Magic Mushrooms, Are They Legal Now?

January 1, 2021

Magic mushrooms contain an active ingredient, known as psilocybin, which belongs to the family of psychedelics or hallucinogens. It induces a ‘psilocybin trip’ that’s similar to an acid trip, except that it lasts about half as long. 

Oregon has recently passed Measure 109. This is an initiative to allow the manufacture, delivery, and administration of psilocybin at supervised, licensed facilities.

Does this mean people can now buy and sell mushrooms legally?

The Oregon Measure 109

Under the measure, the Oregon Health Authority has two years (from January 1, 2021) to develop regulations that will govern the legalization of psilocybin. Until those regulations are in place, psilocybin cannot be sold legally in the market. Therefore, that market won’t likely be up and running until early 2023. 

Psilocybin in The Clinical Realm

There are several ongoing FDA clinical trials testing the therapeutic potential of mushrooms, or psilocybin. They are showing a lot of promise for the treatment of depression. In fact, the FDA has designated psilocybin as a ‘breakthrough therapy’, which implies the clinical trial results suggest psilocybin is a more effective treatment for depression than any other treatment currently available on the market.

Psilocybin in The Legal Realm

Psilocybin is designated a Schedule I substance, being the most heavily regulated. This means the government considers it as highly dangerous and has deemed it to have no therapeutic value. It’s illegal at the state level and the federal level.

The cannabis market in Oregon and other states is such that anyone can just walk into a licensed dispensary, purchase cannabis, and consume it anywhere. Measure 109 makes clear that psilocybin can only be legally sold, administered, and consumed in a licensed ‘Psilocybin Service Center’. These will be highly-controlled environments where patients with specific illnesses, such as depression and PTSD, are treated. Psilocybin cannot be used for recreational purposes under Measure 109. 

Ultimately, it’s important to dispel any misconception that someone will be able to just open up a mushroom store in Oregon. The ‘magic mushroom’ market will operate very differently to the cannabis market.

If you want to learn more about psilocybin and the cannabis industry, check out Episode 008: Magic Mushrooms, Are They Legal?


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