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Maryland Bill Would Create Psychedelics Task Force To Recommend Online Sales And Delivery Systems For Psilocybin, DMT And Mescaline



Maryland lawmakers are considering a new proposal to create a task force to study and make specific recommendations about the best path forward to legalize and regulate certain psychedelics.

The bill from Del. Pam Guzzone (D) and five cosponsors would establish a “Task Force on Responsible Use of Natural Psychedelic Substances” under the state Department of Health.

While several states have advanced similar legislation on exploring psychedelics legalization, the Maryland legislation stands out in its level of detail for what members will be required to study and make policy recommendations on, including “systems to support statewide online sales of natural psychedelic substances with home delivery,” for example.

The task force would need to consist of four members of the legislature appointed by leadership, secretaries or designees of five state agencies, a representative of the Maryland Cannabis Administration (MCA) and 15 governor-appointed positions, including people with backgrounds in public health, drug policy reform advocacy and law enforcement.

They would need to study existing laws related to psychedelics, opportunities to “maximize public benefits of responsible access to and use of natural psychedelic substances,” risks and methods of mitigating risk, barriers to access within the health care system and more.

By December 15, 2025, the panel would need to submit a report to the governor and legislature with findings and recommendations. Those recommendations would need to look at creating a “Natural Psychedelic Permit” for regulated access to psilocybin, DMT and mescaline that is not derived from natural peyote.

Recommendations for psychedelics regulations should also related to “growing natural psychedelic substances in accordance with agricultural safety standards” and “testing and packaging requirements for products containing natural psychedelic substances with clear and accurate labeling of potency.”

One of the more unique features of the proposed law is the requirement for the task force to make recommendations “for the sale and taxation of natural psychedelic substances.”

To that end, members would need to consider “restricting the sales of natural psychedelic substances to Natural Psychedelic Permit holders,” “systems for the sale and reasonable taxation of natural psychedelic substances to cover the cost of a Maryland Natural Psychedelic Substance Access Program,” “systems to support statewide online sales of natural psychedelic substances with home delivery” and “options for retail stores that sell natural psychedelic substances in communities in the State and opt to participate in the online sale and home delivery of the substances.”

Further, the panel would need to investigate criminal justice reforms related to psychedelics, such as decriminalizing non-violent activities involving entheogenic substances, expunging prior psychedelics-related criminal records and releasing people currently incarcerated over psychedelics.

If enacted, the bill would take effect on July 1, 2024 and sunset on June 30, 2026.

Maryland lawmakers have already shown a willingness to embrace psychedelics policy reform, with the legislature passing a bill in 2022 to create a state fund to provide “cost-free” access to substances like psilocybin, MDMA and ketamine for military veterans suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and traumatic brain injury. The former Republican governor allowed that legislation to be enacted into law without his signature.

Marijuana Moment is tracking more than 1,000 cannabis, psychedelics and drug policy bills in state legislatures and Congress this year. Patreon supporters pledging at least $25/month get access to our interactive maps, charts and hearing calendar so they don’t miss any developments.

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Lawmakers in multiple states are exploring psychedelics reform issues during the 2024 legislative session.

For example, a Maine House committee is considering a bill to legalize psilocybin, allowing adults to access the psychedelic at licensed facilities while broadly ending the criminalization of personal use and possession of psilocybin.

On Tuesday, the governor of Massachusetts also promoted the testimony of activists who spoke in favor of her veterans-focused bill that would, in part, create a psychedelics work group to study the therapeutic potential of substances such as psilocybin.

As Nevada advocates continue the push for psychedelics reform, a joint legislative committee held a hearing last week with expert and public testimony on the therapeutic potential of substances like psilocybin. Law enforcement representatives also shared their concerns around legalization—but there was notable acknowledgement that some reforms should be enacted, including possible rescheduling.

A New York lawmaker recently introduced a bill that would create a pilot program to provide psilocybin therapy to 10,000 people, focusing on military veterans and first responders, while the legislature also considers broader psychedelics reform.

New Hampshire Lawmakers Clash Over Competing Marijuana Legalization Proposals, With Revisions Planned In The Week Ahead

Photo elements courtesy of carlosemmaskype and Apollo.

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