Oregon Psilocybin Services with Angie Allbee

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Oregon Psilocybin Services with Angie Allbee

Today we sit down with Angie Allbee, the Oregon Psilocybin Services section manager, to discuss how the first state in the USA has paved the way for legal psilocybin services in the state. Just in 2023 alone they've given over 206 facilitator licenses, 21 service center licenses, 7 manufacturer licenses, 2 laboratory licenses, 418 worker permits and given over 24 training programs OPS curriculum approval. This is a huge landmark victory for psilocybin in the United States, and world wide, and creates a template for others to follow suite.



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TRANSCRIPT
Alex 0:11 Welcome, welcome. You are listening to the mushroom revival podcast. I'm your host, Alex Dora. And we are absolutely obsessed with a wonderful, wacky, mysterious world of mushrooms and fungi. We bring on guests and experts from all around the world to geek out with us and go down this rabbit hole and try to figure out what the heck is going on with this, this wonderful kingdom. That is that is fungi. And so today, we have Angie joining us from Oregon to talk about the current psilocybin program, and all the ins and outs of how that program is going. So Angie, hey, how you doing today? Speaker 1 0:46 It's going well, thank you so much, Alex. It's really an honor to be here today. And looking forward to the conversation. Alex 0:54 So for people who are not familiar with you and the work that you're doing, what are you doing? Where are you? Speaker 1 1:03 Hello, I'm Angie Albie, I'm the Section Manager for the Oregon psilocybin Services Program. I use she her pronouns. And it's really my role to lead the team that's responsible for the ongoing administration of the Oregon psilocybin Services Act, which was passed into law by Oregon voters in November of 2020. And is now actually a part of Oregon law. So it can be found in Oregon Revised Statutes Chapter 475. A, Alex 1:38 and how did you get into this role to begin with? Speaker 1 1:42 Yeah, so I have been working in state government shaping policy for over a decade, with three state agencies and also with a couple of legislative sessions in the legislature. And prior to that I had about a decade of work in the nonprofit sector, really working with people who were experiencing trauma, you know, sexual assault response team, working with folks resettling refugees. And so it's really been important to me to help support people in ways that meet people's cultural, you know, needs. And I think in, in this, you know, coming in this new world that we're in, where we're starting to openly talk about psychedelics and the potential impact. I really thought that with my policy background and my passion for supporting people, by having culturally responsive services, I really was interested and was hired for the position in June of 2021, and have been moving at 100 miles an hour ever since? Alex 2:50 Well, I'm really appreciative, as I'm sure many others out there are, you know, many, many, many people want to be a facilitator or, you know, open a service center, the growth, grow the mushrooms, but to do the legal framework, and to work in the role that you do is, is hard. And it's, yeah, someone's got to do it. And so I'm really appreciative that there are people like you that are creating the framework, so we can have this system in place to allow people to get the services that they need to, you know, improve their health. And, and, and, yeah, it's, you know, slowly but surely, but is, it seems like, you know, at this point, I was reading that over 700 people have accessed psilocybin therapy in Oregon so far. Since the last change, which I feel like, was it last summer that they, you know, service centers were officially opened, right. So it hasn't been that long. Call it six months around there. And so 700 people in around six months is pretty good. So in your perspective, how has this process gone? And how is it going currently? Yeah, Speaker 1 4:10 well, first of all, thank you for just acknowledging the importance of the work that our team is doing. I think it's not always the most interesting conversation to talk about the implementation of a policy that's new to the nation. But it's extremely important. And we're setting a precedent that will have impacts and ripple effect, not just across other states in the nation, but across the world. And so I think it's really important that we continue to be mindful about the sensitivities of 1000s of years of cultural practices and indigenous community practice and then also holding space for the emerging science and research and to be able to do that in a way that serves people who have not been well served by government institutions and holding space for all of that. It's really important to us. So thank you for that. I would say, you know, to answer your question, things have been going really well, I you know, of course, this is very difficult to take an entirely new body of work that's never existed before and bring it to life. We started doing this work while we were still responding to COVID, at the Oregon Health Authority, and, you know, trying to build the infrastructure in a remote environment and hire team members was definitely challenging. And we did it. And we are, we currently have three program areas within