WA Legislature Votes to Approve Psilocybin (Magic Mushrooms) Bill

Washington State’s full legislature has now voted in favor of establishing a task force and pilot program for the therapeutic and medical use of psilocybin, the psychedelic compound found in magic mushrooms.

Washington’s House of Representatives voted 87 to 10 today to pass Senate Bill 5263 through its third and final reading. The vote comes a little over a month after the Senate voted 41 to 7 to send the measure to the House. Given it was amended in the House, it will need to receive a concurrence vote in the Senate before it can be sent to Governor Jay Inslee.

SB 5263 would establish a task force designed to research psilocybin and create a pathway to full legalization while establishing a pilot program for supervised psilocybin use for first responders and military veterans. The measure was filed by Senator Jesse Salomon along with a bipartisan coalition of 21 cosponsors.

The legislation creates the Washington Psilocybin Advisory Board within the Department of Health in order to research the substance and create a pathway towards legalization. The Senate amended the bill to only include the research provisions, but a House committee amended it further to include the pilot program. The full House passed the bill as amended in their chamber’s committee.

“The bill as it stands takes very thoughtful steps towards a way that we as a state can consider a regulatory framework,” says Representative Nicole Macri, a proponent of the bill. “I like that the advisory group will come back with recommendations to the legislature next session and that, with this pilot that we have added to it, can gain more insight into the applicability of this service.”

According to a legislative summary, the bill:

  • Establishes the Psilocybin Advisory Board (Board) within theDepartment of Health (DOH) to provide advice and recommendations tothe DOH, the Liquor and Cannabis Board (LCB), and the WashingtonState Department of Agriculture (WSDA).

  • Creates an Interagency Work Group of the DOH, the LCB, and theWSDA to provide advice and recommendations, in regular updates, tothe Board on developing a comprehensive regulatory framework for aregulated psilocybin system, and other specified topics.

  • Requires the Health Care Authority to establish a Psilocybin Task Force,which must provide a final report to the Governor and Legislature byDecember 1, 2023, on specified topics including clinical information on psilocybin use and regulatory structures for clinical psilocybin use.

  • Grants the DOH certain duties, functions, and powers relating toinformation regarding the safety and efficacy of using psilocybin to treatmental health conditions; rulemaking authority; and other specifiedpowers relating to psilocybin.

  • Establishes the Psilocybin Therapy Services Pilot Program within theUniversity of Washington Department of Psychiatry and BehavioralSciences.

The full text of the bill can be found by clicking here.

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