Oregon Proposed Psilocybin Rules: Part 4 (Service Centers)

Welcome to the fourth installment in my write-up of the proposed Oregon psilocybin program rules. I’m jumping in midstream from where I left off last week. See links at the bottom of this blog post. Similar to those installments, I will highlight the major areas today, and skip or skim less prominent stuff. This post focuses exclusively on service centers and I’ll be jumping around a bit more than before.

To begin, the Oregon Health Authority (OHA) will allow licensed service centers to double as practicum sites, which are a locations where potential facilitators are trained–to work, in turn, at service centers–under the program. Service centers can operate indoors or out, and they can sell psilocybin products and provide services from 6 a.m. until 11:59 p.m. daily (when a session must be designed to “elapse”).

These businesses are allowed to transfer psilocybin products to manufacturers and to other service centers, and they may provide licensed labs with samples for testing. Service centers must collect tax on all psilocybin sold to clients and document such sales. Note: this tax is money that belongs to the Oregon Department of Revenue! As such, service centers are simply holding the tax dollars in escrow for the state. They should not commingle it into their general operating budgets, which is a mistake we’ve seen time and again with cannabis stores.

Discounting and giving away free psilocybin samples is prohibited “in conjunction with the retail sale of any other item or service.” Psilocybin products also cannot be given away as a prize of any sort. Clients are barred from bringing their own psilocybin products to the center, or taking psilocybin from the service center to another location.

All psilocybin must be sourced locally in Oregon, from OHA licensees. It must be provided to clients indoors and in the product’s “sealed original packaging”, though clients are allowed to mix products with unopened packaged food or unopened beverages prior to consuming– provided these comestibles are not “prescription or non-prescription drugs”, or “dietary and nutritional supplements”, and are otherwise non-intoxicating.

Interestingly, each client must be presented with a “Client Bill of Rights” and an “Informed Consent” document. Both documents must be presented exactly as templatized in the rules, with the Bill of Rights also posted prominently in at the service center. (You can find the Bill of Rights starting at page 28 of the draft rules (333-333-4520); the Informed Consent is at page 36 (333-333-5040)). Clients must also sign a pre-session acknowledgement that they’ve received these documents, and complete a client information form with prescribed “yes/no” questions (OAR 333-333-5050; page 40). Finally, each client must complete a transportation plan prior to any administration session.

Facilitators, rather than service centers, are tasked with creating and “recording” the transportation plan for each client. The client must sign off on how they will “access safe transportation away from the service center at the conclusion of the administration session” and these plans must advise clients not to drive. Facilitators must also make “reasonable efforts” to arrange for alternate transportation if a client cannot follow a plan, and must contact law enforcement if a client’s failure to follow the plan “presents a danger to the client’s safety or the safety of others.” This is a dicey area and I’m sure we’ll see at least a few comments on this proposed rule.

More generally, the service center rules also follow the underlying current of separating out “medical” and “therapy” elements from the OHA’s “supported adult use” program. To wit, a service center cannot assist clients in taking medication, or with medical devices, or even with “alternative communication or listening devices.” Sessions must be overseen by non-intoxicated, licensed facilitators; assisting clients in actually consuming psilocybin is prohibited.

There are lengthy sections on psilocybin product storage, security and video surveillance systems. I’ll skip most of that. Notably, service centers may not install video surveillance equipment in client administration areas. Licensees are however allowed to record psilocybin administration sessions using “portable video equipment with the client’s prior written consent.” It will be interesting to see, for liability considerations, whether many service centers require this consent, and recording, in order to furnish services. I imagine many will, and that prudent operators will also require clients to sign more expansive, general liability waivers.

The “records retention” and “financial and business records” sections are quite dry. Licensees should keep most of these records for tax and business-related purposes anyway. The “client confidentiality” stuff is more interesting. Clients must consent in writing to the release of any information that may identify them, with exceptions listed at 475A.450 (legal actions; criminal or abuse issues; etc.). Note that the consent must be given on a form provided by OHA itself, and a service center isn’t allowed to condition services on whether a client is willing to grant this consent.

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Tomorrow, I’ll get into the rules that govern facilitators (beyond any overlap here), the sexy topic of consumption limits, and rules around the administration and facilitation session themselves.

In the meantime, remember to follow the RAC process (calendar is here) and take the opportunity to submit public comment on these rules if you’d like to see something changed or added. In the meantime, check out the following:

Finally, for any Oregon lawyers in the crowd, I am presenting on these proposed rules this Friday, September 23. I will be joined by Mason Marks, Board appointee and Harris Bricken attorney, and OHA’s Jesse Sweet, who is the primary drafter of these rules.

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Oregon, Psilocybin