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Arizona Senate Approves Bill That Could Legalize Therapeutic Psilocybin

Emily Mullins

by Emily Mullins

February 14, 2024 12:04 pm ET Estimated Read Time: 2 Minutes
Fact checked by Kymberly Drapcho
Arizona Senate Approves Bill That Could Legalize Therapeutic Psilocybin

In a recent hearing, the Arizona Senate Health and Human Services Committee unanimously approved a bill that would legalize therapeutic psilocybin centers for medically supervised use. The vote passed 7-0 after a group of senators, first responders, and military members held a press conference regarding the benefits and potential of psilocybin, also known as magic mushrooms, for mental health treatment.

Under the new measure, the Department of Human Services (DHS) will be able to offer licenses to psilocybin therapy centers with trained therapists and psychedelic facilitators. It will also establish an Arizona Psilocybin Advisory Board, which will include first responders, government officials, veterans, and scientists as members.

The board will work on projects like designing the training program for psychedelic facilitators, tracking psychedelic policy development, studying ongoing science related to psilocybin, and making recommendations to lawmakers regarding the bill. The goal is to ensure that psychedelic therapy remains safe, accessible, and affordable to those 21 and older.

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Centers should be able to start applying for licenses by January 1, 2026. This will also include licensing for centers that are working on psilocybin and psychedelic research. People will not have to meet specific qualifications to access care. However, medical directors and facilitators will have to undergo more than 100 hours of training on topics including the history of psychedelics, safety, administration, ethics, and more.

Josh Mozell, the president of the Psychedelic Association of Arizona, stated at Tuesday’s hearing: “This bill is purely about mental health. It’s about addressing our mental health crisis. We need to offer some hope and we need to give our doctors options for treatment.”

Arizona is making progressive steps forward when it comes to psychedelic research. Just last month, a bill was approved protecting $5 million in funding for designated psilocybin research from being absorbed back into the state budget.

They are one of several states with ongoing psychedelic programs. Other states legalizing psychedelics for therapy or conducting related research include New Mexico, California, Colorado, Nevada, and New York.

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