our section. And you know, our team members are doing really important work, and really trying to help provide technical support and assistance assistance to those folks that are interested in being licensed. And as of today, we've approved 229 facilitator licenses, seven manufacturer licenses, 21 service center licenses to lab licenses, we've issued 458 worker permits. And we've approved the training program curriculum for 24 psilocybin facilitator training programs. So as we talk about, you know, what you've referenced, really about six months of, of regulating has been about two and a half years of our teams really working to set up systems, developing our training, program, licensing and compliance system that licensees can work with one system, and that's where they can apply and do product tracking. And it's really helped create efficiencies for our work, and also a place on our website where we can post information and really try to build as much transparency as we possibly can. So overall, it's gone really well, we've definitely experienced new challenges with questions that have come up related to the statute, or the, you know, guidance on our administrative rules. And I think overall, it's an interesting time, when we're really working through this statutory container of oars, 475, he tried to work with members of the public all coming from very different perspectives, and trying to really find a balance that centers public health and safety, as well as public health goals that really considers that there are many communities that have experienced discrimination and disadvantage, specifically when working within systems and institutions and government and how we can really work to reduce harms, and not cause additional harms to those communities and make that a standard of practice, rather than an exception. So that's been an incredible amount of work as well. Alex 7:45 And, and it takes time. And for you, you know, it took two, two and a half years to set up, you know, all these systems in place, which I think is really important, because it is going to have monumental impact on so many people's lives. And you want to do it right, especially as the first state that is, you know, legalizing this medical approach. And so I'm just curious, you know, it took you from 2020, to, you know, middle of 2023 to really establish these programs and open up the service centers and get everyone license. Do you feel, obviously, this was in the height of COVID, during 2020, when when the law was passed, but or the bill was passed. So I'm sure that slowed it down and you being the first state, you kind of had to pave the way for the first time ever? Which if other states would follow, do you feel like they would have an easier time? And Would would you share information of how you did it? And what do you hypothesize that? It would it's just going to be faster from here on out for each state to follow in your footsteps? Yeah, Speaker 1 8:59 that's such a great question. First of all, every state will probably have differences in their statutes. Right. So while measure 109, the Oregon psilocybin Services Act created a non medical non clinical approach to psilocybin services and created a structure that, you know, the Oregon Health Authority was had directed to implement. Other states might have very different models and approaches. So I would say that anytime you create a new section within state government, it takes a lot of work. There's so much behind the scenes, you know, contracting procurement, making sure that you're a part of distribution lists within the agency working on Budget and Budget sustainability, which I'd love to talk about a little bit more sometime today while we're having this conversation. But you know, every circumstance will be different for those states and there'll be supported by different you know, Oh, dollars and funding streams. And so I think that it may take a lot of time for each state to set up, especially because not all states will have the same structure. Where the Oregon psilocybin Services section is housed is within the Oregon Health Authority, which is the state agency in Oregon that administers most health care programs. So we are the Medicaid authorizing agent, Agency for the state of Oregon. So we administer the Medicaid programs, we administer behavioral health programs, public health, and so much more. And so we are a part of the public health division. And we're also a part of the Center for Health Protection within the public health division. So obviously, it's a really big agency. And we do lots of varying kinds of work. And so I think for every state, it's going to look differently based on where they're housed. And what the statutory language directs them to do, and what funding sources are available for them to help support their work. That's really, really important. And so we have talked to a number of states that have reached out and ask questions, we're always willing to share information with members of the public partners, and, you know, folks that are really considering models such as these in their respective states, and so happy to share information. And ultimately, we just want, you know, other states to be successful, and whatever model works for them, and that they determine, you know, should exist in their states. And we also want to make sure that, as we move forward, we're recognizing how important