SXSW 2024 Will Feature Psychedelics Attorneys Joshua Kappel and Shawn Hauser

Nov 29, 2023

Vicente LLP psychedelics attorneys Joshua Kappel and Shawn Hauser were selected to speak on separate panels during the Psychedelics Track at SXSW 2024. SXSW will take place in Austin, Texas from March 8-16, 2024. Read on for more information about their panels. 

On Saturday, March 9, 2024, at 4 p.m. CT, Joshua Kappel will speak on a panel titled, “The Bar’s New Top Shelf: Elevation Over Inebriation” in room 18AB at the Austin Convention Center.  

The Bar's New Top Shelf: Elevation Over Inebriation 

From California Sober to Sober Curious, public demand is rising for alcohol substitutes that provide an experience. What’s the legal status of Kanna, Kava, Psilocybin, Kratom, Coca, Damiana, Mescaline, Cannabis, Ketamine, GHB and other compounds? Are they safe? What are the regulatory roadblocks that make it difficult to bring about functional alcohol substitutes? For centuries, humans have safely used natural substances to unwind and socialize, but societal norms and outdated laws make competing with alcohol a challenge. What will it take to create a post-alcohol world?  

Learning objectives: 

  1. Learn about alternative social intoxicants  
  2. Understand the regulatory and other roadblocks to creating functional alcohol substitutes  
  3. Hear what can be done to help create a post-alcohol world  


  • Joshua Kappel, J.D., Founding Partner, Vicente LLP  
  • Dr. Jacqueline Jacques, Owner/Founder, Self-employed  
  • Dr. Lisa Offringa, Principle Research Specialist, Jaguar Pharmaceuticals - Entheogen Therapeutics Initiative  
  • Colter Merrick, Founder & CEO, Elixart / Elixart Beverage Corp / Supramood 

Shawn Hauser's panel will take place on Saturday, March 9, 2023 at 4:00 p.m. in room 18CB at the Austin Convention Center. 

Man vs. Nature: The Commercialization of Psilocybin Medicine 

Psilocybin has emerged as a promising therapy for a number of mental health conditions. Though it is produced naturally by various mushroom species, nearly all clinical studies use synthetic psilocybin. Do the alkaloids only present in fungal bodies augment psychoactive and therapeutic value? This panel will detail the current state of research in psilocybin, the differences between natural and synthetic psilocybin, discuss the potential harms of limiting research to synthetic mushrooms, and explain why researchers have been fighting to study natural drug products. 

Learning objectives: 

  1. Analyze the differences between natural psilocybe mushrooms and synthetic psilocybin, including the other bioactive compounds found in mushrooms 
  2. Explain how the effects of these compounds on augmenting psilocybin psychoactivity or clinical benefits remain unknown and unstudied 
  3. Understanding the role of these ancillary compounds, as well as how they may augment psilocybin’s effects, may lead to optimized psilocybin therapies 


  • Shawn Hauser, Partner, Vicente LLP 
  • Dr. Sue Sisley, President and Principal Investigator, Scottsdale Research Institute 
  • Greg Fonzo, PhD, Assistant Professor; Co-Director, Center for Psychedelic Research and Therapy, The University of Texas at Austin 

Click here to register for SXSW 2024 


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