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Oregon and DC Decriminalisation Initiative Successes: The Psychedelics Sector Reacts

Ballot initiatives pertaining to the decriminalisation of psychedelics have been successful – by significant margins – in both Oregon and Washington, DC.

In Oregon, Measure 109 mandates the provision of psilocybin therapy, while in DC Initiative 81 decriminalises psychedelics. A further ballot initiative in Oregon, Measure 110, sees all drugs decriminalised.

As such, psychedelics are to be effectively decriminalised for those in Oregon and DC: approximately 5 million people.

When including the four cities that have already passed similar motions, yesterday’s Yes votes extend the decriminalisation of psychedelics to around 7 million Americans.

Validation & Public Awareness

Across the psychedelics companies and organisations we spoke to, it’s clear that these ballot measures are viewed as validation of the psychedelic renaissance, and an increasingly open public perception towards the substances.

“I am so excited to hear the fantastic news regarding the passing of the Oregon ballot initiative ‘Yes on 109’,” said CEO of TheraPsil Spencer Hawkswell.

TheraPsil is a non-profit coalition working to secure exemptions to allow access to psilocybin therapy. Earlier this year, the organisation secured historic exemptions for four palliative patients.

Hawkswell went on to say: “Laws are meant to serve people, not to limit them, and ‘Yes on 109’ is a progressive step in the right direction balancing liberal drug policy with a conservative introduction.” 

Numinus Founder and CEO, Payton Nyquvest, was similarly excited: “Oregon’s YES vote on medical psilocybin in Measure 109 and DC’s YES vote on decriminalizing psychedelic plants and fungi in Initiative 81 show the public’s awareness of potential psychedelic benefits and the need for policy reform to end the war on drugs.”

Glowing with optimism, Nyquvest went on to say: “This is history in the making. We’re optimistic this will catalyze collaboration between industry, regulators, and advocates on the road to safe and accessible psychedelic-assisted psychotherapy for all.”

Field Trip’s Executive Ronan Levy shared this positivity: “The success of Measure 109 in Oregon is great validation of that belief, and marks a significant inflection point in the coming psychedelic renaissance. It is truly wonderful news for the industry, and for all of humanity.”

Cybin’s CEO, Doug Drysdale, added: “Today marks a great step forward in normalizing psychedelic medicine and supports their true therapeutic value to improve people’s lives.”

“An incredible accomplishment”

“What an incredible accomplishment,” said Levy, discussing the success of Oregon Measure 109 with Psilocybin Alpha.

Levy explained that his team expected legal access to psychedelics “would come sooner than almost anyone would expect,” and that the Company was built around this foundational belief.

“It’s why the launch of our R&D facility dedicated to the study and cultivation of psilocybin producing mushrooms in partnership with UWI was the one the first things we did after Field Trip was incorporated,” he said, referencing the Company’s partnership with the University of the West Indies in Jamaica.

While Companies such as Numinus have focussed on harvesting psilocybe mushrooms in North America – the first legal flush of which was harvested last month – Levy’s Field Trip has been working on the production of psilocybin in Jamaica, which has become something of a haven for psychedelics research and retreats.

Another Caribbean nation, St. Vincent and the Grenadines, passed legislation last week in order to incentivise psychedelic research and therapeutic offerings, meaning we should expect to see further development of the industry in the region.

Looking Ahead

It’s clear that many in the psychedelic sector are incredibly excited about yesterday’s psychedelics ballot initiative results.

Some companies will now begin positioning themselves for emergent supply chains, with the most obvious being the production and distribution of psilocybin as alluded to by Field Trip’s Ronan Levy,

To be sure: these processes will take time to initiate and develop. Measure 109 includes a two-year developmental period prior to the commencement of Psilocybin Therapy provision, for example.

However, many view yesterday’s successes as both a signal and a catalyst of increasingly positive public perception surrounding psychedelics and their potential benefits.

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