each of these models are to the overarching idea of solace, you know, psilocybin and psychedelics, you know, as far as potentially helping to support people's health and wellness. And we know that there's been a lot of bias and stigma. And also there are risks. And so really trying to make sure that we're being responsible as we set up and really centering, the client experience is really foundational for us in Oregon. Alex 12:12 And you're right, that each state is different. And even each city is different. You know, over the last few years, there's been so many cities that have decriminalized certain things like psilocybin, but it seems like, you know, state to state and city to city, they they vary quite differently. So I'm just curious, if you want to break down, what is the current laws around psilocybin in Oregon? You know, we're going to focus on obviously, at the service centers, but is it also decriminalized like, you know, if someone was caught with, say, 10 grams in their pocket? What would happen? What if someone was to cultivate for for just their personal use? You know, what is the current framework? And what can you still definitely not do? Speaker 1 13:05 Yeah, well, I think I'm, I'm happy to share about what the legalized framework that we're working within, within the Oregon psilocybin Services section. But the larger landscape, I think, is an important acknowledgement, and it's constantly changing. So in Oregon, at the same time that measure 109 was passed, Oregon voters passed measure 110, which addressed certain decriminalization efforts, and really supporting people who were found with personal possession of of substance, really getting them support. And I will say that that's, that's not really the area that, you know, I'm working within. So I will just acknowledge that that was passed. And the legislature in Oregon is considered considering making changes to that, this legislative session. Outside of that, though, I think there's a larger question. And then I'll kind of speak more concretely about the model we're working in in Oregon. But the larger landscape is important to acknowledge and you know, I mentioned this earlier, but when we think about psilocybin, we're talking about 1000s of years of indigenous practice and cultural practice. We're talking about decades and decades of use in an unregulated environment, some of which came from, you know, really, early traditions of those cultural practices and others, very much were part of the tapestry of American history. Once psilocybin and other psychedelics were made illegal under the Controlled Substances Act and when the war on drugs became, you know, a predominant sort of movement in the federal government. And so, I think it's important to acknowledge that this landscape has been changing in modern times over the decades. And we know that our work is within the statutory container of Rs 475. A. And as we're working within it, I think it's really important to us to acknowledge that anytime you draw a line around something that's existed for 1000s of years, and say, Okay, this is legal, what's inside the line, and what's outside of the line isn't, it really fractures, some people's practices. And so, you know, we think it's really important for people in the public to have access to information to make an informed decision about whether or not they want to participate in the legal framework. And if they can, and then, you know, it's really also have a sensitivity that there are folks that their practices won't fit into the legalized framework, and that we don't want to cause harm to those indigenous and cultural practices. And so I just want to mention that before I really start talking about what's within our statutory container, and the framework that we're working within, because I do think it's important to hold certain sensitivities when we're talking about the emergence of psychedelics. And, you know, the way that we even just talk about psilocybin, for example, as a product, where in many cultures, psilocybin producing mushrooms are are sentient beings. And, you know, I think that it's really important to just hold those sensitivities and that awareness as we move forward. Would you like to hear more about the model? Alex 16:36 I would, yeah. Okay. Speaker 1 16:41 So under the Oregon psilocybin Services Act, basically what was created is a model that, again, is it's not a medical model, it's not a clinical model. But clients who are 21 years of age or older can access psilocybin services for any reason. They don't need a prescription or referral from a medical or clinical provider, they don't need permission. However, to participate, they have to meet with a licensed facilitator for preparation session, and ensure that the licensed facilitator and that themselves that they're comfortable moving forward, you know, after that preparation session to access psilocybin and a licensed service center. Under this model, there's four license types. So there's a licensed facilitator that provides psilocybin services to clients in a non directive approach, meaning that they don't direct the client experience, but they're there to support the client experience and help ensure that the client feels comfortable and supported and safe, and also really fosters a harm reduction mindset. The licensed service center is the only location that a psilocybin can be sold to a client, and the only