We’ve known it’s coming since the November 2020 elections, when Oregon voted through Measure 109, for the legalization of psilocybin mushrooms in an adult-use market. Confusion has circulated since that time, with the public unsure of what this allows for. Now, Oregon has released some rules for its magic mushrooms industry, via Psilocybin Services, the division set up to regulate it.
The Oregon rules for magic mushrooms are good in some ways and limiting in others. More rules are due out by the end of the year. This wholly independent news platform specializes in the cannabis and psychedelics fields. To stay current on everything important happening in the cannabis and psychedelics industries, subscribe to The Cannadelics Weekly Newsletter. Also, it’ll get you premium access to deals on cannabis flowers, vapes, edibles, and much more! We’ve also got standout offers on cannabinoids, like HHC-O, Delta 8, Delta 9 THC, Delta-10 THC, THCO, THCV, THCP & HHC, which won’t kill your bank account. Head over to our “Best-of” lists to get these deals, and remember to enjoy responsibly!
Though it was often touted as a medical legalization for psilocybin, when Oregon passed Measure 109 on November 3rd, 2020, what it actually did was legalize the use of psilocybin magic mushrooms for an adult-use market. Called the Psilocybin Mushroom Services Program Initiative, Measure 109 didn’t come with too many specifics apart from that some sort of adult-use market was coming.
In terms of how popular this measure was at the time of the vote, 55.75% of the voting population agreed that this was a good idea, vs 44.25% which voted against it. Considering this is for a psychedelics legalization, which did not exist in the US at all prior to this time, it’s actually a really good showing. Cannabis still loses in some ballot measures despite the growing approval of it, so it says a lot for magic mushrooms, that Measure 109 passed with the majority.
When the measure passed, so little was understood about the final product of it, that voters literally voted for nothing more than a directive to open a program, with the knowledge that in some capacity “clients would be allowed to purchase, possess, and consume psilocybin at a psilocybin service center and under the supervision of a psilocybin service facilitator after undergoing a preparation session.”
However, at that time, it was unclear who would get the pass to use this service, who wouldn’t, and what requirements would exist for use. What was made clear, but somewhat ignored in the confusion that followed, is that the one thing that wouldn’t be required, is a diagnosis from a doctor. This, making whatever requirements that are attached in the end, at the very least, non-medical.
Measure 109 was the first of its sort to pass in the US, but it’s already being followed up by several states looking to pass some kind of recreational psychedelics legalization measure. These include, Michigan, California, Washington, and Colorado. Many individual locations in the US have already passed decriminalization measures, like Detroit, Seattle, and Denver, just to name a few.
Oregon Psilocybin Services releases rules for magic mushrooms
A few months ago, Oregon released some draft rules for its magic mushrooms legalization, which made clear that this was a recreational legalization. These included requirements for heavy metal testing, regulation about what pesticides could be used, and a host of other growing and production guidelines. It even stated that while tons of different psilocybin mushrooms exist, that only Psilocybe cubensis would be legal for use. The draft opened up many questions, and we’ve been waiting for Oregon to release finalized rules on its upcoming magic mushrooms industry.
On Friday, May 27th, the Oregon Health Authority via Oregon Psilocybin Services, released some official rules to regulate this new magic mushrooms market. What was released does not cover all aspects of the market, and instead acts as a preliminary set of guidelines, to be followed by the rest of the regulatory laws in the fall. It’s expected that more rules will be approved by December 31st of this year, and that the new program will go into effect on January 23rd, 2023.
One of the main stipulations released at this time, is a confirmation of the pesky issued mentioned above, that only one type of mushroom is approved for use, Psilocybe cubensis. This was a point much debated after the initial draft mentioned it, but despite many requests to open the spectrum further for more kinds of mushrooms, Oregon Psilocybin Services stated the following in a letter to the public:
“In some cases, public comments were incorporated in the adopted rules and in others they were not. OPS weighed competing priorities and viewpoints that were received throughout the rulemaking process when making revisions, while considering equity, public health and safety.” In terms of that only-one-type-of-mushroom issue, it said:
“OPS received comments requesting that the rules allow additional species of mushrooms and use of additional substrates. The Oregon Psilocybin Advisory Board recommended limiting cultivation to Psilocybe cubensis and prohibiting substrates that may pose a risk to health and safety.”
