August 31, 2022

Regulating Psychedelic Mushrooms

At Manzuri Law, our attorneys are keeping a sharp eye on California Senate Bill 519, which is currently drafted to not just legalize mushrooms but also ecstasy and other hallucinogenic drugs for people aged twenty-one and older. But we are not the only ones.  

What seems to be ahead of SB 519’s movement is on the ballot in Colorado in November 2022, when the state’s voters will consider regulating mushrooms for therapeutic purposes. If the bill proposing this regulation passes, Colorado will be joining Oregon in legalizing mushrooms to some extent.

In this article, we will explore the past, present, and future of mushroom regulation in the United States.

A Ballot Measure in Colorado Could Legalize Psilocybin Mushrooms Across the State

Initiative 58, the Natural Medicine Health Act, has made it onto the November 2022 ballot in Colorado. This initiative would make Colorado the second state to legalize psychedelic mushrooms if it passes. Interestingly, Denver was the first city in the entire country to decriminalize psychedelic mushrooms, so passing this initiative would further Colorado’s momentum on the matter. If the Bill passes in November, the state would become one with a regulated market for the hallucinogenic compound found in mushrooms, psilocybin and psilocin, for people aged twenty-one and older. Further, this initiative would establish an advisory board to advise on the implementation of a natural medicine program that uses mushrooms for therapy.

Oregon Has Already Legalized Psilocybin Mushrooms and Decriminalized All Drugs, Starting the “Psychedelic Renaissance” in Other Areas of the U.S.

In 2020, Oregon passed Measure 109 which legalized access to psilocybin, the main active ingredient in psychedelic mushrooms. The access was limited to supervised mental health treatments but has nonetheless opened the door to mushroom regulation. 

Additionally, Measure 110, which has been even more popular than Measure 109, aimed to “decriminalize the possession of small amounts of some hard drugs, including heroin and LSD… people in possession would face a $100 fine, which can be waived if the person agrees to pursue treatment.”

On the East Coast, The District of Columbia has passed Initiative 81, the Entheogenic Plant and Fungus Policy Act of 2020, which “[decriminalizes] the use of magic mushrooms and other psychedelic substances, including the active ingredients in ayahuasca and peyote.” With this measure, unlike the one in Oregon, these drugs would not be legalized; rather, the possession of them has become a low priority for law enforcement, moving closer to decriminalization

Will California Follow in Colorado’s and Oregon’s Footsteps?

The California Senate Bill 519 is currently drafted to not just legalize mushrooms but also ecstasy and other hallucinogenic drugs for people aged twenty-one and older.  

Lawmakers are looking past the “potential benefits of psychedelics to treat PTSD, depression and anxiety” and considering allowing recreational use. However, this bill would not allow for psychedelics to be sold in the same way cannabis is in government-sanctioned dispensaries. 

As of August 16, 2022, the Bill was amended a second time, and ordered for a third reading before the Committee.

What About The Rest Of The World?

Even though recreationally using magic mushrooms is illegal in nearly all states, the rest of the world has had an easier time legalizing the psychedelic drug. Currently, psilocybin mushrooms are legal in Brazil, Bulgaria, Jamaica, the Netherlands, and Samoa with many other countries having decriminalized them. Additionally, some other countries only identify the dried form of psychedelic mushrooms to be illegal.

Manzuri Law Provides Specialized Psychedelic Industry Legal Services

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, our lawyers are committed to providing specialized legal services for individuals and businesses that are forging the path to legalization. Contact us today to learn more.

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