time a client can consume psilocybin legally in Oregon. And that has to again happen a licensed service center. And that's only during the administration session. And then we have licensed manufacturers that cultivate and process psilocybin products. And then we have our licensed laboratories that test products. And I can go into those details more about products if you're interested. But I will say with those four license types, we also have worker permits, and we issue worker permits for those folks that are either providing services to clients or working in licensed premises that work with psilocybin or with clients. So basically, if you're working for a licensed service center manufacturer or laboratory, or and you're working on the premises, or you're a licensed facilitator, you'll need a worker permit. Another thing I want to mention is, under this model, there are three components to psilocybin services. So when we say psilocybin services, we're referring to three sessions. The first is a preparation session. And this is a time where the client meets with a licensed facilitator and fills out client information forms, talks about safety and support planning, accessibility needs transportation planning, they go over informed consent and the client Bill of Rights and really ensure that the client feels prepared for what's to come and still wants to move forward. And it's also a time for a licensed facilitator to decline services to the client. And you know, that's something that a licensed facilitator has the ability to do in this model at any time. The administration session again takes place with a licensed service center, and that's when psilocybin is consumed. Clients have to stay at the licensed service center for a minimal duration of time and until they feel comfortable being released from their session, and there's group or individual sessions that are available outdoors sessions and indoor sessions. And there's some safety requirements we developed in our administrative rules that I'm willing to talk more about. If you have questions. After that administration session, a facilitator will reach out and check in on a client within 72 hours, and offer them an optional integration session, which is that opportunity to review safety and support planning or be referred to community resources, peer support networks, or any other referrals that might make sense for that client. And, you know, lastly, I'll just say that we recognize that it's not only the psilocybin itself, but the set and setting and that preparation time and that support during their administration session, and then that follow up afterward, there really helps create an experience that's effective for clients, you know, they set their intention, and then having a safe space to go through their journey is really important. So we have emphasized that in our rules that we adopted. Alex 21:01 So I'm just curious if, you know, I went into his service center, I was a resident of Oregon, and I walk in, and I have that, you know, initial session with with someone who worked at a service center, what, what red flags, would a service center have? To deny Me, therapy is I'm guessing, you know, probably pregnancy is one of them. Maybe schizophrenia, bipolar? Maybe if I was intoxicated with with another substance, when I walked in, like what, what things would, obviously if I was under 21, but what what kind of what's the list of the total red flags that a service center would would have to turn someone away? Speaker 1 21:50 Yeah, thank you for that question. So I would say at a minimal, you know, at a minimum, I would recommend that folks, before they actually reach out to get a preparation session with a licensed facilitator, you know, they would have to go through that preparation session before they even, you know, went to the service center for that, you know, to consume psilocybin. And during that preparation session, a licensed facilitator will go through a client information form with a client who's interested in accessing services. This form is available on our website with other client facing forms that are really important. They're also translated into Spanish for Spanish speaking and Spanish reading audiences. And I would just, you know, really encourage everyone to visit our Oregon psilocybin Services website and look under I want to access psilocybin services so that you can get familiar with these forms. But to answer your question, there are three hard, the, you know, declines three nos, that automatically would disqualify a person from accessing services under this model. And that's if they've, the client has taken the prescription drug lithium within the past 30 days, if they've been found to have ideation of harm to self or others. And if they have had a diagnosis for active psychosis, and ultimately, you know, there have been a lot of discussions that are advisory board and the subcommittee's really kind of thought through some of these these pieces. And then, when they made recommendations to the Oregon Health Authority, and we started drafting rules for our rulemaking, you know, we didn't want to leave folks out of accessing services. And at the same time, we really wanted to ensure that we were taking the information that we had available, and, you know, working to create client safety. We know that being first in the nation, all eyes are on Oregon. And we wanted to be sure