The New Mexico Senate has unanimously approved a bipartisan resolution requesting that state officials research the therapeutic potential of psilocybin and explore the creation of a regulatory framework to provide access to the psychedelic.

The body voted 37-0 to pass the measure from Senate Minority Whip Craig Brandt (R) and Sen. Jeff Steinborn (D).

The action came days after the Health and Public Affairs Committee had approved the legislation, also unanimously.

As “memorial” legislation, the proposal isn’t binding. Rather, it would represent a formal request for the state Department of Health to “study the efficacy of using psilocybin mushrooms for therapeutic treatments and the establishment of a program for psilocybin mushrooms to be used for therapeutic medical treatments.”

The whereas section of the resolution cites various studies supporting the therapeutic benefits of psilocybin for conditions such as major depression and substance misuse, while pointing out that the federal Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has designated the psychedelic as a “breakthrough therapy.”

To that end, the measure states that the health department should look into “necessary statutory or regulatory framework for developing” a state-level psilocybin program.

“It turns out that medical mushrooms, psilocybin, has proven to be medically efficacious for the use of major behavioral health issues,” Steinborn said before the floor vote. “It can help alleviate and be an alternative to major anti-depressant drugs and probably other drugs that have serious side effects and can bring real relief to New Mexicans.”

Brandt said that psilocybin therapy is “not a treatment that you take on your own once a day or once a week or even once a month, but it can be a treatment that’s done about once every six months to every year, as needed.”

“And sometimes one treatment is all that’s needed to actually cure someone of a traumatic brain injury, or of PTSD,” he said. “And so this is actually a really exciting, cutting-edge technology… God seems to have provided a cure, and we just need to figure out how to use that cure.”

Several researchers and advocates testified in favor of the legislation during its committee stop, urging lawmakers to help make New Mexico a leader on psychedelics research at a time of heightened interest into the potential of substances such as psilocybin to address widespread mental health concerns.

Prior to passage, the committee adopted an amendment stipulating that it wants the health department to partner with the University of New Mexico Health Sciences Center on the psilocybin research.

The Senate passage of the psychedelics resolution comes one year after the House Health and Human Services Committee passed a similar bill that called for the creation of a state body to study the possibility of launching a psilocybin therapy program for certain patients. That measure did not advance further in the 2023 session, however.

A growing number of states are pursuing psychedelics reform legislation this session, with a focus on research and therapeutic access.