Coloradans are eagerly awaiting the state’s medical psilocybin rollout after approving Proposition 122, last November’s psychedelics legalization and decriminalization initiative, but all these new mushroom businesses can’t operate without a watchdog. Someone has to inspect facilities and make sure the fungi are following the rules.
Enter the Natural Medicine Division.
An offshoot of the state Department of Revenue, which also oversees the cannabis and liquor industries in Colorado, the Natural Medicine Division was created by a bill passed by the state legislature earlier this year to address gaps in the voter-approved initiative and the powers it gave the state Department of Regulatory Agencies (DORA). Already experienced in the ever-evolving world of mind-changing-substance regulations, NMD leadership comprises Marijuana Enforcement Division staffers, including executive director Dominique Mendiola.
Similar to how the MED handles the cannabis industry, the NMD will license and regulate psilocybin production and sales and, potentially, edibles production and extraction. Mendiola and her cannabis-seasoned team are looking for a new policy advisor, and plan to fill more positions as Colorado’s psychedelic landscape grows — and they expect it to grow quickly. Applications for medical psilocybin facilitators and businesses could be available as soon as next year, while DMT, ibogaine and mescaline will be evaluated by DORA for potential medical legalization down the road.