women leaders in this sector may be able to rediscover precisely why they came into this business to begin with — and, perhaps, tap into their inner strength to change the industry for the better.