Why Oregon Psilocybin Program Might Be Halted By Land Use Regulations

Oregon Psilocybin Program: It has been two years since Oregon became the first state to authorize the use of psilocybin, a psychoactive compound present in some types of mushrooms, for medicinal purposes. Investors claim that land use regulations are contributing to the delay in the state’s first service center’s breaking ground.

Why Oregon Psilocybin Program Might Be Halted By Land Use Regulations

“The building departments, land-use planners — anyone who has tried to build anything in Oregon — realises that they (planners) have as much power as God when it comes to dictating what you can and cannot do on land you lease or own,” said Mike Arnold, founder of Silo Wellness, a publicly traded psychedelics company with bases in Canada and Jamaica.

Psilocybin treatment was made legal in Oregon by Ballot Measure 109, which was approved during the 2020 election and went into effect in 2021. The Oregon Health Authority, the program’s administrator, has spent the previous two years developing the regulations required to carry out the new statute.

The law gave counties and municipalities the option to reject legalisation by putting it to a vote of their constituents first. In November, 100 cities and 25 counties voted to opt-out.

Arnold plans to invest in land in unincorporated Jackson County, near Ashland. The preparations were halted when county commissioners declared that, despite the county’s overwhelming “yes” vote in 2020, they would resubmit the opt-out question to voters. Although Jackson County voters approved psilocybin treatment again in November 2022, Arnold claims that the time and place restrictions imposed by Jackson County commissioners since then effectively prohibit service centres from operating outside of cities.

During a meeting in December, county commissioners decided to disregard the advice of their appointed planning board and allow psilocybin service centres in a number of zones. Instead, commissioners limited the centres to General Commercial Zones. There aren’t many properties in those areas, according to Arnold.

Oregon Psilocybin Program

Service providers may still set up shop within municipal lines in Phoenix, Talent, and Ashland, according to commissioners at the December hearing. Arnold, on the other hand, claims that isolated locations close to nature are ideal for his retreats, which he legally operates in Jamaica.

“This type of property is actually the essence of a psychedelic experience,” he said, specifically referring to psilocybin service centres. “It’s already being used for commercial purposes selling that remoteness if you want the best possible isolated property that is guaranteed for commercial usage.” According to Arnold, he is now considering investing in properties outside of Jackson County.

Even local governments that do not have psilocybin-specific land-use regulations may cause the process to be slowed. The OHA Service Center licensing application must be accompanied by an official land-use compatibility statement from the city or county planning department. Arnold stated that if there was no special land-use legislation to control the business, it would most likely become bogged down in paperwork.

OHA Receiving Applications

The OHA website now accepts applications for psilocybin worker permits, which are required for all industry workers, including cultivators. There are also applications for manufacturing (cultivation), centres (where sessions would take place), facilitators (trained professionals providing treatment), and laboratories (needed for testing all products before they are put on the market).

OHA said that as of Tuesday at 2:00 p.m., it had received 32 applications for worker permits, two for manufacturing permits, and none for facilitators, service centers, or laboratories. Because training programs were authorized in October but won’t graduate their first cohorts until July, Angela Allbee, manager of the OHA’s psilocybin services program area, expects practitioners’ applications to arrive later.

She said that the lack of laboratory license applications was most likely due to the requirement for certification by the Oregon Environmental Laboratory Accreditation Program. She said that a lot of the applications for service centers are probably still checking to see what properties are available and whether land-use regulations will permit a center.

According to her, “I believe people are still seeking properties to utilize that are in the authorized spaces around the state.”

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