It did clarify, “To avoid the risk associated with deadly, poisonous look-alikes and the potential for wood lover’s paralysis and animal-borne pathogens, OPS has upheld this recommendation in final rules… OPS looks forward to consideration of additional species in the future through continued dialog with the public and recommendations from the Oregon Psilocybin Advisory Board.”
Realistically though – unless that one species of psilocybin mushroom looks wildly different from all other psilocybin mushrooms, making it the only recognizable psilocybin mushroom, while all others look like poisonous mushrooms, this is very odd reasoning. Hopefully it will be updated in the future.
On the other hand, in what appears to be a positive showing for the idea of natural over synthetic, Oregon is not allowing synthetic psilocybin formulations, or psilocybin derivatives. This is a pretty big thing, as it’s the pharma industry that relies on synthetics, and such stipulations work in the favor of companies that focus on natural extractions.
Several other regulations were also released. For example, every mushroom batch must be tested for psilocybin and psilocin, which must be within 20%. Above this and they are no longer legal. Mushrooms can only be orally consumed, and cannot be administered with anything like MAO inhibitors, which can effect how the drug is broken down in the body. Rather than allowing other drug administration methods like skin patches, or nasal inhalers, Oregon is opting to retain a standardized approach, at least for now.
In order for psilocybin use to be legal, it must take place in a designated facility, under the watch of a designated administrator. Administrators must undergo 120 hours of training, 40 of which are observational sessions with someone receiving treatment. Facilitators do not need to have formal training in the mental health industry, or any therapeutic industry, which reinforces that this not a medical treatment. Oregon Psilocybin Services is expected to start reviewing applications for facilitators in June.
What about medical?
What’s very clear, is that this is not a medical legalization. It’s strictly a recreational legalization, that kind of looks like a medical legalization. In fact, its not expected that medical treatments will begin until 2024, and only for one thing: treatment-resistant depression. The recreational exclusivity is made clearer by the lack of medical training of facilitators, and the lack of therapy offered. If this was for medical use, each facilitator would need some sort of medical or therapeutic degree.
It also totally annihilates the idea of psychedelic-assisted therapy. Psychedelic-assisted therapy is when a psychedelic is taken in the presence of a doctor, after previous sessions to elucidate the patient’s issues. The doctor is trained to push the patient during their trip session to break their boundaries, in order to allow the brain to make new connections and pathways. Then a session is done afterwards to help the patient understand what happened, and to expand on the meaning of things.
There are some afraid that Oregon’s new setup might lead to mishaps and issues, which could make the whole industry look bad. COMPASS Pathways, which is in the midst of psilocybin trials for treatment-resistant depression (which the FDA helped put together to meet regulation), stated this on its site:
“To make sure it is safe and effective in patients, psilocybin therapy needs to be approved by medical regulators, not legislators. To do this, we have to run large-scale clinical trials to generate data to show the therapy works and is safe. Only then will it be approved by regulators, and become part of the healthcare system, prescribed by doctors and funded by national bodies, payers or insurers.”
But is that really better? Truth is, not everyone wants a medical session. Perhaps the issue here is that this legalization is being treated like a medical legalization in that it requires the use of specific clinics and facilitators, but is strictly for recreational purposes. If Oregon sees fit to legalize magic mushrooms, perhaps it should actually do that. Let people use them for recreational purposes at will, like with cannabis, and save the medical setting, for medical applications. Right now, a failing of all this, is that it’s a recreational legalization, that has no personal use or possession laws attached. Luckily, Oregon did at least decriminalize psilocybin via Measure 110.
As always, progress is progress, and we can’t be mad about that. Oregon is leading the way for psychedelics legalizations, and with so many states gunning for similar legalizations, the model will hopefully be improved on soon. Who knows, at the rate things are going, we might see the ability for personal possession and use of mushrooms, soon enough.
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