In this post, I’ll do a brief state psychedelic law roundup. I won’t cover local (city or county) measures or all the states. Instead, I’ll summarize some of the recent action or more significant developments in states across the country.
Washington State psilocybin law
On January 6, Washington lawmakers introduced the Washington Psilocybin Services Wellness and Opportunity Act (SB 5660). Two attorneys in our law firm’s psychedelics practice, Mason Marks and John Rapp, helped craft SB 5660 (Mason’s write-up is here). If you want to read more about the bill, please read our post here. There’s been some talk that the bill won’t pass during this legislative session, but that won’t necessarily preclude it from being introduced at a later date.
Oregon advances psilocybin regulation
Oregon legalized psilocybin in 2020 and its licensing program will take effect next year. Harris Bricken attorney Mason Marks sits on Oregon’s Psilocybin Advisory Board, which is creating the state’s regulatory program.
If you’d like to read about Oregon psilocybin business issues, check out these posts:
- Oregon Psilocybin Business Issues, Part 1 — rulemaking; residency requirement; further limitations on ownership; tax
- Oregon Psilocybin Business Issues, Part 2 — banking; raising money; siting
- Oregon Psilocybin Business Issues, Part 3 — leasing and buying property; insurance; employment.
To read about the draft rules we’ve accessed to date, check out these posts:
- Oregon Psilocybin: Draft Training Rules
- Oregon Psilocybin: Draft Products Rules
- Oregon Psilocybin: Draft Testing Rules
California State Psychedelics Law May Change a Lot in 2022
There are currently two major state-level pushes to legalize or decriminalize psychedelics in California.
First, SB-519 (a senate bill) aims to decriminalize numerous psychedelics. Introduced in 2021 by Senator Scott Wiener, it was paused to gather more support. I recently interviewed Senator Wiener about SB-519. We can expect a push on SB-519 sometime before the legislative session ends this August.
Second, Decriminalize California is gathering signatures for the California Psilocybin Initiative 2022 (CPI). If it gets enough signatures by March 15, CPI will appear on the 2022 ballot. CPI would legalize psilocybin with very, very few restrictions. I personally think it’s a more uphill battle than SB-519, but we’ll see…
If you want to read more about CA’s efforts, check out these posts:
Virginia won’t decriminalize psychedelics
This week, Virginia decided not to advance a psilocybin decriminalization bill. The bill essentially died in a legislative committee even after undergoing substantial amendments. It looks like it’s back to the drawing board in VA.
Will Oklahoma actually decriminalize psilocybin?
In recent weeks, Oklahoma Republican legislators filed two separate psilocybin bills. The bills are targeted at studying psilocybin but one would decriminalize minor possession.
Michigan mulls broad psychedelics decriminalization
Activists recently filed a petition for a proposed voter initiative that would decriminalize psilocybin, as well as a host of other psychedelics, for personal use and cultivation for persons over 18. Sort of like California’s SB-519, the measure would allow for supervision and counseling without remuneration. It would also reduce penalties for certain charges for other Schedule I or II controlled substances.
Maine eyes psilocybin
Legislators in Maine recently introduced LD-1582, a bill that would create a licensing and regulatory program for psilocybin in Maine. While some have described it as a medical program, the bill makes pretty clear that “The department may not require a client to be diagnosed with or have any particular medical condition in order to receive psilocybin service.” This is pretty similar to Oregon’s law. The problem here is that there’s a lot of opposition in the state, including from the state department of health.
This list above is not exhaustive by any means. According to Marijuana Moment, efforts to decriminalize or at least study psychedelics are underway in a host of other states, including Utah, Kansas, Missouri, and Connecticut. New Hampshire and Vermont are also considering decriminalizing all drugs. And New Jersey reduced psilocybin penalties last year.
All of this is to say, state psychedelic law is developing at an extremely rapid pace – possibly more so than with cannabis in many senses. Stay tuned to the Psychedelics Law Blog for more updates.