Oregon regulators have approved the nation’s first-ever psilocybin production license under a novel state-based regulatory framework for broad access to the psychedelic that voters approved in 2020.
The Oregon Health Authority (OHA) announced on Wednesday that they’ve granted a psilocybin manufacturer license to the woman-owned business Satori Farms PDX LLC.
The so-called magic mushrooms produced at the manufacturing facility will help supply future businesses where people can go to have the psychedelic administered in a supervised environment.
Regulators were tasked under the historic voter-approved initiative to begin issuing licenses for the manufacturing, testing and administering of psilocybin by January 2, 2023. The Oregon Psilocybin Services (OPS) said they expect to issue additional licenses those categories “in the coming months.”
“We congratulate Tori Armbrust of Satori Farms PDX LLC for being issued the first psilocybin license in Oregon’s history and for representing women leading the way for the emerging psilocybin ecosystem,” OPS Section Manager Angie Allbee said in a press release.
“We are committed to fostering an inclusive partnership with our regulated community to ensure safe, effective and equitable psilocybin services throughout the state,” Allbee said.
While there are research institutions that have been licensed by the federal Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) to propagate psilocybin mushrooms for study purposes, this development in Oregon marks a historic first in that the license was issued at the state level for broad administration to anyone who feels they could benefit from the psychedelic.
OHA has also approved 48 psilocybin worker permits so far. A total of 224 worker permit and license applications have been submitted to the state as of Wednesday.
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.
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.
Last week, Colorado senators gave initial approval to the 15-member Natural Medicine Advisory Board that will assist regulators in implementing that law.
These developments come amid a surge of legislative efforts to reform state laws governing psychedelic substances.
On Tuesday, for example, a California Senate committee approved a bill to legalize possession of certain psychedelics and facilitated use of the substances.
A Minnesota House committee took up a bill last week to establish a task force to study and advise on the potential legalization of psychedelics like psilocybin, MDMA and ibogaine.
Texas lawmakers recently filed a series of new bills aimed at promoting and expanding psychedelics research in the state.
This month, the Oklahoma House of Representatives approved a bill to promote research into the therapeutic potential of psilocybin while providing legal protections against prosecution for people with eligible conditions who possess the psychedelic.
Also this month, a Rhode Island House committee held a hearing on a bill that would remove penalties for the use and possession of psilocybin and allow the home cultivation of psychedelic mushrooms for personal use.
The Washington State Senate recently passed a bill to create a task force supporting research into psilocybin and develop a pathway for legal access to the psychedelic.
Hawaii’s Senate and House passed three psychedelics research bills earlier this month.
Missouri lawmakers also cleared a GOP-led bill in committee this month to facilitate research into the therapeutic potential of certain psychedelics such as psilocybin, MDMA and ketamine.
Those are just a few examples of the types of reforms that legislators across the country are considering this session.
An analysis published in an American Medical Association journal last year concluded that a majority of states will legalize psychedelics by 2037, based on statistical modeling of policy trends.
A national poll published this month found that a majority of U.S. voters support legal access to psychedelics therapy and back federally decriminalizing substances like psilocybin and MDMA. (Full Story)