Oregonians are one step closer to legally consuming magic mushrooms.
Oregon Psilocybin Services (OPS), the government agency in charge of creating a framework for the regulation of magic mushrooms in Oregon, is now accepting applications for licenses to legally grow, test, and facilitate the consumption of psilocybin, the active compound in magic mushrooms.
OPS finalized its rules on how psilocybin mushrooms will be regulated on December 31, two years after Oregon voters passed Measure 109 in Nov. 2020, becoming the first state to legalize psilocybin. The agency began accepting license applications on Monday.
Though the move signals a significant step toward legal shrooms, people in Oregon won’t be able to just walk into a store and buy magic mushrooms and do them as they please. Under the regulations, mushrooms, or a psilocybin extract, must be obtained and consumed at a licensed facility and in the presence of a licensed facilitator.
Many shroom shops opened up illegally in the past couple months and were promptly shut down by police, adding to the common misconception that obtaining psilocybin mushrooms will be just like getting cannabis at a dispensary. But that is not the case.
That may come as a shock to most, but Measure 109 emphasizes the health benefits of psilocybin, and research has shown the benefits of having a facilitator on hand when someone is on a psilocybin trip. After all, OPS is a division within the Oregon Health Authority.
Now that licensure is opened up, it’s a race for businesses to get up and running and open to the public. The first psilocybin service center is expected to open up sometime in the next few months, and when it does, Oregonians will legally be able to consume shrooms in the presence of a facilitator.
Thousands of years of Indigenous practice throughout the world, many years of unregulated practices, and lots of clinical, medical, and academic research have all come together for this new law, according to Angela Allbee, Manager for OPS. Here’s how Oregon’s psilocybin regulatory system works.
Are magic mushrooms legal in Oregon?
It’s only legal to obtain psilocybin through a licensed service center, and it can only be consumed on the premises under the supervision of a licensed facilitator.
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Only those with a manufacturing license from OPS can grow magic mushrooms in Oregon—it is not legal to grow your own shrooms at home.
It is still illegal to possess, consume, and grow magic mushrooms on your own in Oregon and the rest of the country. It is also illegal to forage for magic mushrooms.
Although psilocybin is still illegal outside of the OPS system, the substance is decriminalized in Oregon, meaning personal possession of it will only result in a minor fine. This is thanks to Measure 110, which Oregonians also approved in 2020. It decriminalizes all controlled substances—including psilocybin—by placing a maximum fine of $100 for possession. People who manufacture or distribute controlled substances are still subject to criminal penalties.
How do I get magic mushrooms in Oregon?
Magic mushrooms can only legally be obtained through a psilocybin service center licensed through OPS.
There are four licenses in Oregon’s psilocybin system, which regulate the journey of a psilocybin mushroom from spore to consumption:
- Manufacturers (who grow mushrooms)
- Testing labs (who test mushrooms for potency and perform quality control)
- Service centers (where psilocybin/mushrooms are consumed)
- Facilitators (who administer psilocybin/mushrooms and watch over a person during their trip)
A person who wants to consume mushrooms is referred to as a “client.” Clients must participate in two sessions, and can also go to additional optional sessions:
- Preparation session — when a client meets with a facilitator before consuming psilocybin to go over the experience, set expectations and intentions, create a travel plan to get home, and more, at least 24 hours before administration
- Administration session — when psilocybin/mushrooms are consumed under the supervision of the facilitator
- (Optional) Integration session — Clients are also able to participate in a follow-up integration session after consuming mushrooms to connect with the facilitator again for insight or support with the psilocybin experience.
Who can get magic mushrooms?
Any adult 21 years of age or older can consume psilocybin mushrooms at a licensed service center with a licensed facilitator in Oregon. You do not need to be an Oregon resident, and you do not need any type of medical card or doctor’s recommendation.
Potential psilocybin clients simply need to set up an appointment with a service center, participate in a preparation session, and then are able to have an administration session where they will consume mushrooms under the supervision of a facilitator.
Clients are encouraged to find a facilitator and service center that fit their style and intentions to properly establish set and setting.
When can I get magic mushrooms in Oregon?
