While psychedelic legalization and decriminalization across the United States is becoming more prevalent, there is a new emerging psychedelic framework: research. Texas has passed legislation that commits to studying psychedelics, in addition to Connecticut and New York.
Under a psychedelic research framework, the state commits to conducting formal studies to research the efficacy of using psychedelic substances. As a result, the state is committing to using its resources to research the medical application of psychedelic substances.
The benefit of this framework is that because the state government has already shown an interest in psychedelics, and as it becomes more familiar and comfortable with the studied substances, the state will be much more likely to adopt a legalization and/or decriminalization framework in the future.
Furthermore, individuals who meet the criteria set forth by the state may be eligible to be part of the psychedelic research, providing some expanded access to psychedelics.
Keep in mind that, unlike legalization, a research framework does not establish business licensing. Additionally, a research framework does not reduce or limit any criminal penalties of psychedelic substance offenses, unlike decriminalization.
Texas, New York, and Connecticut all have the goal of studying psychedelics as a form of alternative treatment to a range of mental illnesses, however, each state plans to research psychedelics in a slightly different manner.
Psychedelic Research in Texas
In Texas, the Department of State Health Services will collaborate with the Texas Medical Board to study MDMA, psilocybin, and ketamine to treat a variety of medical conditions, including depression, anxiety, PTSD, bipolar disorder, chronic pain, and migraines.
Psychedelic Research in New York
In New York, the legislation proposes to establish a psychedelic research institute to study the efficacy of using psychedelics to treat addictive disorders, depression, PTSD, and end-of-life anxiety among others.
Psychedelic Research in Connecticut
Connecticut’s proposed research program is the most limited because it will only study psilocybin. Unlike Texas and New York’s research program of treating various specific ailments, Connecticut’s plan is broader, stating they will study whether using psilocybin “may be beneficial to the person’s physical or mental well-being.”
As progress is made with the FDA and as more states conduct their own research of these substances, psychedelics will continue to gain societal acceptance for their medicinal value.
The psychedelic research framework is a great first step to developing comfort with state lawmakers and will inevitably lead to establishing a state psychedelics industry.
Written by Dustin Robinson
Dustin Robinson, Esq. CPA is the Managing Principal of Iter Investments – a venture capital firm deploying capital across the psychedelic ecosystem; the Founding Partner of Mr. Cannabis Law – a full-service law firm exclusively focused on the cannabis and psychedelic industries; and the Co-Founder of Mr. Psychedelic Law – a 501(c)(4) focused on legal reform surrounding psychedelic compounds. Dustin plans to use these three platforms (investment, legal, advocacy) to improve mental and behavioral health as well as increase collective consciousness.