The Oregon Health Authority (OHA) approved its final rules for the Oregon Psilocybin Services Act on Dec. 27. The Act was originally created through the passing of Ballot Measure 109 in November 2020, which was later codified into law as ORS 475A.
The OHA’s final rules were created through recommendations from the Oregon Psilocybin Advisory Board, the Rules Advisory Committee, and public comments. Initially the OHA released its first subset of rules in May 2022, and with the final rules now in place, Oregon Psilocybin Services (OPS) will begin accepting applications for four license types starting on Jan. 2, 2023.
According to a letter co-written by André Ourso, Administrator of the Center for Health Protection, and Angie Allbee, Section Manager for OPS:
“OPS received over 200 written comments and six hours of comments shared in the public hearings during the November 2022 public comment period,” wrote Ourso and Allbee. “These comments helped to further refine and improve the rules, which have now been adopted as final. The final rules are a starting place for the nation’s first regulatory framework for psilocybin services, and we will continue to evaluate and evolve this work as we move into the future.”
These new rules include an option for microdosing with the hope that it will “increase access, equity, and affordability while ensuring public safety.” “The final rules on duration of administrative sessions have been revised to create a new tier for subperceptual doses. These doses are defined as products containing less than 2.5 mg of psilocybin analyte. After a client’s initial session, the minimum duration for a subperceptual dose of 2.5 mg of psilocybin analyte or less is 30 minutes.”
The OPS also established rules to create translated materials in English, Spanish, along with interpretation materials to best serve a wide variety of potential patients. The agency also created numerous rules to address confidentiality of client data, improvements to the application form, and certain limitations for applicants if they have recently had thoughts about causing harm to themselves, or are pregnant or breastfeeding.
As for fees, the OPS will offer less expensive options to those who qualify, with the opportunity to consider making the service more affordable in the future. “The final rules include reduced license fees for applicants who are veterans, receiving social security income, receiving food stamp benefits, or are enrolled in the Oregon Health Plan,” the OPS letter states. “Creating a more complicated tiered license fee structure is not feasible due to the work required to identify appropriate tiers and evaluate license applications and supporting documentation. This work would require more staff capacity, which would result in higher license fees overall.”
With applications opening in less than a week, the OPS letter signs off with a hopeful statement. “OPS will strive to support applicants in navigating license application requirements and will continue to provide technical assistance as we launch the nation’s first regulatory and licensing framework for psilocybin services,” the letter concludes.
Meanwhile in cannabis, end-of-year analysis discuss the past year’s oversupply issues. The Oregon Office of Economic Analysis (OEA) released a forecast in December covering a wide variety of businesses in Oregon, including cannabis. “Now, this is great news for consumers who can enjoy widely available products at low prices,” OEA economists wrote about the cannabis industry. “This is bad news for firms trying to operate a profitable business. One challenge there is even as businesses do leave the market, to date there has always been another willing to step in and take their place.”