How To Get a Job In Psychedelics

How I landed a job in a high-end smartshop

This story was originally published in The Trip.

Alexandre Porto ·

8 min read

how to get a job in psychedelics
Photo By Alexandre Porto Perrella

Last year, my career with a job in psychedelics started. I worked in a Smartshop — a shop that sells smart drugs — talking to people of many cultures and experience levels.

Now I’m heading to a new professional path; if you are interested in knowing my first steps, read closely.

My Background

I was born in Brazil, where I had the opportunity to learn about the traditional use of sacred tools empirically.

Growing up, I learned that several tribes still consecrate mystical rituals with sacred tools with the intention of introducing their young to the use of nature to heal their minds and bodies, and to help their adults to understand life and their place in it.

a psychedelic career
Photo by Manyu Varma on Unsplash

I’ll start by saying that, even though I had contact with nature, I grew up in an urban environment.

The society surrounding me considered the use of psychedelics to be a big taboo and most of my friends had no access to accurate information about the use of smart drugs.

This resulted in inadequate use of psychedelics, which can hurt the user and perpetuate the myth that psychedelics are dangerous and challenging to control.

When I turned 20 years old I decided that it was important that I develop my own relationship with psychedelics. And for this, I had to learn my own psychedelic rituals.

I’ve had some experience exploring psychedelics in a religious context and in the company of others, but only managed to achieve the full extension of the potential of psychedelics when I explored it alone.

Important before the trip:

  • Find a familiar place where you feel comfortable;
  • Make sure your schedule is free;
  • Be aware;
  • Have an objective;

After some practice, I helped my closest friends to develop their relationship with the transcendental world.

I learned that a great way to do this is to offer a safe but challenging experience, interfering the least that I could.

The urge to share my own experiences and beliefs must be repressed, as it can negatively impact the journey of the other.

If I want my friend to have a meaningful trip, I mustn’t impose my own beliefs on them.

With time and self-exploration we became a group of highly conscious people able to explore the knowledge of plants, fungi, and cacti in responsible and meaningful ways.

We found our way to safely consume the substance, opening the doors for the adventure, navigating the world using the psychedelic tool to help us to find meaningful patterns that can improve everyday life.

As a guide, my work was to ease the exploration of the psychedelic world without shaping the experience and without creating misconceptions.

Show the way without altering it.

The Limitations of The Law

I reached a plateau. The social taboo of my work in organizing urban rituals reached a legal limit.

The professional side of this career path is tainted by prejudice.

I decided to get some formal – legal – experience.

To do this I had to leave Brazil. I had to go to a place where I can work proudly and talk about my job to introduce people to psychedelics responsibly.

You know, the crazy thing is that in Brazil, psychedelic mushrooms are actually legal.

But I had to go to Amsterdam to discover this.

Only after I started working in Amsterdam I realized that technically psychedelic mushrooms are legal to produce, consume and sell in Brazil, but no one knows it because of the taboo!

Those who know that psychedelic mushrooms are legal in Brazil don’t invest in it because of how much the social stigma pressures people to not see this world of psychedelics as a serious career path.

My vision of where I wanted to be professionally was clear.

For me to get to a point in which I could say that I’m proud of my work I would have to necessarily speak openly with my family, starting with my parents.

I sat down and had a talk with them. With this new-found professional path, I had the confidence to talk about the subject with no hesitation and taboo had no space in this conversation I had with my parents

Quickly they started visualizing my new life in Amsterdam and it was even funny to see how many ideas they gave me of how to sell drugs better.

The way was calling me and the decision suddenly seemed obvious. A few weeks after I was on the airplane to The Netherlands.

Getting a Legal Job in Psychedelics

My new mission was simple, get in the professional market of smart drugs. 

In Holland, psychedelics and other smart drugs are sold in stores called smartshops.

These “smart drugs” that are sold in smartshops are named as such because if they are used with intelligence and consciousness they can tremendously improve the lives of anyone who gives it a try.

Smart drugs are substances that can be healthily implemented in one’s life to improve wellness.

The first thing I did before I came to Holland was to contact all the relevant places in Amsterdam that I wanted to work in.

Coffeeshops, CBD dispensaries, cannabis shop, Smartshops …

My strategy was straight forward.

I knew that I had a background that most people lacked. My experience involved working hands-on with people that had absolutely no psychedelic experience and with people who had years of psychedelic experience.

I knew that I could talk to anyone about any psychedelic experience without hesitation and I knew that I had what I took to be of value to any place I applied to.

So I wrote everyone a simple letter and sent it by email.

In this email, I quickly described my background developing urban rituals that could bring value and help to high-performance people to better their lives.

