Read Harris Bricken’s take on proposed legislation concerning psilocybin in Oregon
On June 29, the folks at “Yes On IP 34” announced that the Psilocybin Therapy Initiative will qualify for the ballot this November in Oregon. The campaign said it had collected over 164,000 signatures and that its recent submission of additional signatures would comfortably put the initiative above the requirements. This is exciting news!
You can read our previous coverage of IP 34 and psilocybin generally here:
- FDA Approves Drug Trial for Psilocybin (Magic Mushrooms)
- Oregon and Psilocybin: Does the Approved Ballot Measure Language Stand a Chance?
- The Effort to Decriminalize Psilocybin in California is Underway
- The Psilocybin Movement is Like the Cannabis Movement (Except When It’s Not)
- Will Psilocybin Clinics Be The Next Big Thing in Treating Depression?
- Oregon Psychedelics: Petition to Legalize Psilocybin for Therapy Moves Forward
So let’s broadly take a brief look at the Oregon Psilocybin Services Act (the “Act”). Section 1 is comprised of findings that serve to support the basis for the legislation. These include findings about the number of Oregonians coping with mental health conditions and the efficacy of psilocybin in treating these conditions.
The findings call for the Oregon Health Authority (“OHA”), during a two-year program development period, to:
(a) Examine, publish, and distribute to the public available medical, psychological, and scientific studies, research, and other information relating to the safety and efficacy of psilocybin in treating mental health conditions; and
(b) Adopt rules and regulations for the eventual implementation of a comprehensive regulatory framework that will allow persons 21 years of age and older in this state to be provided psilocybin services;
Section 2 sets forth the purposes of the Act. These include education, reducing mental illness, and developing a long-term strategic plan for ensuring the accessibility of psilocybin mental health services for persons over 21 years of age.
Section 3 explains what the Act does not do. Many of these are relevant to employers. For example, the Act does not:
- Require a government medical assistance program or private health insurer to reimburse a person for costs associated with the use of psilocybin products;
- Amend or affect state or federal law pertaining to employment matters;
- Require a person to violate a federal law;
- Exempt a person from a federal law or obstruct the enforcement of a federal law; or
- Amend or affect state law, to the extent that a person does not manufacture, deliver, or possess psilocybin products in accordance with the provisions of sections 3 to 129 of the Act and rules adopted under sections 3 to 129 of the Act.
Section 6 establishes an Oregon Psilocybin Advisory Board for the purpose of advising and making recommendations to the OHA and includes detailed instructions for selecting the members of the board to ensure a wide variety of stakeholders with an emphasis on public health. Other provisions explain the duties of the Board and of the OHA.
Sections 10 through 13 concern the pre-license two-year development period and Sections 13 – 19 set out a process for the OHA to review and process license applications. Section 20 through 29 govern various aspects of who may acquire a license and include financial interest requirements, manufacturing license requirements, product manufacturers, and licenses to operate a “psilocybin service center”. Other provisions go into great detail on the operation of licensed service centers. These include a several step process for potential clients that include a preparation and administrative session and integration sessions.
The Act also directs the OHA to determine the qualifications, training, education and fitness of applicants for licenses to facilitate psilocybin services. Section 41, for instance, requires the OHA to adopt by rule minimum standards of education and approve courses for service facilitators. Not surprisingly, much of the Act is given over to providing the OHA with significant regulatory authority to investigate and discipline licensees and permit holders.
This is a very broad and general overview of the Act. I expect we will be digging into the details in the months to come and (fingers crossed) after Oregonians vote this measure into law. Until then, please join us next Thursday, July 9th, for our free Ketamine, Psilocybin and New Drug Therapies webinar where we will discuss IP 34 and more.