that as we you know, as services are offered by licensees, that clients safety and support are really, really followed and centered. So those are kind of the three administrative rule. Places where clients would not be able to access services, obviously, they have to be 21 years of age or older. I think that also it's important to mention that, well, the Oregon Health Authority, we set these minimal rules requirements in our administrative rules. We want to create minimal requirements to promote client safety, and also ensure that licensees are working within you know, important considerations for client safety and support. But it's also important to mention that these are not best practices and these also are not operating guidelines. So licensed service centers might establish their own operating guidelines and determine that, you know, according to their their training their input permission they have available the facilitators that they have, working as employees for them, or as independent contractors with them might not, you know, feel comfortable serving certain clients if they are not equipped. And so we really leave it to these independent businesses to create their own operating guidelines, they just have to follow our administrative rules. Alex 25:22 And you were talking about before of how important it is to, for people to have access to this information, if they are interested in accessing the services to understand more about, you know, psilocybin as a whole and the services and, and part of an article that I read in a quote, and many are hoping that Oregon's program allows for more extensive research into the therapeutic properties of the substance, which remains illegal at the federal level, and quote, and so I'm just curious, obviously, psilocybin is very, it's still very illegal on the federal level. But now with this new framework in Oregon, and, you know, certain Breakthrough Therapy status was, you know, passed by the DEA, I think in 2019. So, we're, we are seeing more research into it, with many, many hoops and hurdles that you still have to jump through. But what, what current research barriers exist in Oregon? You know, are you are people allowed to do scientific studies at the service centers? Or would that be classified as if we're doing that, make it? So that would be considered a drug, right for therapy? And that would go against the DEA it like, What? Is it easier to have a scientific study in Oregon and what current loopholes exist? Yeah, barriers? Speaker 1 26:59 So I'll answer your question in two buckets. And the first one, I'll just talk about research limitations. In 2021, actually, just months after advisory board members were appointed by the governor and these started meeting they pulled together and the Oregon Health Authority, we published the scientific literature review, which really was a really rapid review of available scientific research and other information available regarding psilocybin. And so that is published on our website, we translated it into Spanish for folks to read. And our advisory board is focused on updating that frequently. All of that said, I think it's going to be across the nation, a limitation in research on natural psilocybin products. Right now, we have many clinical trials that are looking at synthetic formulations of psilocybin. However, the the research available on natural psilocybin is somewhat limited. And, you know, frequently, we're seeing more and more folks that are turning towards DEA licenses to study natural psilocybin. And so something that I just want to highlight is I believe that's going to be a limitation for some time. And while clinical trials and certain studies that are guided by, you know, kind of in another space in the federal space, are very helpful. They don't necessarily consider that we're using natural products in the unregulated in the sorry, in the on the regulated space, but is not the medical or clinical model space. And so I just want to highlight that because I do think that's important to think about, and we're really looking forward to those folks that have received DEA licenses to start selling natural psilocybin. With your other question about research under our model, absolutely. licensed service centers, although there is no research license, licensed service centers can, you know, partner with a third party regarding data sharing, but it's really important to make know that after two years of conversations during the development period with the Oregon psilocybin advisory board, and many, many have robust rulemaking rules, advisory committees and public hearings on our rules, it was really clear that client consent and really supporting a consent model for how client information is shared and what information is shared was very important, because this is not a medical model. It's not HIPAA protected. And so we established in our administrative rules or requirements that clients had to consent to having whether it's their de identified information or personal identifiable information shared with a third party. They had control over that. We know that working with psilocybin in it, which is a schedule one substance that's federally illegal. You know, it puts people in a delicate place. And it's really up to clients on how they want their information to be shared. Licensed manufacturers can, you know, get a license through our agency to cultivate and