Colorado Senate Approves Measure Regulating Psychedelics

Last week, the Colorado Senate approved a measure that would establish a regulatory framework for legal psychedelics. The regulations will mainly focus on how the drugs will be administered in licensed healing facilities under the guidance of trained facilitators. Individuals aged 21 years and above are eligible for psychedelic treatment.

The legislation will also set up licensing requirements as well as rules for cultivation, dictate the responsibilities of the line agencies and establish penalties for illegal activities.

Prior to its passing, the resolution was cleared by the Appropriations Committee and the Senate Finance Committee. It has now been advanced to the House. The resolution, which was introduced by Senate President Steve Fenberg, was cleared by a vote of 25 to 10 after adopting some amendments.

One amendment would allow individuals to have financial interest in no more than five psychedelics businesses, noting that individuals could get paid for support services or harm reduction associated with the use of psychedelics as long as no advertising was involved. A separate amendment made it so that individuals who take part in psychedelic testing had legal protections. The final amendment stated that cultivating more than the permitted amount of psychedelics or transferring psychedelics to minors were crimes only if an individual knowingly did so.

Another notable points include the use of psychedelics by minors and the public consumption of the drugs being punishable by a $100 fine. It should be noted that this applies to offenses committed after July 1, 2023. The bill also stipulates that adults can only grow natural psychedelics, adding that growing beyond the prescribed limits will be punishable by a $1,000 fine.

In addition, the measure establishes a pathway to seal records for individuals with previous convictions for now legalized psychedelic-related activities. It will also not impose any limits on the personal possession of ibogaine, psilocybin, psilocyn, DMT and mescaline (not derived from peyote) for individuals aged 21 years and above. The measure highlights that synthetic psychedelics are still not allowed, adding that the possession of psychedelics with hazardous materials will be considered a Class 2 felony.

During the measure’s second reading, Fernberg stated that he was excited that the state was at the forefront of ensuring that these drugs could be accessed by individuals safely, responsibly and in a regulated manner.

In other news, Governor Jared Polis announced that the state would be launching a loan program to support social equity cannabis businesses.

As psychedelics laws are changed in different states around the country, an opportunity has been created for the mushrooming of startups such as Seelos Therapeutics Inc. (NASDAQ: SEEL) looking to leverage the growing awareness of the medical potential of these hallucinogenic substances.

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