Colorado Natural Medicine Health Act Tracker

Produced with Vicente LLP

Introduction

The passage of Colorado’s Natural Medicine Health Act in November of 2022 (“Proposition 122” or “NMHA”) marked a significant milestone in psychedelic policy reform in the United States. After Oregon, Colorado became the second state to provide adults access to certain natural psychedelics, and the first to do so in a way that permits personal and communal use. At launch, the NMHA will allow psilocybin and psilocin, however, the state is required to consider the addition of Dimethyltryptamine, Ibogaine, and Mescaline (excluding Peyote) in the future. 

Although there has been a fair amount of controversy around the passage of the NMHA, one common theme for all involved is the desire for the Colorado program to improve upon Oregon’s. We saw this desire in the drafting of the NMHA, which included a number of differentiating policy positions. We saw it again with the Colorado legislature and Senate President’s passage of SB23-290—a 70-page bill that mostly expands on the key policy points of the NMHA.   

Now all eyes are on Colorado’s Natural Medicine Advisory Board (“NMAB”), the state-appointed board tasked with making recommendations for the implementation of this program. Will they continue this trend of improving upon Oregon? Will their recommendations create a program that is affordable, equitable, and safe? How will the NMAB address tiered facilitator licensing? What about natural medicine services at private homes and healthcare facilities? Can licensed counselors provide therapy coupled with natural medicines? Will the NMAB recommend more or less than the 120-hour training program of Oregon? Will they include other species outside of Psilocybe cubensis? Will the recommendations have a different set of regulatory requirements for indigenous practices? What about the ESG screen for corporations—will it have any teeth or just increase the costs of services? 

Additionally, with the passage of SB23-290, there is now a Federally Recognized American Tribes and Indigenous Working Group established. How is this new Working Group going to interact with the NMAB?

Finally, and arguably most important: What regulations will actually be promulgated by the two Colorado agencies tasked with implementing this measure?  

So many questions are still left unanswered as the clock ticks towards the program’s launch on January 1, 2025.  

This webpage and bulletin is dedicated to being a clearinghouse for the implementation of Colorado’s Natural Medicine Health Act, with a focus on the work of the Natural Medicine Advisory Board and its subcommittees.  

High-Level Statistics

Last updated: August 2023

License applications open in:

Days
Hours
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Licenses open.
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Anticipated recommendations*
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Regulations officially adopted
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NMAB meetings
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Subcommittee meetings

* Regulations are not official until they have completed the regulatory rulemaking process. Any anticipated recommendations are subject to change. 

Anticipated Recommendations

Update in progress.

Cultivation, Production, & Testing 

  • Only Psilocybe cubensis sub-strains will be allowed as cultivars of psilocybin mushroom in the regulated natural medicine market.
  • In-house testing will be allowed but not required.  
  • 3rd-party testing will be required.  
  • Additives (such as chocolate) that do not increase potency will be allowed during production. 
  • Additives that encourage mushroom growth, but do not alter potency or effects, will be allowed during cultivation. 
  • Adulterants, meaning anything that alters the potency or effects of psilocybin, will not be allowed during cultivation or production.
  • Synthesis, defined as combining two or more components to produce a new substance, will not be permitted at this time.  

 

Licensing & Qualifications 

  • The Facilitator license will consist of a single level and unified training curriculum. Facilitators may expand their scope of practice beyond the Facilitator license with additional licenses regulated by separate bodies, such as psychotherapy licenses.  

 

Facilities & Administration 

  • Emergency services should respond to every emergency call from a licensed premises. 
  • Animals may not be present on a licensed premises, except as required by law.  
  • Unused natural medicine or natural medicine product must be returned to a facilitator following an administration session.  
  • Healing Centers must store products in such a way that they are only accessible to licensees during administration. 
  • If an interpreter will be needed for facilitation, the interpreter must be present for a preparation session. 

Natural Medicine Advisory Bulletin

Everything you need to know about implementing the Natural Medicine Health Act in Colorado, by Vicente LLP

Natural Medicine Advisory Bulletin 12: May and June 2024

Vicente LLP walk us through more than a dozen hearings, meetings and (proposed) rule updates since our last Bulletin. As we head into a month that features final public hearings on a number of matters, now is the time to make your voice heard.

Natural Medicine Advisory Bulletin 11.6: June 14th Subcommittee: Problems with Products

In this quick-response issue of the Natural Medicine Advisory Bulletin, Vicente LLP explores “a significant misunderstanding between regulators and some Board members” on the topic of manufactured Natural Medicine projects.

Natural Medicine Advisory Bulletin 11.5: Rule Review & Roadmap

In this jam-packed issue of the Natural Medicine Advisory Bulletin, Vicente LLP provides “a full-body scan” of the state of Colorado’s Natural Medicine rules.

Natural Medicine Advisory Bulletin 11: March & April 2024

Vicente LLP looks at draft rules on Licensing & Financial Interests as well as General/Operational Rules, before reviewing the combined subcommittee meeting in mid-April and the full NMAB.

Natural Medicine Advisory Bulletin 10.1: Legislative Update

Vicente LLP reviews Senate Bill 24-198, the first legislative since the passing of SB-23-290 in 2023, which implemented the Natural Medicine Health Act.

Natural Medicine Advisory Bulletin 10: March 2024

Vicente LLP reviews the March 15th Colorado Natural Medicine Advisory Board meeting, where draft rules for Facilitator licensing and training were discussed.

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Suggestions & Comments

As with all our resources, we welcome feedback and suggestions on this blog series.

Please contact policy@psychedelicalpha.com.

 

Disclaimer

Of course, it should go without saying that this blog is provided for informational purposes only, with no guarantees of its completeness or accuracy. It is not legal advice. Before pursuing any activities that may carry legal risks or penalties, you should consult with a lawyer.