process psilocybin products, they have to use our product tracking system at all times to ensure that, you know, they're documenting their inventory and not exceeding their possession limits. But I suppose that there could be, you know, some work done on quality improvement of psilocybin products under this model by licensed manufacturers. And then I'll just say that there are lots of folks really excited about getting data and studying data. And it's really important to think about this model as again, really centering client consent. So if our service centers decide they want to share information for scientific research or other purposes, again, it's really a requirement that clients consent to how their information is shared. Now, the last thing I'll mention is in last legislative session in 2023, Senate Bill 303, passed and and that requires that licensed service centers beginning in January of 2025, begin collecting certain client information and aggregating it and sending it to the to us to the Oregon Health Authority on a quarterly basis. And then, of course, we will share that data. The bill requires us to share with the Oregon Health and Science Science University. But also we're committed to public transparency. So I'm sure we'll also have some kind of data dashboard on our website. All of that's important to note, because many people are really interested in getting the Senate Bill 303 data now before we establish our rules and kind of share how we want this information to be collected by our licensees and how it should be shared with us. And so it's important to really highlight that none of that data collection happens until January of 2025. And should not happen until then until we adopt our final rules later this year, to direct our licensees on how to do that. And, you know, of course, we'll have some rulemaking discussions and really have a robust discussion with members of the public, as well as rules advisory committees. But there there's very much a separation between Senate Bill 303, which is data collection reporting to us versus third party data sharing. And so hopefully, that's a helpful way to kind of frame the areas that people can participate in. Alex 32:48 And maybe it's too soon to talk about it, because it sounds like you're still formulating the rules and how you want to go about Senate Bill three or three. But is the intention to share information on you know, like, what, what are you hoping to collect from from people? And what was the intended outcome of of that? That data collection and sharing? Yeah, Speaker 1 33:15 well, the bill was not introduced on our behalf. But because we're a state agency, we implement law when the legislature passes laws. And so, Senate Bill 303 directs the Oregon Health Authority to adopt rules and for licensed service centers to report to us certain information. And you can find Senate Bill 303, posted on the Oregon legislative information system. If you look at that 2023 legislative session, you'll be able to look up the bill and find all of the details but in a very high level way. I'll describe that. It requires the collection of you know how many clients have been served by licensed service centers? How many? What's the average dosage the clients consumed? What are the number of adverse, you know, behavioral and physical reactions. But it also talks a little bit about the reasons why clients wanted to access services and their race, ethnicity, language disability, and sexual orientation and gender identity status. And so I think what's important to note is Senate Bill 303 does direct that this informations been started being collected in January of 2025. But there's a provision of our statute of the Oregon psilocybin Services Act that protects client information. And so that is 4758450. For anyone out there that's really excited to look this up. And it's just important to note that when the Oregon psilocybin Services Act was passed by Oregon voters, it contained provisions that protects client and licensee information And so the administrative rules that we adopted that really protect client consent are because client information is not shared unless clients have consent, with the exception of the changes that came from Senate Bill 303. And that's very narrowly just for sharing too. Oh, ha. So there's a lot of details around this. And without, you know, all the listeners falling asleep at talking about all this legislation and policy, I would leave it open for any other questions you have. But yeah, it's really early on right now, we did some rulemaking in 2023, just to kind of set up the structure, so that we could begin building our infrastructure and the system where licensees will do quarterly recording. And so we'll have some more rulemaking in 2024. And if anyone wants to follow along, participate, share feedback we've really encouraged you to, and you can go onto our website and sign up for our distribution list. And we're going to be sharing a lot of information as we get closer to, you know, the end of summer. Alex 36:05 So I don't know if you have a clear answer for this. But I've always been curious of, you know, many years ago, when Colorado first legalized medical marijuana. I think that was what 2000 in 2000. You know, I read so many articles of how these dispensaries kept getting raided by the DEA, and there was a big fight between state and federal laws and who had supremacy