At the start of the year, the Colorado Department of Regulatory Agencies (DORA) began searching for individuals to join an advisory board that would be responsible for informing on psychedelic policy. As part of those efforts, DORA promoted a web page where interested professionals could fill out applications to join the state’s first-ever Medicine Advisory Board.
Nearly a month later, Colorado governor Jared Polis announced the appointment of 15 members to the Natural Medicine Advisory Board. The 15-member board will be tasked with studying and making recommendations on matters related to psychedelics law.
Voters in Colorado voted in favor of a measure to legalize the cultivation, possession and sharing of certain psychedelics for adults aged 21 years and over. The voter-approved ballot measure also allowed the creation of “healing centers” where people could experience supervised psychedelic sessions.
However, the measure did not legalize commercial sales outside of licensed healing centers, and it has no effect on federal law that still outlaws psychedelics. The Natural Medicine Health Act (Proposition 122), the measure in question, gave regulators an 18-month window to implement psychedelic rules.
The board is comprised of academics, scientists, law enforcement, people with a wealth of knowledge on psychedelic medicine and a former cannabis journalist turned founder and CEO Ricardo Baca. The board will operate under the auspices of the Department of Regulatory Agencies and advise regulators as those regulators draft rules for Colorado’s psilocybin program. The Natural Medicine Advisory Board consists of two types of members, with the first group serving two-year terms and the second group serving four-year terms.
According to the governor’s office, each of the appointees has specialized in harm reduction, healthcare disparities, emergency medicine, indigenous use, mycology, criminal justice, veteran issues and more. Baca, who was once the editor of “The Cannabist,” will advise on drug policy, harm reduction, public health and indigenous use.
Once the board begins operations, it will inform Colorado regulators on issues such as the regulation of natural plants and fungi, public education about the Natural Medicine Health Act, and promoting equitable and affordable access to natural medicines. The board will also advise on the possibility of adding another psychedelic to Colorado’s natural medicine program.
Board members will have until Sept. 30, 2023, to submit its first report with policy recommendations for state regulators, while state regulators will have until Jan. 1, 2024, to implement rules for trained psychedelic facilitators. The state will have until Sept. 20, 2024, to establish Colorado’s medical psychedelic program and start accepting license applications.
With various startups such as Mind Medicine Inc. (NASDAQ: MNMD) (NEO: MMED) (DE: MMQ) powering ahead with clinical development programs involving psychedelics, the country could soon see FDA-approved psychedelic treatments available to patients with different clinical indications, such as treatment-resistant depression.
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