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Maryland Governor Signs Psychedelics Task Force Legislation Initiating Study On ‘Equitable And Affordable Access’

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The governor of Maryland has signed a pair of bills into law to establish a psychedelics task force that will study legal access to substances like psilocybin and DMT.

About a month after lawmakers sent the complementary legislation to his desk, Gov. Wes Moore (D) gave them final approval on Thursday.

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

Members of the task force will 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 will be responsible for appointing the 17-member task force that would specifically consider policies around psilocybin, psilocin, dimethyltryptamine and mescaline (not derived from peyote). The legislation will also give members discretion to put more psychedelics under review as they see fit.

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

As originally introduced, the House version 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 ultimately removed,  however.

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.


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Maryland Governor Signs Psychedelics Task Force Legislation Initiating Study On ‘Equitable And Affordable Access’
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For example, Alaska’s Senate gave final approval to a House-passed bill last week that would create a state task force to study how to license and regulate psychedelic-assisted therapy in the event of federal approval of substances such as MDMA and psilocybin.

Last week in Vermont, lawmakers signed off on a similar bill that would that would create a state working group to make recommendations on whether and how the state should regulate legal access to substances like psilocybin and MDMA. The measure next goes to Gov. Phil Scott (R).

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

Utah’s governor, meanwhile, 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.

Maine lawmakers sent the governor legislation to establish a commission tasked with studying and making recommendations on regulating access to psychedelic services.

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.

A Connecticut joint legislative panel approved a bill to decriminalize possession of psilocybin.

bipartisan bill to legalize psychedelic service centers in California has cleared two Senate committees.

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 committee also recently held a hearing to discuss 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 also considered a bill that would provide some legal protections to patients engaging in psilocybin-assisted therapy with a medical professional’s approval.

New York lawmakers 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 also 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. Separately, an initiative that would legalize psychedelics may appear on the November ballot if lawmakers decline to independently enact it first.

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Photo elements courtesy of carlosemmaskype and Apollo.

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