over, you know, the laws. And I know, there was a big battle many years ago, I haven't really heard of, of any raids since then. And I don't know if you have any insight of is there any fear that the DEA will come in? And, you know, bust the service centers? Can they? Yeah, what's I'm just curious on on the dynamic there. Yeah, Speaker 1 37:04 it's a great question. I would say to answer that, first of all, part of the Oregon psilocybin Services Act directed us to reach out to the US Attorney for Oregon. And we did that right after the development period. And we received a response back. Thank you. We're aware of you. And we'll let you know if we have questions. So that was that was pretty brief. I do think it's important to highlight that there is no Cole Memo, like cannabis once had, that basically gave federal assurances that there would be no reading of licensees. You know, in Oregon, if certain, you know, important conditions were followed, like, prevention of diversion into the unregulated markets, you know, ensuring that there's no interstate commerce making sure that products are tracked. And so a lot of that has been really woven into the statute that we're administering now. But there is no federal assurance. And so I do think that it's important to really acknowledge that these new licensees are coming into this space and working really hard to set up licensed service centers, manufacturers, sites, laboratories. And really, you know, it's a lot of work and a lot of requirements. There are certain local jurisdictions that will now allow us to issue licenses in their jurisdictions if they pass ordinances to ban service centers or manufacturers. And so there's there's a number of areas that are really difficult for our licensees to navigate. And so there are no federal assurances at this point in time, like we had in cannabis with the Cole Memo. And so that's why it's so important for our licensees to clearly follow our administrative rules and demonstrate that they're taking this very seriously that they're working in coordination with their regulators, which is us, and that they're following the guidance that we provide them that they're tracking all of the products and the product tracking system, that there's a very clear delineation between the unregulated space and the regulated space. Otherwise, that really puts everyone at risk, and really demonstrating that there's a deep attention to client safety. And so we've tried to really adopt administrative rules that center, the client experience and client safety, and really, to ensure that there's product tracking and, you know, a lot of product regulation that, you know, would would be helpful for amplifying that, hey, we're following these rules, things are going well. And so we really work hard with our lay Since he's to make sure that they understand these rules, and in fact, we just published a huge document at the very beginning of this year, which is on our website, and it's the OPI s guidance on administrative rules. And it's really a summary of much of the guidance that we provided to licensees last year, and will continue updating it so that way folks have information, they can always contact us, we really believe that conversations are important. And the more that they contact us to understand how to be in compliance with our rules, the more successful we're all going to be overall. And so, you know, we have an open invitation for licensees to convene with us once a month. And we also have anytime they can reach out for additional guidance or to have a conversation. So our hope is that all of that hard work will really pay off and that, you know, all of our licensees will really be working towards compliance, and any of the organizations working with licensees that are licensed by us, are also reinforcing the importance of following our administrative rules. Because without that, you know, this, this could very easily not be the success that we want it to be. Alex 41:13 So I I'm pretty positive, we have quite a few listeners that are in legislation and are working with their home city or state to to pass some sort of decriminalization or legalization measure. And, you know, since you've done it so successfully over the last few years, I'm just curious. And I know it has not been easy with, you know, in conjunction with doing it in the midst of, of COVID. And, you know, being the first to pave the way. And I'm just curious about, you know, the biggest hiccups and frustrations during this journey. And on the flip side, what has been, you know, areas that you think you you rocked it, and, you know, if you were to do it all over again, and give advice for people listening that that want to push these initiatives and work with legislation, movements in their cities and states? What would you recommend to them given given your experience? Speaker 1 42:17 Yeah, thank you for that, um, it has not been easy, but you know, what are they saying? If it's worthwhile, it's not going to be easy. This module, it's a you know, it takes a lot of thought and a lot of intention to build something and to sustain it. And I think one of my, one of the most important areas that I want to shine light on for anyone listening is that access is really important equity access and affordability. And when the Oregon psilocybin Services Act passed, there were no additional funds to help support folks that wanted to join