Mar 7, 2024 - News

Colorado issues draft rules for psychedelic industry's healing centers

Illustration of a chaise lounge on top of a mushroom.

Illustration: Allie Carl/Axios

Colorado has released preliminary rules for the psychedelic therapy industry.

Why it matters: The state is drawing closer to establishing a regulatory framework for licensing facilitators, or people who can administer natural psychedelics for medicinal purposes.

  • Therapeutic use was a major driving force behind the effort to legalize substances like magic mushrooms.

The big picture: Colorado is only the second state, after Oregon, to develop such a framework.

What's inside: Released last month by Colorado's Department of Regulatory Agencies (DORA), preliminary requirements needed to obtain a license to operate healing centers include:

  • Being 21 years old or older, showing proof of basic life-support training, like CPR, having no felony convictions, and completing 190 hours of training programs in natural medicine.
  • There will be "alternate" paths for obtaining a license for people who have previous experience and training in natural medicine, DORA spokesperson Katie O'Donnell says.

Context: The regulations, based on suggestions from a 15-member advisory board, focus on healing centers, where people can use psychedelics under supervision, and include rules about training, education programs and licensing requirements, O'Donnell tells us.

What they're saying: "Overall, we're really impressed," Tasia Poinsatte, Colorado director for the Healing Advocacy Fund, tells us about the proposed rules.

  • Poinsatte says the fund, which advocates for safe and affordable access to psychedelic healing, provided research to the advisory board that helped shape training requirements.

Between the lines: Joe Harrison, executive director of Naropa University's Center for Psychedelic Studies in Boulder, also lauded the rules, but said there are areas for improvement.

  • For example, he says he wants to learn more about the required training time for administering medication, saying it could be a barrier for people seeking a license.

Zoom out: The Natural Medicine Division, the state office created to oversee psychedelic therapy, will be responsible for licensing and regulating healing centers, cultivations, manufacturers, and testing facilities.

  • The division will be overseen by DORA and the Department of Revenue.

What's next: DORA is hosting a virtual meeting Friday at 2pm to get feedback.


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