PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — Oregon officials are seeking a wide variety of people to make recommendations about how the state should regulate psilocybin — a psychoactive compound found in so-called “magic” mushrooms.

Voters approved Measure 109 earlier this month, legalizing the use of psilocybin for therapeutic purposes in licensed facilities. But that doesn’t mean hallucinogenic mushrooms are legal right now. There’s currently no process for become a licensed facilitator, which is where the Oregon Health Authority (OHA) comes in.

Measure 109 instructs the OHA to develop an advisory board, and iron out best practices, ethics and regulations for psilocybin therapy, all within a two year timeframe. Prior to the election, KOIN 6 News spoke with doctors who said they’d never seen a precedent for tasking the OHA with developing a framework for implementing a program like that.

Monday, the OHA announced it is seeking applications for the Psilocybin Advisory Board from people fitting at least one of the following criteria:

  • Local health officer
  • Representative of a federally recognized Indian tribe
  • Psychologist
  • Physician
  • Person who has professional experience conducting scientific research regarding the use of psychedelic compounds in clinical therapy
  • Person with the Oregon Liquor Control Commission with experience working with the system for tracking the transfer of marijuana items
  • Person representing the Oregon Department of Justice
  • Member of the public
  • And many more listed here

Prospective applicants should submit a resume, statement of interest, and executive appointment interest form (found on the Governor’s office website) to executive.appointments@oregon.gov by Jan. 1, 2021.

Psilocybin is listed as a Schedule 1 drug federally. Oregon became the first state to legalize the compound for therapeutic purposes, though some cities including Denver and Oakland have decriminalized it.

A growing body of research, including from Johns Hopkins University, has demonstrated therapeutic effects in people suffering from a range of conditions including addiction, anxiety and depression. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA), has also granted “breakthrough therapy” status to two clinical trials.

The passage of the measure has had ripple effects in seemingly unrelated government departments: Earlier this month, the Oregon Parks and Recreation Department reached out to the OHA asking for guidance on what the new law would mean for people foraging for edible mushrooms on public land.