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Maryland Legislative Committees Approve Psychedelics Task Force Bills That Already Passed Full Opposite Chambers



With both chambers of Maryland’s legislature having recently passed bills to establish a psychedelics task force to study legal access to substances like psilocybin and DMT, committees in the opposite chambers have now received those measures and voted to advance them along in the lawmaking process.

On Wednesday, the House Health and Government Operations Committee approved SB 1009 on a voice vote, with no discussion on the proposal at the hearing. The full Senate approved that psychedelics bill earlier this month in a unanimous 45–0 vote.

The House companion, meanwhile—HB 548, which passed that chamber on a 136–1 vote on March 13—advanced through the Senate’s Finance Committee as part of a voice vote on a package of multiple bills on Tuesday.

The legislation, 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.

The House version as originally introduced 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 drafted.

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.

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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.

Vermont’s Senate, for example, 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 recently 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.

Bipartisan California lawmakers also recently introduced a bill to legalize psychedelic service centers where adults 21 and older could access psilocybin, MDMA, mescaline and DMT in a supervised environment with trained facilitators.

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.

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Ben Adlin, a senior editor at Marijuana Moment, has been covering cannabis and other drug policy issues professionally since 2011. He was previously a senior news editor at Leafly, an associate editor at the Los Angeles Daily Journal and a Coro Fellow in Public Affairs. He lives in Washington State.


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