Oregon recently made history when they legalized psilocybin mushrooms (commonly known as “psychedelic mushrooms”) for therapeutic use, sparking much discussion and speculation surrounding this new frontier of mental health treatment.
What Is Psilocybin, and Who May Take It?
Psilocybin is a psychoactive compound found in certain mushrooms. Recent research suggests it can help treat anxiety, depression, PTSD and addiction; under Oregon law only the species Psilocybe cubensis may be used legally for therapeutic use.
Psilocybin, unlike marijuana, cannot be obtained over-the-counter; rather, it must be administered in an authorized service center by an accredited facilitator who must also possess an ID badge to administer it to users 21 or over and lasting four to six hours in duration.
When and Where Will Treatment Be Offered?
Oregon began accepting license applications in January 2023. As of now, six service centers have already received licenses; with more anticipated to open shortly. Unfortunately, however, some counties and cities within Oregon have chosen not to permit service centers within their boundaries.
Oregonians who wish to access these treatments may search for licensed providers online at psilocybin.oregon.gov/license-directory; even if it’s banned in their region (Sydney Wyatt of Salem Statesman Journal August 10, 2023).
Are Psilocybin Treatment Services Expensive and Does Insurance Cover It?
A single session for psilocybin may cost approximately $1,500; although nonprofit efforts to increase accessibility may lower that cost further. Unfortunately, insurance does not currently cover such services.
Licensees must consider access and affordability when creating their social equity plans for submission during both application and renewal processes.
Licensing Psilocybin for Provision, Growth and Testing
There are four different kinds of licenses required to provide, cultivate and test Psilocybin:
Manufacturer licenses: for growing and producing psilocybin products. Laboratory licenses: for testing psilocybin products. Service center licenses: for buildings seeking to provide on-site psilocybin services. Facilitator licenses: those present during sessions to assist clients.
Applications for licenses and permits can be found on OHA’s psilocybin services page.
What Does Licensing Cost?
The average cost to become a licensed facilitator is $2,150 plus training fees; licensing a service center or manufacturer requires $10,000 plus application fees and renewal costs annually – nonprofit entities tend to pay lower renewal costs than for-profit enterprises.
Oregon requires that at least 50% of ownership for all psilocybin manufacturers and service centers residing here by 2025.
Oregon’s legalization of therapeutic psilocybin marks an important development in mental health care. While its framework will surely become clear, public curiosity and questions will continue. While Oregon may open doors to alternative treatments in time, further examination will reveal its true impact.
As changes and adaptations continue to occur, constant monitoring and updates will be necessary to ensure psilocybin services meet both state requirements and public expectations.
For further inquiries, interested parties are advised to visit the Oregon Health Authority’s official website or reach out directly to local health departments.