Shroomski came around as a dotcom name in May 2019, just before Denver decriminalized psilocybin mushrooms. However, the origins of the name date back to my days as a doorman in Florida.
A half-Russian, half-Czech, regular would tell me how he could endure entire weekends at Disney world with his wife and kids. I remember being impressed that he said he had walked around the park all day and night in 90-degree weather. He told me that he eats the “shroomski’s and goes to Disney all the time.” He’d tell me the only way he even liked theme parks was to “chew some shroomski’s.” That was how I first heard the word, although I had no confirmed spelling at the time.
Fast forward to May 2019 and the week that we decriminalized mushrooms here in Denver. I had started typing in domain names late that week and saw that “Shroomsinc.com” was available, but I had drifted off to sleep. When I awoke at 4:00 in the morning, “Shroomsinc.com” had been taken off the board! I was well aware other hunters were out that week, and I needed to make sure I left with something unforgettable. Later that day, I remembered my old friend and his way of saying shrooms. Shroomski was taken off the market along with all the variations, and I told myself that day that this name was the one nobody would ever forget.
When I arrived (full-time) in Denver in February 2016, my newly formed cannabis company, 0420 Inc., was just a month old and years behind the companies and entrepreneurs that came for the green rush of 2014. At that point in my life, my mind could only see into the near future. In my opinion, this short-sighted approach to thinking was due to a damn near two-decade-long battle with big pharma and their endless arsenal of pills. I thought getting into cannabis was next to impossible, mainly because I didn’t know how to grow weed, and I assumed you needed really deep pockets even to attempt it. I was just happy I didn’t have to drive back into the hood in Florida to score it any longer.
Colorado allowed everyone the opportunity to get into a legal recreational cannabis market for the first time. Like the majority, I was a consumer, simply in awe. I was just grateful to have access to what I thought was the most beautiful and important plant in the universe.
On April 19th, 2015, just under 16 months after my arrival out west, I stopped using pharmaceutical pills altogether. Opiates and Adderall were the last two things I was hooked on. I accomplished that using only weed, water (when it would stay down), and a ton of grit for about 10 or 11 days. You figure that would turn things around immediately in my life, but as much as my health and mental state improved, my life began to collapse around me in practically every other way.
Leaving 2015, I was in my first true “do or die” situation. My old career was dead to me, I had nobody calling, and nobody was returning my calls at that point. I didn’t know anyone out here, and all of my family was back on the east coast. I swore to myself with some serious conviction that I would find a way into the cannabis industry to turn my life around, no matter long it took. Even though I was living inside a doomed business in a strip mall in Grand Junction and didn’t even have a vehicle anymore, I was extremely hungry, very optimistic, and determined to see better times again in my life. I formed 04:20 on January 14th, 2016, and a few months later, I got to Denver full-time. I started selling a product called The Dabsolute Pen, for a guy name Andy Hall whom I’m still friends with to this day. Little did I know then how important that first connection would be and how it would set the tone for the one thing I felt I could do as well as anyone on the planet: networking.
The years passed by, one by one, and I figured out what was working and what was a waste of time. I sold practically every category of cannabis product you could imagine. For the most part, I settled in as one of the state’s more productive wholesalers of cannabis flower. I built a massive network throughout the state and country and am still slinging flower to this day. Shroomski is here to do exactly what I set out to do in early 2016; amplify every single thing I come in contact with or attempt to do for the psychedelic industry. This time, I’m not reacting to what has happened. I’m in a position to design something brand new.
There already is a thriving community around psychedelics, fostered by artists acting as the emblematic glue holding the community together. The visionary artists leading the charge will adorn the pages of this publication. They illustrate what is possible in the future and within the mind, unlike any other group of artists can do. My mother is an art teacher, and she passed her creative genes on to me. I did not inherit her skills with a paintbrush, but I inherited her ability to see that anything can be designed and brought to life over time with the right tools in your hands and a vibrant imagination.
As I approach the year ahead, I can’t help but see how history will begin to repeat itself. Nearly a decade after Colorado legalized cannabis, voters legalized psilocybin mushrooms, and decriminalized DMT, Ibogaine, and mescaline (not from the peyote cactus). There will be abundant opportunities over the next decade, and I want to ensure I do my best to amplify all I can.
