The pieces are coming together for Oregon’s psilocybin services program, with regulators announcing on Friday that they’ve approved the first state-licensed testing laboratory for the psychedelic.
The license is going to Rose City Laboratories, LLC, the Oregon Health Authority (OHA) said.
“Laboratory testing ensures the safety of psilocybin products, and accurate labeling of psilocybin potency allows clients to participate in administration sessions with products that meet their needs,” Oregon Psilocybin Services (OPS) Section Manager Angie Allbee said in a press release.
This development comes days after the OHA accepted the nation’s first state-licensed facilitators to administer psilocybin to adults at regulated facilities. Regulators also approved the first-ever state-issued license for a psilocybin manufacturer last month
Officials were tasked under the historic voter-approved initiative to begin issuing licenses for the manufacturing, testing and administering of psilocybin by January 2, 2023. OPS said that it “anticipates issuing licenses to service center applicants in the coming months.”
OHA has also approved 60 psilocybin worker permits so far. A total of 302 worker permit and license applications have been submitted to the state as of Wednesday.
“Administration sessions can only take place in licensed service centers statewide, offering psilocybin products produced by licensed manufacturers and tested by licensed laboratories,” OHA said. “Licensed service centers may employ and/or contract with trained, licensed facilitators in supporting preparation, administration and integration sessions with clients.”
But the implementation of the psilocybin initiative in Oregon hasn’t gone without hiccups.
There’s a major question about local access, for example, as more than 100 cities across the state have enacted two-year moratoriums or bans prohibiting the service centers from being established in their jurisdictions.
Also, the Netherlands-based Synthesis Institute that invested heavily in creating a training program for facilitators to administer psilocybin at the future centers recently disclosed that it ran out of funding.
The rulemaking process has proved contentious at times, too. Some advocates have raised concerns over the perception that regulators were prioritizing for-profit corporations to manage the psilocybin services program over community-based organizations and indigenous groups.
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Meanwhile, the Oregon Psilocybin Advisory Board has promoted research into the therapeutic potential of the psychedelic. Members released an initial report in 2021 that looked into the science, and the board also approved a research team that year to develop a more comprehensive overview of the science, history and culture of psilocybin.
Two years after Oregon’s move to legalize psilocybin services, Colorado voters pass a ballot initiative to legalize a wide range of psychedelics while also providing regulated access to psilocybin.
Colorado senators approved a bill in committee on Thursday to set up a regulatory framework for legal psychedelics under the voter-approved initiative.
These developments come amid a surge of legislative efforts to reform state laws governing psychedelic substances.
For example, a Washington State bill to promote research into psilocybin and create a pilot program to provide therapeutic access to the psychedelic for mental health treatment is heading to the governor’s desk following final approval in the Senate.
A Nevada Senate committee approved a revised bill last week that would create a new working group to study psychedelics and develop a plan to allow regulated access for therapeutic purposes.
The Hawaii Senate approved a bill last week to create an advisory council to look into possible regulations to provide access to federal “breakthrough therapies” like psilocybin and MDMA.
Minnesota lawmakers recently attached the provisions of a bill to create a psychedelics task force that would prepare the state for possible legalization to large-scale omnibus health legislation that could reach the House floor soon.
A Republican Massachusetts lawmaker has filed three new psychedelics reform bills, including proposals to legalize substances like psilocybin and reschedule MDMA pending federal approval while setting a price cap on therapeutic access.
Those are just a few examples of the types of reforms that legislators across the country are considering this session.
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