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Psychedelic Legislative Trends in 2024: A Detailed Overview

The first half of 2024 has been captivating for several reasons. Oregon’s regulated access program has been operational for eighteen months, serving…

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The first half of 2024 has been captivating for several reasons. Oregon’s regulated access program has been operational for eighteen months, serving thousands with psilocybin services. Meanwhile, Colorado is navigating the complexities of decriminalizing multiple sacred plants and establishing a rulemaking process. Across the country, states are learning from past policy efforts—both successful and not—implementing these lessons into new proposals.

While the spotlight is on the FDA’s decision regarding Lykos’ MDMA-assisted therapy application, quieter but significant progress continues. State-regulated psychedelic programs are being crafted, and novel approaches to decriminalization and therapeutic access are emerging.

We commend the ongoing progress in the spring 2024 psychedelic legislative season. Our advisory input and testimonies have supported bills, committees, and task forces across various states, including Connecticut, Minnesota, and Hawaii. Internationally, we’ve engaged with formal bodies from Mexico to Chile, Ukraine, and the United Arab Emirates. These efforts reflect diverse strategic approaches and community relationships. The commitment of small groups of dedicated citizens driving these advancements deserves recognition.

Here, we share state-focused trends and case studies to provide insights into how different policy approaches fit within the broader U.S. ecosystem. We discuss a voter initiative in Massachusetts, a new proposal in New York, a significant development in Utah, and an open-sourced voter initiative in Washington.

Massachusetts

Our colleagues at New Approach have introduced House Bill 4255 in Massachusetts, proposing regulated access to “natural psychedelic substances” such as psilocybin, DMT, ibogaine, and mescaline (excluding peyote) for adults 21 and older. This bill also aims to decriminalize limited personal adult use. Although the legislature has yet to act, the campaign is collecting a second round of approximately 13,000 valid signatures to qualify for the November ballot.

This bill’s framework includes issuing licenses for psychedelic therapy centers, facilitators, cultivation, processing, sales, and testing. Licensed facilitators would administer the substances at therapy centers. Group use, preparation, and integration sessions are also included. Notably, this bill excludes synthetic substances or analogs.

A state-appointed commission would oversee the program, imposing a 15% state excise tax on the sale of natural psychedelic substances to incentivize participation in the regulated program. Cities and towns may adopt ordinances to restrict facilities and impose lesser penalties related to the substances.

The bill permits adults 21 and older to cultivate these substances in a 12′ by 12′ area at home and possess personal use amounts. Adults may give away up to that amount to others who are 21 and older.

New York

Introduced on May 21, 2024, New York Assembly Bill A10375, backed by New Yorkers for Mental Health Alternatives (NYMHA), proposes legalizing psilocybin. This bill establishes a state-regulated framework for safe, controlled use of psilocybin-containing mushrooms by adults, primarily for therapeutic purposes. Unique to this bill is a personal use permit that individuals must acquire by completing an educational process.

Adults 18 and older would need a permit to legally use psilocybin, contingent on completing a health screening and a five-hour educational course. Permit holders may purchase up to two ounces of dried fungi from a licensed cultivator, cultivate mushrooms themselves, or receive them as gifts from other permit holders. Support service providers can offer risk reduction services but are not licensed for therapy.

The New York Department of Health would oversee the program, including issuing permits, regulating cultivation, and evaluating effectiveness. The department would report biennially to the governor and legislature on the program’s impact. An advisory board would offer ongoing advice based on the latest research.

This bill includes an income tax on support service providers and psilocybin sales to fund the program and public education. While cautiously optimistic, we hope this funding model will enhance public health outcomes.

Utah

Utah’s SB 0266, signed on March 21, 2024, creates a pilot program for hospitals to administer psilocybin and MDMA as alternative treatments for adults 18 and older. This legislation uniquely positions Intermountain Health and the University of Utah to conduct these treatments. However, facilitator training and product sourcing remain unspecified.

The bill’s language implies sourcing substances from those in FDA Phase 3 testing. Unlike other states, this bill allows access for adults 18 and older.

