Based in part on its medical marijuana act, in November 2020, Oregon voters approved the use of psilocybin. Oregon voters passed Ballot Measure 109 titled the “Oregon Psilocybin Services Act”. Measure 109 is now codified in statute as ORS 475A. ORS 475A allows for the manufacture, delivery, and administration of psilocybin to persons 21 years of age or older at supervised licensed facilities. Once passed into law, ORS 475A imposed a two-year development period for developing the policies, procedures, and infrastructure needed for the program to move forward.
Over the last two years under ORS 475A, Oregon has established an advisory board that answers to the Oregon Health Authority (Authority). This Authority has established prerequisites and standards for issuing licenses and defining treatment protocols. Under ORS 475A, the Authority is tasked with licensing, testing psilocybin for contamination, and disseminating research related to the safety and efficacy of psilocybin. Unlike Oregon’s medical marijuana program, ORS 475A does not permit the retail sale or the personal growing of psilocybin mushrooms.
The Oregon Psilocybin Services (OPS), which is housed within the Oregon Health Authority Public Health Division’s Center for Health Protection, is a new agency created under ORS 475A. Between January 1, 2021, and December 31, 2022, OPS developed rules, systems, and processes for the implementation of ORS 475A. The OPS created an advisory board and subcommittees; created rules; developed a facilitator training program, a license tracking and compliance system, a product tracking system, and an equity and justice-centered approach to background checks; and established partnerships with diverse communities.
Under ORS 475A, there are four types of licenses available: manufacturing, laboratory, service centers, and facilitators. OPS began accepting applications for licenses on January 2, 2023, and psilocybin service centers began opening their doors to clients in the summer of 2023. To date, there are currently 19 service centers where individuals can consume psilocybin and over 100 facilitators that help with this process. A licensed facilitator must successfully complete a training course and pass an examination administered by OPS.
Prior to being permitted to consume psilocybin, an individual must first meet with a facilitator for a prep session. During this session, the facilitator gathers information about the client and the client’s conditions and discusses the client’s bill of rights, informed consent, safety and support planning, data sharing, and what to expect during and after the session. A prescription or referral from a healthcare provider is not necessary, however, a facilitator can deny access at their discretion. Only after a client completes this prep session is the client permitted to move to the administration session. It is in the administration session where the client consumes the psilocybin in the presence of a licensed facilitator. After the administration session, the client will be offered follow-up integration sessions to review safety and support plans.
Psilocybin products are cultivated and produced only by licensed manufacturers. All psilocybin is carefully tracked by the Oregon’s product tracking system. The psilocybin products are tested only by licensed testing laboratories accredited by the Oregon Environmental Laboratory Accreditation Program. Once a licensed psilocybin manufacturer’s products pass the testing process, they may be sold to a licensed service center that will administer the psilocybin to the patients who have undergone the prep session. Patients do not need to be natives of Oregon to participate in the program.
If you are interested in becoming a licensed manufacturer, service center, or laboratory in a state-legalized psilocybin program, we encourage you to obtain legal counsel to ensure compliance with all laws and regulations governing the program.