Many expect the first service centers to open in spring or summer of this year.
The exact start date of when the first psilocybin service center will open is still unknown. Now that OPS is accepting license applications, anyone who wants to start a psilocybin business, whether a manufacturer, tester, service center, or facilitator, can legally do so, it’s just a matter of going through the red tape of getting a license from OPS and actually opening a business. (Facilitator training is currently available in some places.)
Where in Oregon can I get magic mushrooms?
Although the state passed Measure 109 in 2020 to allow psilocybin, at the end of last year, nearly 70% of the state opted out and banned psilocybin in individual counties. Psilocybin will only be available in 11 of Oregon’s 36 counties, and some cities within those counties have also opted out (be sure to check local laws). Here are the counties where psilocybin will be available:
- Hood River
How much will it cost to take magic mushrooms?
The legal consumption of magic mushrooms in Oregon will have a steep price tag. Some estimate that one psilocybin experience, including sessions, will cost thousands of dollars. The exact price of an experience will be set by a facilitator and service center.
Despite its new legality, access to psilocybin is a big concern and criticism of Oregon’s system, as the high price of a legal psilocybin experience is thought to be prohibitive for most people.
As a psilocybin experience will involve at least two, if not three, sessions—preparation, administration, and optional integration—a client isn’t just paying for the mushrooms themselves, but the time and expertise of a facilitator, as well as the time and space of a service center. Clients aren’t just buying a product, they’re buying an experience and support.
This high cost for a psilocybin experience largely stems from the high expense of facilitator training. Those costs will likely be passed down to clients, in order for facilitators to recoup their investments in training.
Psilocybin facilitator training may be as much as $10,000, and facilitators must also pay an annual fee of $2,000 for licensure. Service centers, testing labs, and manufacturers each have to pay $10,000 every year for a license.
On top of that, many psilocybin facilitators are expected to be current therapists, and the typical rate for therapy is around $150/hour. The number of hours needed for a preparation, administration, and possible integration session can quickly add up to 8-10 hours of labor, or even more.
There will likely be facilitators and service centers offering more affordable services, but as of now, no training or operating is subsidized by the state.
How many mushrooms can I take?
Mushrooms will be measured by psilocybin content, which is roughly 1% of the total weight of the dried mushrooms. For example, 1 gram of mushrooms roughly equates to 10 mg (milligrams) of psilocybin.
The maximum amount of psilocybin allowed in one administration session is 50 mg, or about 5 grams of dried mushrooms. This can be split up into multiple doses.
It’s important to note that these are not exact numbers—each mushroom will have a different amount of psilocybin. All products are required to be tested for psilocybin content and will be clearly labeled.
How will the administration session go?
The OPS system focuses on the client, and it is up to them to find the experience that they want.
“A client is going to want to find a licensed service center that aligns with the kind of set and setting that they really want to amplify their experience,” said Allbee. “This is a non-directive approach to psilocybin services, meaning the client directs the journey and licensed facilitators are there to support it.”
A shroom trip typically lasts 4-6 hours. The OPS rules stipulate that a client must stay at a service center for at least a certain amount of time depending on the dose of psilocybin taken:
- 2.5 – 5 mg: 1 hour
- 5 – 10 mg: 2 hours
- 10 – 25 mg: 4 hours
- 25 – 35 mg: 5 hours
- 35 – 50 mg: 6 hours
Clients may stay at a service center longer if they want.
What happens if I have a bad trip?
The OPS system is driven by the client and facilitators are there to help clients during their psilocybin experience, whether it’s emotional, difficult, beautiful, complex, or a combination of them, according to Allbee.
“We don’t really have a term for a bad trip. The psilocybin journey can bring to the surface responses,” said Allbee. “The licensed facilitator that is going through these training programs will learn how to help support someone and how to be with them during those responses… It’s really about having support and someone that can be there with you.”
How will I get home from a service center after tripping on shrooms?
A client and a facilitator must agree on a transportation plan in writing during the preparation session, before the client consumes psilocybin. The client will not be allowed to drive home or operate machinery, which could be limiting for those living without access to transportation or in rural areas.