Washington

The Responsible Entheogen Access & Community Healing Coalition (REACH) Washington has drafted the Natural Psychedelics and Supportive Services Act for the 2025 legislative season. This initiative decriminalizes noncommercial cultivation and distribution, allowing adults 21 and older to possess, use, cultivate, prepare, gift, or transfer certain entheogenic plants.

Decriminalized substances include psilocybin, psilocin, DMT, 5-MeO-DMT, and mescaline (excluding peyote), derived from plant or fungal sources. This initiative permits compensated supportive services where facilitators administer and participants consume entheogenic plants, but prohibits consumption in public places.

REACH’s initiative includes comprehensive guidelines for ethical support services, establishing an Entheogenic Community Resources Advisory Council for non-binding guidance. This approach balances oversight and accountability through community-appointed oversight rather than state-designated authority.

Conclusion

Reflecting on these bills and others, several themes emerge. Decriminalizing substances, particularly synthetic ones, remains challenging. Despite regulatory and ecological concerns, we support including synthetic substances in decriminalization and regulated access schemes. Educating about the stigma against synthetic substances is crucial for rational public safety approaches.

While progress in states like Oregon and Colorado is significant, tightly regulated state systems or pharmaceutical medical use may not capture all ways people engage with psychedelic substances. New legislative proposals consider varied approaches, incorporating decriminalization for personal use, non-commercial sharing, and safety guardrails like education or crisis response training.

The dedication of small advocacy groups continues to drive these advancements. Political progress is encouraging, and we are optimistic about future developments. Collaboration remains key as we navigate the complex ecosystem of stakeholders.

2024 Legislative Notes:

Psychedelic Bills that Passed First Committee:

  • AK – HB 228/SB 166: Task force – awaiting transmittal to governor (05/10/2024)
  • AZ – HB2015: Psilocybin research – voted to pass (01/22/2024)
  • AZ – SB 1570: Psilocybin services regulation & licensure, and advisory board – passed HHS committee (03/11/2024)
  • AZ – HB 2274/SB 1677: MDMA treatment for firefighters & peace officers – voted to pass (04/10/2024)
  • CA – AB 941: Workgroup to establish PAT framework by Jan. 2026 – referred to committee on health (05/01/2024)
  • CA – SB 1012: Psychedelic Facilitators Act – placed on suspense file (05/13/2024)
  • HI – HB 2630: Advisory council for MDMA/psilocybin treatments – crossed over (02/16/2024)
  • MD – HB548: Task force on responsible use of natural psychedelic substances – passed (04/4/2024)
  • ME – LD 1914: Regulatory framework for providing psilocybin products to adults 21+ – passed (04/3/2024)
  • MO – HB 1830: Psilocybin use by veterans for therapeutic use – voted to pass (04/15/2024)
  • NH – B 1692: Caregiver administration of psilocybin, LSD, or mescaline – refer for interim study (02/15/2024)
  • NM – SM 12: Study psilocybin for therapeutic treatments & establish a regulated program – passed (02/14/2024)
  • WA – SB 5263: Work group for psilocybin therapeutic services – partially passed (05/09/2023)

Bills Introduced in 2024 that include MDMA:

  • Arizona – AZ HB2274/SB 1677: Workers compensation laws to cover MDMA-assisted therapy for PTSD in firefighters and peace officers. To take effect upon FDA approval.
  • CA – CA SB 1012: Regulated Psychedelic Facilitators Act – placed on suspense file (05/13/2024)
  • Hawaii – SB 1531: Establishes Temporary Breakthrough Designation Advisory Council – dead as of (05/03/2024)
  • Massachusetts – HB 3574: Prescription medicine containing MDMA – public health committee hearing (06/06/2023)
  • Massachusetts – S 1439: Public health study of synthetic drugs – accompanied a study order (02/15/2024)
  • Minnesota – HF 1884/SF 1954: Psychedelic medicine task force – in committee (02/16/2023)
  • North Carolina – H727: Breakthrough Therapies Research/Advisory Act – re-ref com on appropriations (05/15/2023)
  • New York – SB 3520: Psilocybin therapy grant program – in first committee (03/07/2023)
  • South Carolina – S 0277: Sentencing reform, increased threshold for MDMA – dead as of (02/09/2023)

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