Startups are betting on a psychedelic gold rush

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A startup called Field Trip is opening clinics where they administer ketamine treatments. Other psychedelics, like MDMA and psilocybin, may follow.

For a long time, Chase Chewning had wanted to try a new type of psychotherapy that uses ketamine, a dissociative anesthetic that’s shown promise as a mental health treatment. Chewning, a veteran who has had several recreational experiences with MDMA and psilocybin, hoped the drug could help him with his PTSD, so he made an appointment at a Los Angeles ketamine therapy clinic operated by Field Trip Health. Having now completed two ketamine sessions, Chewning says his experience at Field Trip has indeed helped him make progress.

“In two sessions, I am profoundly closer to my work on my PTSD,” Chewning told Recode. “And [the treatment] left me with a lot of responsibility on some new work, but very, very exciting things, because I know I’m moving in the right direction, towards better mental health.”

Field Trip, a Canadian startup, is betting others could have similar experiences. In fact, the company is so confident in the promise of these drugs that it’s building 75 centers for psychedelic therapy over the next three years.

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