You are here
Home > News > Virginia Subcommittee Approves Psilocybin Rescheduling Bill

Virginia Subcommittee Approves Psilocybin Rescheduling Bill

Virginia Sen. Ghazala Hashmi’s bill, Senate Bill 932, recently passed in the Senate Education and Health Subcommittee on Jan. 25. Hashmi discussed the details of the bill with the subcommittee, such as how many psilocybin legislations are currently being presented across the country and why it is important to allow psilocybin in the hands of patients.

“Mr. Chairman, this is SB-932 which addresses the issue of helping our community members who are in need of medication to address PTSD and depression issues but the other medications are not really assisting them and helping them to take care of their critical needs,” Hashmi said at the meeting. “Last year I had introduced a bill to decriminalize psilocybin, which has been proven to be quite effective in treating PTSD as well as depression issues, particularly among our military veterans. There’s increasingly compelling research coming out of Johns Hopkins [University]This Stanford study shows how the product can be used to address these concerns. There are many states that have already moved to decriminalize psilocybin and have seen good and effective results by doing so.”

The bill proposes the creation of the Virginia Psilocybin Advisory Board, which would take full responsibility in creating a “long-term strategic plan for establishing therapeutic access to psilocybin services and monitor and study federal laws, regulations, and policies regarding psilocybin.” It would also keep the advisory council accountable by setting an annual deadline of Dec. 1 each year to report to the governor and general assembly regarding “its activities and recommendations.” Finally, if passed it would reclassify psilocybin from a Schedule I to a Schedule III substance.

A bill that would also require the governor, among others, to appoint twelve members of the board. These include a mycologist or clinical researcher and other safety and public health officials.

Current law makes possession of Schedule I substances, like psilocybin a Class 5 felony that could lead to up 10 years imprisonment and $2,500 in fines. SB-932 would make psilocybin a Class 1 Misdemeanor. This could lead to up to one-year in prison or a $2,500 penalty.

January 18, Senate House of Justice’s subcommittee defeated House Bill 1513. This was a separate bill which sought to regulate psilocybin for use in treating medical conditions, such as post-traumatic stress disorder or depression. Virginia Del reintroduced this. Dawn Adams was the first to adopt this idea after it failed in its previous iteration, 2022.

Psilocybin legislation took off in 2022 and is still gaining momentum into 2023. 

California Sen. Scott WienerSenate Bill 58, which was introduced in December to make psilocybin legal and allow for other cannabis-based psychedelics, failed to pass. House Bill 5102 in Connecticut aims to legalize psilocybin therapeutically. Rep. La Shawn Ford introduced House Bill 0001 Jan. 12 to regulate psilocybin use in Illinois. Rep. Tony Lovasco of Missouri recently presented House Bill 869, an amended version of his last year bill, that would permit psilocybin treatment. New Jersey Senate President Nicholas Scutari’s bill from 2022, Bill S2934, is being brought over into 2023 in an attempt to decriminalize psilocybin, as well as introduce expungement efforts. New bills are also being introduced in Minnesota and Montana. Even legislators in Oregon, where two ballot measures were approved by voters to legalize psilocybin in 2020, are continuing to file new bills to fine tune and improve the state’s psilocybin law.

The American Medical Association published a December 2022 report that showed most states will legalize psychedelics by 2034 to 2037. “Legislative reform for psychedelic drugs has been proceeding in a rapid, patchwork fashion in the US,” the researchers stated in their conclusion. “Further consideration should be given to key health care issues such as establishing (1) standards for drugs procured outside the medical establishment, (2) licensure criteria for prescribers and therapists, (3) clinical and billing infrastructure, (4) potential contraindications, and (5) use in special populations like youths, older adults, and pregnant individuals.”