PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) – More than 100 cities across Oregon made it clear with their votes Tuesday that they do not want psilocybin-related businesses to operate in their towns, at least not for now. 

When Measure 109 passed in the November 2020 election, it authorized the Oregon Health Authority to provide licenses and regulations for providers to oversee and administer psilocybin-producing mushroom and fungi products to anyone 21 and older. Research suggests psilocybin is effective at addressing depression, anxiety, trauma and addiction. 

The measure also gave individual jurisdictions the option to opt out if their councilors or commissioners passed an ordinance and put it on the ballot for voters to decide. 

In the 2022 general election, 116 cities and 27 counties decided whether they’d allow psilocybin manufacturers, servicers or businesses. In counties, voters could only decide if the businesses would be allowed in unincorporated parts of the county. 

According to early election results Wednesday afternoon, the vast majority of counties and cities that left the decision up to voters decided to prohibit the businesses from operating. For some, the restriction is only in place for two years, but most others did not set a date on when or if the moratorium would end. 

Sam Chapman, executive director of the Healing Advocacy Fund, a nonprofit supporting the implementation of Measure 109 in Oregon, spoke Wednesday in response to the election results.

“We’re not entirely surprised that some of these localities opted out and we’ll really look forward to continuing to work with every one of these cities and counties,” he said.

The only two counties to vote in favor of allowing psilocybin manufacturers and service centers to operate in unincorporated parts of the county were Deschutes and Jackson. 

Chapman said he believes this is due to the organized efforts of advocates in those two counties to inform people on what they’d be voting on.

“The local election results for psilocybin measures showed that when people hear about the potential for psilocybin therapy, or they’re reminded about it, they’re generally in favor of it,” he said.

The following counties voted against psilocybin-related businesses operating in unincorporated areas: Baker, Clackamas, Clatsop, Coos, Crook, Curry, Douglas, Gilliam, Grant, Harney, Jefferson, Josephine, Klamath, Lake, Linn, Malheur, Marion, Morrow, Polk, Sherman, Tillamook, Umatilla, Union, Wallowa and Wheeler. 

Of all the dozens of cities that voted on the matter, only two appear to have voted to allow psilocybin-related businesses, according to early projections. 

Phoenix in Jackson County and Wheeler in Tillamook County seem to have voted against the psilocybin business prohibition by slim margins. 

Based on how the results of the election, psilocybin-related businesses will be essentially outlawed in the eastern part of the state. Wasco County is one of the farthest-east counties that did not ask voters to consider banning the businesses and therefore will allow them to operate.

Since Deschutes County also did not pass the prohibition in its unincorporated areas, it will be another of the farthest east counties that could house services. 

However, La Pine and Redmond in Deschutes County both voted to prohibit psilocybin-related businesses within city limits. 

Bend did not have a measure related to the issue on its ballot. 

Before Election Day, KOIN 6 News spoke to Derek Clevenger, the mayor of Aumsville. According to early results, his city voted in favor of prohibiting psilocybin-related businesses from operating within Aumsville. 

Clevenger predicted this would happen and said he doesn’t feel comfortable allowing manufacturers or service centers in his city until the Oregon Health Authority has its psilocybin rules finalized. 

“I have a pretty positive view of psilocybin and its medicinal uses… But it is pretty insane to ask voters to vote on an issue when nobody knows what they’re really voting on,” he said. 

He believed mayors in other cities that were asking residents to vote on whether to allow psilocybin businesses felt similarly. 

The Oregon Health Authority must have its rules finalized by the end of the year and it currently has draft rules people can provide comments on

The Oregon Health Authority said it’s glad the jurisdictions had the opportunity to vote before it starts issuing business licenses on Jan. 2. This way, the Oregon Health Authority will know which parts of Oregon they can’t issue licenses to. 

Measure 109 does not allow retail sales; off-site consumption, possession or production; unregulated or untracked psilocybin production, delivery or inventory; service centers near schools; and access to minors.