The individuals contributing to this publication are all light-years ahead of me in many ways. They are masters at their craft or, at the very least, on the way to becoming masters. I’m just a smiling salesman that throws events a few times a year. I’m genuinely humbled that they have entrusted Shroomski to share their voices with as many people as we can reach. I will promise every one of them, as well as any future contributor to the publication, that I will bang on the doors and make the calls to make sure as many people as possible hear your words. So once again, I find myself in an all too familiar position as the salesman. It’s my job to convince you, the reader, that we’re worthy of your time. As we all know, time is money and the most precious gift we get. Once it has passed by, you can never get it back. As you read the pages of this magazine and our future publications, you’re probably going to notice one thing; we’re searching for solutions, not pointing out problems.
On a personal note, I absolutely love psychedelics and am repeatedly impressed with their potential. I first took mushrooms at my senior prom in the spring of 96; three of my closest friends and I split an ounce and attempted to “keep it a secret” from our dates while each of us was on heroic doses, trying to “be incognito.” It sounds like a movie. The plot twist: I had forgotten the cash for the photos back at the hotel we rented across town and showed up flat broke. So I spent the first half of the prom dancing with practically every couple, trying to scrape up enough money to get pictures with my date, Leanne. I must’ve danced with 30 different couples and eventually drummed up $40 in my first true challenge as a salesman. We all had a ball that night and laughed so hard. They thought that my having to dance with everyone to try and scrape up the money while my date sat idle was hilarious and celebrated every time I returned with a little more money. They started calling me “White Chocolate” about an hour into the prom. That was my name for the rest of the night. I don’t know how I didn’t win prom king, it was obviously rigged. I was snubbed!
Those are some of the memories I hold so very close to my heart. I’m the only one of the four still alive from that night. Each one passed away over the last decade or so, and all of them were from overdoses. It would’ve also happened to me had I not stopped when I did. I was the one that had overdosed twice and was saved both times, once at 16 and again at 26.
I wish I had known then how different and special psilocybin mushrooms were from everything else at that point in my life. I just tossed them in with all the other ones when I should have put all of my focus into it. Instead, I put it into painkillers and what pharma was offering. We were all young and wild, with no regard for our bodies and what we put into them. Not a day goes by that I don’t stop what I’m doing at some point and drift into old memories of my friends who are no longer around.
I know for a fact each one of them would be telling me how they were excited about what I was doing and how they didn’t want me to take it easy or play it safe and get a job for security. They’d want to see the son of a racehorse trainer who grew up at the track put all his money on a longshot that had no business being in the race to begin with, and then let it ride. They’d be really disappointed with me if I just stopped pushing forward as hard as I have the last handful of years. I plan to see them all again at some point, and I want them to be excited when they see me, not disappointed because I wasted the opportunities I had prayed for and willed into my life.
I’m not the only one with a story like that. Too many people have been left picking up the pieces after losing a loved one to an overdose or poisoning. It happens more than ever now, and it rips a part of your heart and soul from you that never really heals. I feel so deeply for the pain that endless people have endured due to overdose. We’re not meant to die that way. The last version of that person is always in their worst possible state. If I don’t do something to try and make some positive impact against this crisis we’re witnessing, I’m letting those friends of mine down. We’re going to discuss it in each issue of this magazine. The past eight years have shown me all the evidence I needed regarding cannabis and its positive impact on one’s life when you swear off all other painkillers and choose cannabis to manage pain. I know that because I’m the one doing it while simultaneously making more progress than ever. I feel the same way about psilocybin mushrooms and other psychedelics. But where cannabis tends to quell my physical pain and help me to unwind, psychedelics are like superchargers for my mind. I’ve become a better and more creative entrepreneur as a result of the way I’ve used them and integrated their lessons. In my opinion, they are the most dynamic and effective compounds for the mind on this planet, and we’re finally starting to wise up to their incredible potential as a society.
And with that, you’re officially at the end of our first trip together! I’ll see you again soon. There are a lot of people that had a hand in this journey I’m on personally. You know who you are and thank you so much.