Oregon Psilocybin: Advisory Board and Licensing Update
Written by on July 28, 2021
On March 18, Governor Kate Brown appointed members to the Oregon Psilocybin Advisory Board, which held its first meeting on March 31. Since then, the Board has met monthly and created five subcommittees to study facets of the emerging psilocybin industry including research, equity, manufacturing, training, and licensing. I chair the Licensing Subcommittee, which focuses on public health and safety, ethics, and consumer protection. We are developing informed consent documents, professional codes of conduct, and licensing requirements for psilocybin practitioners and facilities.
Each subcommittee reports its findings to the full Advisory Board, which will make regulatory recommendations to the OHA on or before June 30, 2022. After the conclusion of a two-year development phase mandated by Measure 109, the OHA will start accepting license applications from businesses and individuals on January 2, 2023.
Measure 109 requires the OHA to issue licenses for psilocybin manufacturers, testing labs, service centers, and facilitators. With respect to manufacturing, the Board is contemplating a range of psilocybin products that could be produced in Oregon. Its Products Subcommittee, led by Dr. Jessie Uehling, a mycology Professor at Oregon State University, is researching the benefits and drawbacks of various products and manufacturing methods. The group may also address related issues such as product testing, storage, and labeling.
When manufacturers submit a licensing application to the OHA, they must request the agency’s endorsement for at least one type of manufacturing activity. Though it remains unclear which manufacturing activities will be allowed, the Products Subcommittee has discussed endorsements for the cultivation of psilocybin producing fungi, the extraction of psilocybin from fungal material, the chemical or biological synthesis of psilocybin, and the production of various psilocybin-containing products for consumption. According to Measure 109, licensed manufacturers will be allowed to add endorsements to their licenses without paying additional fees.
Once licenses are issued, psilocybin will be administered only by trained and licensed facilitators at designated service centers. Tom Eckert, a Licensed Professional Counselor and Chief Petitioner for Measure 109, Chairs the Board and leads its Training Subcommittee, which is developing training requirements for aspiring facilitators. According to Measure 109, the OHA cannot require facilitators to have more than a high school education or its equivalent. However, the Training Subcommittee has considered requiring some facilitators to possess or obtain additional training before administering psilocybin to clients with complex medical or psychological conditions.
Dr. Rachel Knox and Dr. Angela Carter co-chair the Board’s Equity Subcommittee, which ensures that the industry created by Measure 109 is safe and accessible, especially for marginalized communities. This subcommittee includes members from outside the Board with diverse experience in a variety of disciplines including Dr. Pilar Hernandez-Wolfe, a clinician and professor at the Lewis & Clark Graduate School of Education and Counseling, Rebecca Martinez, and advocate and educator with the Fruiting Bodies Collective, and Ismail Ali, Acting Director of Policy and Advocacy at the Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies (MAPS).
Members of the public are welcome to attend meetings of the Board and its subcommittees. A schedule of upcoming events, and recordings from past meetings, can be found at the OHA’s Measure 109 website. Businesses and individuals hoping to learn more about Oregon psilocybin regulation can contact the experienced psychedelics attorneys at Harris Bricken.
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