Having blazed a trail in the cannabis space, Manzuri Law attorneys draw on experience from the earliest days of the cannabis industry to address and mitigate crossover issues with the emerging psychedelics industry. From taking advantage of market opportunities associated with government-approved psychedelic drugs to advising investors on local decriminalization efforts, Manzuri Law attorneys are committed to providing specialized legal services for individuals and businesses that are forging the path to legalization.
Unlike cannabis, the movement to decriminalize and further research psilocybin and other entheogens is moving ahead at a much quicker pace at both the state and local levels.
The Controlled Substances Act, signed in 1970, establishes psilocybin mushrooms, a psychoactive drug, as a Schedule I substance. This classification means the federal government believes the substance has both a high potential for abuse and no accepted medical use for treatment in the United States.
Within the past two years, we have seen states and cities decriminalize psychedelics like psilocybin, ketamine, ayahuasca, and DMT for medical or personal use and have begun to explore their pharmaceutical properties.
Our California based law firm provides the following services in this rapidly expanding area of the law:
When a substance is decriminalized, the production, sale, and possession of it is technically still prohibited, but is not prosecuted to the same extent as when the substance is illegal.
That could mean significantly reduced penalties in the form of fines or confiscation.
In California, statewide psychedelic use is considered illegal, however, certain cities, notably Oakland, Santa Cruz, and Arcata have passed their decriminalization efforts listing the ingredients in psilocybin to be considered the lowest law enforcement priorities. It is important to note that even if decriminalized, the commercial sale and manufacturing remain prohibited.
In late July 2022, San Francisco lawmakers also filed a resolution to locally decriminalize psychedelics such as psilocybin and ayahuasca, while being sure to include a measure to push for broader reform statewide.
Legalization, which would make psychedelics legal for personal use and eventual sale, may follow a similar route as the cannabis industry. That is, we may see these substances legalized but only with the care and supervision of a medical professional.
California Senate Bill 519, introduced in 2021 but failed to make it to the Governor’s desk, would have decriminalized the possession and non-commercial sharing of psychedelics by people aged 21 or older. It would not permit the sale of psychedelics in government-sanctioned shops the way cannabis is currently allowed however, it sets up the framework for California to move toward regulating psychedelic drugs — like psilocybin, LSD, MDMA, and ketamine — in the future.
In 2021, Decriminalize California, put forth the California Psilocybin Initiative 2022, which was written to implement a comprehensive, statewide scheme authorizing and regulating the cultivation, processing, and distribution of psilocybin mushrooms and the chemical compounds contained therein for personal, medical, therapeutic, spiritual, religious, and dietary use. Unfortunately, the activist group failed to collect enough signatures to qualify for the November 2022 ballot. Sad but not defeated, the group admits they aren’t giving up on a future election cycle.
With our thorough knowledge of case law, and regulatory and legislative policy changes, our experienced psychedelic attorneys are keeping our fingers on the pulse of the decriminalization and potential legalization of all psychedelic products in California.
If you have questions about pursuing potential psychedelic business interests, contact one of our California Cannabis law firm specialists today by phone at (310) 912-2960 or online to ensure you are operating on the right side of the law from entry to operations.