I briefly wrote about my intentions for the future and told them that I wanted to work professionally without taboos holding me back. I also mentioned that it was important for me to talk to as many people as possible about psychedelics.

The email ended with a formal description of my skills and education, like a normal CV.

I got a response from some of my favorite smart shops and coffee shops.

I talked with Azarius, The Bull DogZamneziaTatanka, and When Nature Calls.

Azarius is one of the biggest smart shops on the planet. They are specialized in the webshop, but also have a beautiful physical store in Amsterdam. We talked, but it didn’t work out.

Zamnezia is another great example of a successful smart shop, and I know that I had some value to share with them, but at the time I was unable to express it in words, therefore this didn’t work out either.

The Bull Dog is the biggest coffee shop brand in the world. They have hotels, cannabis shops, bars, energy drinks, etc…

All interesting opportunities, but I had something better in my sights.

When Nature Calls

getting a job in psychedelics
Photo By Alexandre Porto Perrella

I got a response from the owner of When Nature Calls.

When Nature Calls is a Smartshop founded in 1998 at Keizersgracht, 508.

This beautiful store filled my eyes. 

It was exactly what I was looking for, as it was clear that this store offered a super professional setting in which I could have great conversations without worrying about taboos.

When Nature Calls had the objective to attract all types of people. And improve their lives with nature’s sacred tools.

I could see that working at When Nature Calls I would have the privileged position to destroy prejudice and rebuild society’s stigma on the use of psychedelics.

One client at a time.

It felt like it was what I needed too.

Usually, the smartshop scene in Amsterdam makes it look like consuming psychedelics is just like playing video games.

Most stores that sell smart-drugs are dark with loud music and filled with neon and dusty alien statues.

The sellers at this kind of store are not used to diligently taking apart the important concepts of psychedelics.

In my opinion, this is not the optimal environment to talk about using psychedelics in a meaningful way.

What When Nature Calls offered me was a taboo-free spot where I could have professional conversations about the responsible use of drugs.

It was important to let the customer speak and listen carefully.

My job was to explore the shop with the customer slowly discovering the options to find out what he or she looked for.

This Smartshop — When Nature Calls — specializes in the cleanest, most reliable, and elegant truffles in the world.

On the farm on which the truffle is cultivated, the truffles do not come in direct contact with humans. 

The psychedelic fungi are exclusively handled by robots. They arrive in the store ready to go.

The products are displayed as precious jewelry (I can’t count how many times tourists came in wanting to buy engagement rings or perfume).

First I met the owner and it went fantastically. The next day I started working and quickly signed a contract for one year.

The store was amazing, my colleagues were great and it all seemed too perfect to be true.

how to have a job in psychedelics
Photo By Alexandre Porto Perrella

There my colleagues showed me the ropes.

All of them knew how to calmly convey what a psychedelic trip is like without creating misconceptions or interfering with the customer’s experience.

I learned how to better talk to people, but most importantly I learned to not disregard other people’s experiences as silly. 

To the psychonaut, all psychedelic experiences feel deeply real and meaningful. As a professional, I must listen with care.

Many of my consumers wanted to experiment with psychedelic mushrooms but had almost no previous knowledge about it, so I needed to be precise.

I learned to share my own ineffable experience by slowly describing moment by moment literally.

The psychedelic experience is unique to each individual, but some general themes are recurring on most trips.

At the smartshop, I had the opportunity to talk to hundreds of people a day.

I exchanged ideas with people that have never tried psychedelics before and with people who had lots of things to say about the divine universe of psychedelics.

I learned to keep my professional posture when talking about the implementation of sacred substances into the life of high-performance people.

when nature calls magic truffles
Photo By Alexandre Porto Perrella

My new journey is just at the beginning.

There are so many people to meet and so many meaningful conversations to be had.

I believe that the most important thing I learned is that all I need for a meaningful experience is context.

So if I want to have a meaningful job I need to apply the right context.

Domesticate Cannabis for Self Sufficiency

I wish for a context where people will not rest on the fear of taboos. People should act according to their beliefs.

I believe in a context in which people believe in – and only in – what they know to be true.

Additionally, I want to be immersed in an environment where the truth flows freely.

The future is not yet clear to me, but the pieces will fall into their places accordingly, as it always does.

If you want to ask questions or have an interesting perspective to share, please don’t hesitate to join the conversation.

For you:


As the top online smartshop in the world, Azarius has the compromise to always deliver the best quality of natural tools available. If you think psychedelics you are thinking Azarius.

Here you find many psychedelics, ranging from seeds, fresh products, industrialized natural tools, and many other products to support your healthy lifestyle.