Are you ready?
As someone who intends on taking part in this space I thought I would share my insights and try to keep the general public informed on how I see this unfolding.
I’ve done this quite a bit for hemp and have been able to navigate the space well, I figure if I take the same approach for psilocybin (which I have been), I’ll be pretty well prepared for 2023 when licenses being to get issued.
Please feel free to reach to to talk about the subject! The more we discuss the more we learn, I’ll try to keep these short and sweet.
For those of you catching up, Measure 109 was passed by Oregon voters in November to establish the framework around psilocybin therapy in the state. This is a multipart process that will require some of the best minds in the regulatory, medical, psychological, and research space to engage in dialogue and create a safe, accessible, fair path to psilocybin therapy.
This is especially important as Oregon is in the spotlight as the first to move on this subject in this manner on the state level (psilocybin is decriminalized in several municipalities across the country).
The first subcommittee meeting of the psilocybin advisory board gathered last week to discuss the election of chairs, creation of subcommittees, and start the general discussion around how all of this is going to go down before the target license issuance date of January 2023.
At first, the meeting started off a little bumpy, reminding us all why is takes so long for anything to get done in government and politics. Eventually, it started to flow, specifically when the discussion around subcommittees began.
The board is clearly made up of some very qualified individuals who all seem excited, prepared, and determined to get this done correctly.
One of the most important moments of the first meeting was by Harm Reduction Specialist Angela Carter. Her comment was about how imperative it is that the research subcommittee take into serious consideration that this plant medicine has evolved primarily through cultural implementations globally, and not specifically in western medicine.
This point was driven home and seconded by other board members such as Dr. Rachel Knox, Tom Eckert (Elected Training Facilitation Chair), and Academic Researcher Mason Marks. This was a crucial perspective and should make many very relieved that this is in the thoughts and minds of board members. As we all know our federal government has botched plant medicine therapy to a historically embarrassing extent (cannabis anyone?).
What was specifically addressed, was the assurance that the research subcommittee would incorporate indigenous non-western ways of thinking, indigenous evidence, and forgo the notion that western evidence is “superior” to global knowledge on the subject. Furthermore it was suggested that global experts and researchers be incorporated into the research subcommittee to get a well rounded understanding of the power of this medicine (shamans helping shape state regulations? Yes!).
Again, so important as psilocybin is an ancient medicine that has hundreds if not thousands of years of medical, social, and cultural evidence. Why couldn’t we consider this decades ago for cannabis? Shame shame.
I wish I would have heard more of the licensed physician board members speak up and back up Angela’s remarks, to my count there were none, but there were several others that did so that is a win for patients, the state, and the world for that matter.
My initial thoughts on how this will unfold as a marketplace and industry are these:
- There will be no initial retail product availability or commercial distribution outside of the controlled state system of cultivators straight to facilitators and therapy centers
- Facilitators will need to undergo a training program established by the state, I believe any prior experiences, certifications (think MAPS programs), formal education, shamanic training, workshops, or anything else that shines a professional light on yourself will help to get certified
- I believe there is an awesome opportunity to build some pretty amazing therapy centers across the state, think Esalen style retreat centers that implement treatment while educating and offering other self-help classes/workshops.
- A commercial recreation industry will start to develop as these meetings start to add up. Recreational psilocybin products will probably start legally hitting shelves by 2025 (yes there is already an illicit market of course, it consists of edibles, extracts, concentrates, dried mushrooms, and everything else).
- The recreational market will look much like the cannabis and CBD markets with testing, cultivation licenses, different strains, product manufacturers, distributors, and beyond.
Not sure if you feel my excitement through the screen but this is going to be another great opportunity to bring plant medicine to the masses.
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