The Psilocybin Behavioral Health Access and Services Act, introduced by Democrat Nicholas Scutari and sent to the Health, Human Services & Senior Citizens Committee late last week, seeks to legalize the production and use of magic mushrooms in populations 21 and older for health and wellness purposes.
The bill would permit adults to possess, use, and distribute up to four grams of psilocybin, while creating a system of licensed and controlled treatment centers for psilocybin services. The proposed legislation would provide past offenders for certain psilocybin-related conduct the opportunity for resentencing or expungement petitions.
The bill was formulated within the framework of the current state of health conditions affecting New Jersey’s adult population and the FDA’s indications of clinical evidence indicating improvements in patients after consuming psilocybin. It should also be noted that the bill is a result of leadership that has been working on drug policy reform (including cannabis regulation) for the past years which, as Marijuana Moment points out, constitutes a firm indicator of the action’s seriousness.
The bill states the intention to develop a long-term, statewide, strategic plan for ensuring safe, accessible and affordable psilocybin services for people over 21, in what would mean an expansion of the 2020 deprioritization legislation signed by New Jersey’s Gov. Phil Murphy in 2021.
The bill goes through several definitions that would establish the framework for the psilocybin services act. In addition to psilocybin-specific work permits, different types of licenses would be set out: product manufacturers, service center operators, testing laboratories and service facilitators.
The overall control would be in the hands of New Jersey's Department of Health (DOH), with the help of a soon-to-be-established Psilocybin Behavioral Health Access and Services Advisory Board. Its members would include the health commissioner, deputy commissioner for public health services, the state attorney general (or their designees), as well as a representative of the NJ Cannabis Regulatory Commission and 12 governor-appointed members with relevant experience.
On a local level, county or municipal governments would be able to adopt certain regulations regarding psilocybin product manufacturers and psilocybin service centers located within their jurisdictions. Nonetheless, they would not be allowed to establish any taxes or fees on the manufacture or sale of psilocybin products or on psilocybin treatments.
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