“The Industries are Going to be Very Different,” – Sheva Pekar, PsyCann Advisors
“I’m here to help people – minorities, women, veterans – those who get left behind when people are chasing after money,” says Sheva Pekar, Founder and CEO of PsyCann Advisors, “I want to help people who have the fire, determination, and grit.”
As a consultant, Sheva sees herself as a support and witness to those in cannabis and psychedelics who often get lost in the shuffle when competing against the power and resources of MSOs. “The bigger vision that I stand behind is an industry that is dimensional and has more than one kind of business owner,” she explains.
Getting to the Finish Line Impeccably
Working in the cannabis industry since 2014, Sheva has been actively advocating for her industry clients by providing a strategic industry vision that focuses on long-term business development. “My niche is helping [my clients] get the information they need. As a consultant, I want to serve people through the process so that they can lean on and trust me. I want to help them get all the pieces they need to get to the finish line impeccably.” Sheva’s experience with cannabis will undoubtedly be needed in Colorado as the state moves in a new direction in terms of legislation for psychedelics.
During the November 8 elections, Colorado voters came out 53% in support of Proposition 122, which classifies dimethyltryptamine, ibogaine, mescaline (excluding peyote), psilocybin, and psilocyn as natural drugs, and legalizes the growth, distribution, and sale of these substances through a regulated framework. A Natural Medicine Advisory Board will be appointed by late January to shape regulations. The framework will first focus on psilocybin and psilocyn (“magic mushrooms” and their psychedelic compound) and determine the path forward for the other substances in 2026.
Sheva uses her cannabis industry experience to inform her work within the realm of psychedelics, with PsyCann Advisors being built on recognizing that the cannabis industry has paved the way for other forms of psychedelic recreation and healing. However, she’s quick to note that the industries are more different than similar.
Yet, the Differences are Vast
“The industries are going to be very different. They relate because they’re both ‘drugs’ and people are still learning about what they are and what they do, whether it’s as a consumer or a business, researchers, or a facility,” she notes, “The differences are a lot more vast. ‘MJBiz’ is not going to happen for psychedelics. You’re not going to use mushrooms the same as cannabis. There is no volume, and it’s not a cultivation-centric industry.” Sheva references the parable We Will Call It PALA, written by David Adler; a cautionary tale of what can happen if the psychedelics industry grows too big, too fast.
Instead, Sheva reveals her vision for psychedelics. “It’s more therapeutic, more medical, and community-based,” she says. She believes in a future “where people have the capacity to heal their ancient ancestral wounds with people of their own kind to craft some ancestral generational healing.” She sees Proposition 122 as critical for people like women, Black, and Indigenous people to create safe spaces where they can sit in community with people who share similar backgrounds and traumas.
A System of Accountability & Education
Sheva says that the regulation of psychedelics is a critical way to place accountability on those who are providing these compounds and the therapeutic processes around them. She cites product safety, accountability for therapists to ensure a safe environment, and education as the key to this new regulated industry. “Education is the first step,” she says, noting that over the next few months, there needs to efforts to “educate everyone on everything possible.”
In terms of how we educate, she says, “Education will come down to narratives by people who have consumed these substances who can talk about their experience. There isn’t a lot of research and data, but we have narratives on how X substance changes their life.”
She consistently refers to the soon-to-be regulated industry as one that must be people-centric. “There are so many brilliant psychonauts leading this charge that there is a lot of space for management of the industry in a way that is intentional,” Sheva says, “There are enough people in the driver’s seat to make sure it’s ‘policed’ away from the corporate ‘big business big money’ people for people-centric intentionality.”
An Infinite-Minded Leader
Sheva credits thought-leader and leadership expert Simon Sinek with informing much of how she leads. Sinek encourages people to be “infinite leaders”, writing,
In finite games, like football or chess, the players are known, the rules are fixed, and the endpoint is clear. The winners and losers are easily identified. In infinite games, like business or politics or life itself, the players come and go, the rules are changeable, and there is no defined endpoint.
Adopting this viewpoint requires leaders to let go of the idea that the game has already been decided, where there are clear winners and losers. An infinite game leaves room for changes in players, rules, and the endpoint. “In the mindset of infinite games,” Sheva says, “how do we compete against ourselves to create the best world we can?” In this view, she is dedicated to keeping her business “small, diverse, open, accessible, transparent, and clear.” She says being a listener is one of the most important things she can do as a leader while also leading with authenticity, “I’m a raw human being. I don’t put on a fake face for my clients. They see the real me. I take my time, and I’m available for my clients,” she says.
With this infinite-leadership mentality, Sheva says, “My heart is in the place where I don’t want to serve the MSOs. My intention and heart are in the small women-owned bakery who want to open a dispensary or the minority people who want to get into this industry. I’m a small business, so I want to help other small businesses.”
Advice for Emerging Cannabis and Psychedelics Entrepreneurs
With cannabis continuously experiencing growth across the nation, and states like Oregon and Colorado making significant headway in the psychedelics movement, BIPOCANN asked Sheva for advice for those entering these industries:
“This is advice I gave myself: Get out of your comfort zone and talk to more people. No one’s going to give you the answers, you’re going to have to get them yourself,” she shares, “Talk to everyone, ask questions, learn, and listen to feedback. Take people’s advice; watch what they do or avoid what they do. Be observant, read, learn, study, and show up. Show up for yourself. Showing up for others and be of service by listening and observing. The more we listen, observe and ask questions, the more we have to give when we are ready for that.”
We encourage small businesses who are looking for a trusted consultant to stand by you every step of the way as you enter cannabis or psychedelics to reach out to Sheva and her team at PsyCann Advisors.