Legalizing Therapeutic Access To Psilocybin

This article was originally published on Hoban Law Group, and appears here with permission.

Written by: Noah Potter

Oregon Measure 109 presents voters with the opportunity to pass a statute that will create a regulatory system for psilocybin-assisted therapy based on a clinic model with the licensure of manufacturers, clinic operators, treatment providers, and testing laboratories. The statute makes possible a market with low barriers to entry, so, depending on how restrictive the regulations are, there could be a relatively large number of licensees who will be prepared to handle a high volume of patients. The measure keeps all control at the state level and limits the ability of local governments to regulate but still grants authority to pass regulations governing the operation of licensees. The measure explicitly does nothing to end psilocybin prohibition outside the licensed system. Still, there will be some protections to individual consumers of psilocybin if Measure 110, a general drug decriminalization bill, also passes. Measure 109 gives extensive discretion to the Oregon Health Authority over almost all aspects of the market, so if the measure passes, the question critical to the success or failure of the system will be whether the regulations are appropriate for psilocybin.

Psilocybin Proposed System Looks Like Medical Cannabis System

The proposed system looks very much like a state-level medical cannabis system. M109 provides for four different license classes: psilocybin product manufacturers, psilocybin service center operators, psilocybin service facilitators, and testing laboratories, with the service centers playing the role of the clinics at which all consumption of psilocybin must take place and the facilitators taking the role of the medical supervisors of psilocybin therapy.

It is clear from the language that licensees can be for-profit businesses. There is no explicit language that permits or prohibits nonprofit corporations or unincorporated associations. It doesn’t appear that governmental agencies can be licensed. It appears that a licensee must be a single-purpose entity; in other words, it seems that an existing business cannot …

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