California Senate Committee Approves Psychedelic Decriminalization Measure

Earlier this month, a measure to decriminalize psychedelics in the state of California was advanced to the Senate Public Safety Committee. The committee also passed a separate bill that would enable communities in the state to temporarily open safe consumption sites for illegal drugs.

The legislation, sponsored by Sen. Scott Wiener, was approved by the Senate Public Safety Committee. If the bill is enacted into law, it would remove criminal penalties imposed on the distribution or possession of an extensive range of psychedelics, including MDMA, LSD, ibogaine, DMT and psilocybin mushrooms, for individuals aged 21 and above. The initiative would also allow the expungement of previous convictions for offenses that it makes lawful.

Additionally, the Department of Public Health in the state would also be required to establish a group to study and provide recommendations on the potential regulatory systems that California could adopt to help promote equitable and safe access to some substances in permitted legal contexts. The group will be required to be submit these recommendations on or before Jan. 1, 2024.

Since it was introduced in February, the legislation has undergone several changes. While some of these revisions are technical in nature, others are substantive, such as the one that would align the state’s laws on psychedelics and CBD with federal statute, if the substances are declassified as Schedule I substances, as per the Controlled Substances Act.

With regard to psilocybin, the bill would repeal provisions in the state’s statute that prohibit the transportation or growing of any mycelium or spores that can produce mushrooms which contain psilocin, the psychoactive ingredient found in magic mushrooms.

The bill’s reform provisions did not include mescaline, which is derived from peyote, because of the significance the peyote plant holds in Native American spirituality as well as its endangered status.

At the same time, a group of activists in the state recently revealed their plans to put a measure to legalize the retail sale and use of psilocybin on California’s 2022 ballot. The group, Decriminalize California, stated that it would begin with convincing legislators to pursue reform. However, if the legislature failed to act, the group would then take the issue directly to the voters in the state.

In other news, the City Council of Northampton, Massachusetts, last week approved a measure that would deprioritize the enforcement of laws against the distribution, use or possession of various psychedelics, including ayahuasca and psilocybin. This made it the third city in the state to advance this change in policy; the first were Cambridge and Somerville.

Campaigners for psychedelics policy reform will most likely be emboldened once the work being done by companies such as Cybin Inc. (NEO: CYBN) (OTCQB: CLXPF) to develop psychedelic medicine formulations and delivery systems reaches a commercialization phase with the approval of regulators.

NOTE TO INVESTORS: The latest news and updates relating to Cybin Inc. (NEO: CYBN) (OTCQB: CLXPF) are available in the company’s newsroom at https://ibn.fm/CYBN

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