New Assembly Bill in New York Seeks To Legalize Psilocybin Service Centers

If passed, it would create a regulatory framework for licensing psilocybin service centers and would allow patients to receive treatment for a variety of medical conditions.
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New York legislation Assembly Bill 10375 was recently introduced by Assembly Health Committee Chair Amy Paulin and aims to legalize psilocybin service centers.

If passed, the A10375 would amend public law “in relation to promoting the health and well-being of the citizens of the state of New York by establishing a comprehensive framework supporting public health and safety through regulated adult use, support services, and cultivation of psilocybin-containing fungi,” the bill stated.

It would also require that the Department of Health (DoH) take charge of regulations, which involves cultivator licenses and approving psilocybin service center facilities. It would also create a “Regulated Psilocybin Advisory Board” made up of 13 members to study federal laws and policies regarding psilocybin, and offer advice and recommendations to the DoH. The purposes of the board would be to “develop a long-term strategic plan for ensuring that psilocybin services in the state will become and remain a safe, accessible and affordable therapeutic option, including in therapeutic and medical treatments, for all persons eighteen years of age and older for whom psilocybin services may be appropriate.”

Psilocybin business expenses would be tax deductible, and proceeds and fees would go back into the program to fund “administration and other costs relating to programs pursuant to this title, including but not limited to public education and risks of using psilocybin.”

Currently there are 58 conditions that would qualify for a patient to utilize the services of a psilocybin center, which ranges from glaucoma, HIV/AIDS, migraines, multiple sclerosis, post-traumatic stress disorder, sleep disorders, treatment resistant depression, and so much more. Additionally, patients with other conditions not included in the initial list can also be considered for psilocybin therapy if it “has been identified in a study published in a medical or scientific journal.” In order for a patient to receive a permit for psilocybin therapy, they must first receive a health screening and complete a permit course.

The bill wouldn’t legalize psilocybin, and consumption, cultivation, and sales would be prohibited. Violators would be hit with a $250 fine and a maximum of 15 days imprisonment.

As of May 21, the bill has been sent to the Assembly Health Committee, of which Paulin is the chair.

Other legislation involving psilocybin has led to promising progress. In February 2023, Assemblymember Pat Burke introduced Assembly Bill 03581, which would establish a psilocybin assisted therapy grant program and allow patients to engage in such treatments either in a licensed treatment center, or at home if the patient cannot travel. “This country is facing a mental health crisis,” Burke wrote on X last year. “I am looking at all options to alleviate the pain so many are feeling. Breakthrough medicines like psilocybin are showing tremendous benefit. I carry the bill to legalize psilocybin therapy. Let’s get it done!”

In February 2024, Burke introduced Assembly Bill 08349 which would create a psilocybin  therapy pilot program for 10,000 veterans and first responders. “We’re in a mental health crisis, and so we need every tool that’s available to us,” Burke said.

Meanwhile, the state’s legal cannabis industry continues to develop. In mid-April, the New York Cannabis Control Board approved 101 adult-use cannabis licenses. “With the Cannabis Control Board’s issuance of 101 adult-use cannabis licenses, New York’s legal cannabis industry continues to make significant progress with over 400 licenses issued in 2024,” Gov. Kathy Hochul said. “Strengthening New York’s equitable cannabis industry and ensuring the hard-working small business owners operating in the legal market have the licenses to open are the best way to protect the integrity of sales in New York.”

As of late April, the state celebrated the opening of its 100th dispensary, called Big Gas, which opened through the help of the New York State Cannabis Investment Fund. “New York State continues to make progress on standing up a safe and legal cannabis industry for business owners, farmers and residents across the state,” said Hochul about the news. “Today marks a historic milestone in establishing a thriving and equitable industry in our state with the 100th brick-and-mortar store opening.”

The topic of psilocybin continues to influence more illuminating research studies.  One such study which was published this month in the Journal of Psychoactive Drugs showed evidence that it won’t change a person’s belief as an atheist, agnostic, or believer in God. “These findings suggest that concerns that psychedelics could change metaphysical beliefs or result in ‘conversions’ across religious affiliations may be overestimated,” wrote researchers of their findings. They added that “concerns related to changes in non-naturalistic beliefs or religious affiliation may be exaggerated.”

Other recent studies include a dive into psilocybin as a meditation enhancement, show evidence that psilocybin isn’t associated with paranoia risk, and proves that natural psilocybin has more therapeutic benefits in comparison to synthesized psilocybin.

Another psilocybin treatment center recently opened up in Oregon, called Ashland Healing Center, which is also the first black-owned treatment center. Additionally, the Oregon Health Authority approved another psilocybin license to Kaya Holdings Inc., for a business called The Sacred Mushroom, which plans to open sometime in June.

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