Author: Meghana Keshavan
Arp [CC BY-SA 3.0 (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)]
Christian Angermayer is an unlikely proselyte of psychedelia: The German financier didn’t drink so much as a sip of beer for the first three decades of his life.
But five years ago, after careful consideration (and the encouragement of a personal physician), Angermayer boarded a yacht with a handful of his closest friends. They sailed into the crystalline, tropical waters of a jurisdiction in which such substances are legal (he is very emphatic on this point), and had his very first psychedelic trip. His entire worldview was changed.
“It was the single most meaningful thing I’ve ever done or experienced in my life,” said Angermayer, 40. “Nothing has ever come close to it.”
The first thing Angermayer did after the experience was call his parents and tell them, with a newfound conviction, that he loved them. Then, being a consummate entrepreneur, he quickly identified a business opportunity: He would commercialize psychedelics.
Today, with a net worth of roughly $400 million accrued through various enterprises, Angermayer is one of the driving forces behind the movement to turn long-shunned psychoactive substances, like the psilocybin derived from so-called magic mushrooms, into approved medications for depression and other mental illnesses. Though he still resolutely won’t touch even a drop of alcohol, he has banded together a team of like-minded entrepreneurs — including Silicon Valley billionaire Peter Thiel — to invest in a handful of startups focused on developing psychedelics.
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