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Factory event brings psychedelics to the forefront

David Krakow



The scene at Cannadelic Summer 2023, July 15 at The Factory St. Pete. Photo: Facebook.

Peter Sessa has been organizing cannabis events in the state of Florida for the past decade, including several in the Tampa Bay area. But something changed during Covid, he believes, when people’s needs and desires morphed into new directions.

“It’s been kind of a natural progression,” Sessa said about the study and celebration of cannabis and psychedelic substances that make up Winterdelic: A Winter Celebration of Cannabis and Psychedelics, taking place this weekend (Friday through Sunday) at The Factory St. Pete. “We kind of saw it (psychedelics) peek through the cannabis culture.”

Sessa attributes this to an increased focus on mental health and wellness. “Suddenly, a lot more attention was paid to psychedelics,” he said.

“The whole kind of healing zeitgeist really fit in with the psychedelics. A lot of people use cannabis to heal. Cannabis can help deal with trauma and the aftereffects. Psychedelics can help heal that trauma. Doing that without psychedelics can take a very long time.”

Winterdelic is billed as a “Wholistic Health and Consciousness Convention.”

Originally planned as an indoor/outdoor event, Winterdelic will now be entirely indoors (except for the food trucks) due to heavy rains forecast for Saturday. There will be an opening party Friday night followed by a trade show/expo with speakers Saturday and Sunday. Sessa expects around 3,000 attendees.

Here’s a map of the event layout.

In July, approximately 5,000 attended the Cannadelic Summer 2023 at the Factory. The first such event statewide was held in Miami in 2022.

One of this weekend’s sponsors and exhibitors is InnerVision of Wesley Chapel, which uses low-dose Ketamine Therapy for, among other things, depressive disorder and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).

Ketamine is not approved by the Food & Drug Administration, which states on its website that “the FDA has not determined that ketamine is safe and effective for such uses (treatment of psychiatric disorders).” Sessa hopes that approval will occur in the near future for Ketamine.

Psychedelics were used for academic purposes as late as the 1950s. In Sessa’s estimation, the government under President Nixon demonized drugs and the counterculture as a backdoor way to go after anti-government protestors.

“It was the same thing they did with African-Americans and marijuana in the 1930s,” Sessa added. “A lot of this stuff is so political. They couldn’t just go after them for being Black so they used the association between Blacks and marijuana use.”

He explained that derivatives of cannabis sativa have been used for healing for thousands of years. LSD, he added, was once considered a cure for alcoholism.

Ayahuasca is a plant-based psychedelic drug from South America that’s usually brewed into a tea. For more than a century, indigenous populations from the Amazon basin have used it for medicinal, spiritual and ceremonial purposes.

Winterdelic will have practitioners from those areas. Ayahuasca guides will sing Shamanic

songs and replicate the ancient practices of their elders.

The events, said Sassa, is “very progressive. Very open-minded. There’s a large non-drinking community here. It feels like it fits the whole vibe of Winterdelic.”

All details at the Winterdelic website here.


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