<<Thorne cites a half-dozen hurdles for anyone trying to make a living with psilocybin: competition from physicians if psilocybin wins Food and Drug Administration approval (it’s in Phase 3 trials); opposition from pharmaceutical companies that are working to get those approvals; high costs for running a psilocybin service center; black-market competition; and growing religious use of psilocybin.
As of today, the Oregon Health Authority has been licensing psilocybin manufacturers, testing labs, service centers and facilitators for six months. Applications and approvals have been lackluster. Only three manufacturers, two testing laboratories, and 30 facilitators have been approved.
The biggest bottleneck might be service centers, the highly regulated offices where people are allowed to take psilocybin legally. Just five of those have been approved. Seven licenses are incomplete, OHA says.
Running a service center isn’t cheap. The state demands an annual fee of $10,000 and requires expensive infrastructure. Service centers must have commercial-grade security systems, including specific arrays of surveillance cameras and a 375-pound safe to store psilocybin or a “limited access area of the licensed premises that is secured with at a minimum, a properly installed steel door with a steel frame, and a commercial grade, non-residential lock.”
To cover costs, service centers plan to charge thousands of dollars. Lucid Cradle, a Bend company, plans to charge $15,000 for an eight-hour trip, with a six-hour prep session the day before and an integration session the day after.
Fees are high for psilocybin licenses because Oregon’s program is supposed to be funded by fees, not tax revenue.
“The Oregon Health Authority does not have the authority to set or regulate costs of products or services,” OHA said in a statement.
“Licensees will determine these costs as independent businesses. It is also important to understand that the model created by the Oregon Psilocybin Services Act that was passed by Oregon voters in 2020 is fee-based, and no additional funds were allocated to subsidize costs of services for clients.”
OHA did, however, ask for taxpayer money to keep the program running.
With licensing revenue falling short, OHA requested $6.6 million to fill a budget gap for the fiscal biennium starting tomorrow, according to a 13-page “policy option package” made public earlier this year. The Psilocybin Services Division of OHA is waiting to hear from its budget team whether the Legislature allocated the money, spokesman Afiq Hisham said in an email.
Of all the threats to psilocybin profit margins, the black market might be the biggest. Psilocybe cubensis, the species of psychedelic mushroom specified as legal in Oregon law, is easy to grow. Spores are abundantly available on the internet and at local outlets, and even amateurs can grow dozens of grams in plastic tubs in their basements.
Many facilitators are operating without licenses, too, driving down prices.
“Illegal cannabis tends to cost less than legal cannabis, but illegal psychedelics will likely be thousands of dollars less than service center sessions,” Thorne wrote. “This virtually guarantees a massive illegal market.”>>
<<The second Clackamas County deputy shot while attempting to detain burglary suspects along the Springwater Corridor Trail Friday was released from the hospital, the sheriff’s office said Saturday.
He was treated for a gunshot wound to his upper left arm. The first deputy was released from OHSU Hospital’s trauma center Friday after being treated for a ricochet wound that fractured his pelvis.
The sheriff’s office has not identified either deputy injured in the shooting. One of the deputies was a new recruit in training.>>
<<A man is facing hate crime and assault charges for allegedly attacking a group of naked cyclists in Northwest Portland’s Nob Hill neighborhood.
According to a probable cause affidavit, the assault happened on June 3 near Northwest 19th Avenue and Flanders Street. A group of nine unclothed cyclists were on a bike ride when police said 39-year-old Robert Houchins confronted them.
Houchins picked up a 3-foot metal pipe and hit two of the men while yelling “get out of here,” along with a homophobic slur, according to the affidavit. Court documents noted one of the injured identifies as gay.
A witness told police that Houchins swung the pipe “baseball-like,” hitting the victims across the back. It’s unclear how badly they were hurt.
Police arrested Houchins near the crime scene and noted he still had the pipe with him. Houchins was lodged in Multnomah County’s Inverness Jail on multiple charges including second-degree assault and first-degree bias crime.>>