Connect with us

Politics

Maryland Lawmakers Send Psychedelics Task Force Bill To Governor’s Desk, Teeing Up Study On ‘Equitable And Affordable Access’

Published

on

A Maryland bill to establish a psychedelics task force to study legal access to substances like psilocybin and DMT is heading to the governor’s desk.

The House of Delegates unanimously passed the Senate-approved legislation in a 137-0 vote on Tuesday. A House companion version has also received initial approval in the Senate, but it’s still pending a third and final reading before it can be sent to Gov. Wes Moore’s (D) desk.

This comes just one week after committees in both chambers approved the complementary legislation.

The bill, if it becomes law, would establish a “Task Force on Responsible Use of Natural Psychedelic Substances” that would be overseen by the Maryland Cannabis Administration (MCA). It would be charged specifically with ensuring “broad, equitable and affordable access to psychedelic substances” in the state.

Members of the task force would be required to examine and make recommendations on issues such as “permitting requirements, including requirements regarding education and safety,” “access to treatment and regulated support” and “production of natural psychedelic substances.”

There are also provisions tasking the body with looking into expunging prior convictions for psychedelics and releasing people incarcerated for such offenses, along with a mandate to make recommendations on potential civil penalties for “nonviolent infractions involving the planting, cultivating, purchasing, transporting, distributing, or possessing of or other engagement with natural psychedelic substances.”

The governor, legislative leaders and various state agencies would be responsible for appointing the 17-member task force that would specifically consider policies around psilocybin, psilocin, dimethyltryptamine and mescaline (not derived from peyote). Under a recent amendment, the legislation would also give members discretion to put more psychedelics under review as they see fit.

The body’s recommendations would be due to the governor and legislature by July 31, 2025. The legislation would sunset after two and a half years.

As originally introduced, the House version that’s still awaiting final Senate approval contained more prescriptive requirements to explore and issue recommendations on aspects of psychedelics policy such as “systems to support statewide online sales of natural psychedelic substances with home delivery” and “testing and packaging requirements for products containing natural psychedelic substances with clear and accurate labeling of potency.” That language was taken out in an amendment and also did not appear in the original Senate version as passed.

The task force legislation is advancing about two years after a different law took effect creating a state fund to provide “cost-free” access to psychedelics like psilocybin, MDMA and ketamine for military veterans suffering from PTSD and traumatic brain injury.

A growing number of other states are also pursuing psychedelics reform legislation this legislative session, with a focus on research and therapeutic access.


Marijuana Moment is tracking more than 1,400 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.

Learn more about our marijuana bill tracker and become a supporter on Patreon to get access.

For example, a bipartisan bill to legalize psychedelic service centers in California was recently amended in a number of different ways as supporters prepare for an expected committee hearing this month.

Vermont’s Senate recently passed a measure that would establish a working group to study whether and how to allow therapeutic access to psychedelics in the state. If the bill is enacted, a report from the working group would be due to the legislature in November with recommendations on how to regulate the substances.

The Indiana governor also recently signed a bill that includes provisions to fund clinical research trials into psilocybin.

Utah’s governor allowed a bill to authorize a pilot program for hospitals to administer psilocybin and MDMA as an alternative treatment option to become law without his signature.

An Arizona House panel also approved a Senate-passed bill to legalize psilocybin service centers where people could receive the psychedelic in a medically supervised setting.

Maine lawmakers are advancing legislation to establish a commission tasked with studying and making recommendations on regulating access to psychedelic services.

A Missouri House committee unanimously approved a bill to legalize the medical use of psilocybin by military veterans and fund studies exploring the therapeutic potential of the psychedelic.

Connecticut lawmakers held a recent hearing on a bill to decriminalize possession of psilocybin.

The governor of New Mexico has endorsed a newly enacted resolution requesting that state officials research the therapeutic potential of psilocybin and explore the creation of a regulatory framework to provide access to the psychedelic.

An Illinois senator recently introduced a bill to legalize psilocybin and allow regulated access at service centers in the state where adults could use the psychedelic in a supervised setting—with plans to expand the program to include mescaline, ibogaine and DMT.

Lawmakers in Hawaii are also continuing to advance a bill that would provide some legal protections to patients engaging in psilocybin-assisted therapy with a medical professional’s approval.

New York lawmakers also said that a bill to legalize psilocybin-assisted therapy in that state has a “real chance” of passing this year.

A Nevada joint legislative committee held a hearing with expert and public testimony on the therapeutic potential of substances like psilocybin in January. Law enforcement representatives also shared their concerns around legalization—but there was notable acknowledgement that some reforms should be enacted, including possible rescheduling.

The governor of Massachusetts recently 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.

Connecticut Joint Committee Approves Marijuana Resentencing Bill For People Still Incarcerated Post-Legalization

Photo elements courtesy of carlosemmaskype and Apollo.

Marijuana Moment is made possible with support from readers. If you rely on our cannabis advocacy journalism to stay informed, please consider a monthly Patreon pledge.
Become a patron at Patreon!

Kyle Jaeger is Marijuana Moment's Sacramento-based managing editor. His work has also appeared in High Times, VICE and attn.

Advertisement

Marijuana News In Your Inbox

Get our daily newsletter.

Support Marijuana Moment

Marijuana News In Your Inbox

 

Get our daily newsletter.