training programs and become licensed as facilitators. That's very expensive. Right? Well, there were no funds available to help subsidize the cost of services for clients that are accessing psilocybin services. And there were no funds to really sustain this sections work. And so we are a fee based structure, and that was created out of the act. And that means that all of the licensing fees have to cover the cost of our sections work. And the more that we're directed to do, the more expensive it costs to, you know, to sustain our work in our section. And so we're trying to really create equitable licensing fees. And that's difficult. Right now, our licensing fees are high. And until we have more licensees to help, sort of level that out, we wouldn't be able to reduce the licensing fees. We have offered reduced fees for facilitators, service centers, manufacturers, so anyone that qualifies as a low income applicant, or a veteran can, or if there was a nonprofit organization, there's a 50% fee reduction. And if there's more than one individual on the application, then 100% of those individuals would have to be low income or veteran status. We're doing our best to create some kind of access or entryway into being licensed. But that's very difficult to do because, you know, we had to ask for state general funds just to be able to start and create our section, right? You can't pay team members without having funds. You can't you know, afford laptops and office space and all of those things without it and start contracts. And so we're really working this biennium, biennium is two years. And it starts July 1 and ends, you know, two years later on June 30. And so this biennium the 2527 or the sorry The 2325 biennium, we're working on budget sustainability, and really making sure that our costs are covered by licensing fees. And so I would just say that that's really difficult to create equity access and affordability, when there aren't funds to support the work. And so I would highly encourage anyone to really take a look at that. You know, it means so much to us, we require all of our licensees to submit social equity plans to acknowledge systemic oppression and to identify, you know, certain goals that they're going to work toward, they have to evaluate their goals upon license renewal every year. But it's it's really a challenge. And I don't think that this can be solved alone by state government, or by the private sector, I really think this is a collective response to creating access for those folks that might not otherwise be able to participate in licensure or access services. And in Oregon, we're working to align this work with our state health improvement plan, and our agency's strategic plan goal to eliminate health inequities. And these priorities really identify that we need to make space for communities that haven't been served well or have been very underserved, and have not had their voices as part of the process that we need representation from diverse communities to participate in this work to ensure that we're creating equity. And so I really, really think that that's an important consideration. The other thing is, we know that psychedelic practices did not just begin with the recent interest or the passage of legalized frameworks. And, you know, we have to balance those 1000s of years of cultural and anthropological information with decades of scientific research and information. And we also know that due to colonization and implicit bias that in institutional Western models, many communities have been and continue to be harmed by lack of equity centered health approaches. And so health disparities and inequities and public health data alone continue to demonstrate that we need more culturally responsive approaches. And in Oregon, we truly believe that psilocybin services, if we have representation from diverse licensees, we're going to be able to create an opportunity for culturally responsive services to communities, and really help reduce harm and create a lot of healing through this work. Alex 47:33 very eloquently said, You're, you're in the right line of work, I'll tell you. And thank you for it. And so I have one more question before, you know, we point people to learn more, I know you have a incredibly busy schedule, saving the world and you got meetings to go to so I'm just curious to hear your perspective on what are your hopes for the next one 510 years, both both in Oregon and the whole US for psilocybin services as a whole? Yeah. Speaker 1 48:09 We don't have time for all of this. First of all, I will say that, my hope is that psilocybin services will lead to important meaningful improvements in the health of our communities. I think that's possible. And that's what we're really striving for. As we watch the this historic decriminalization, legalization, develop of psychedelic policies and research, start expanding more and more throughout the world. I hope that we continue to acknowledge the complex history of psychedelics and the people that have been most harmed by drug policy, I hope we can acknowledge the disproportionate impact of the war on drugs on black indigenous people of color and tribal community members, the impacts of colonization on indigenous communities that have been stewards of psychedelic knowledge and wisdom for 1000s of years, that we acknowledge the potential we have to transform consciousness healing and wellness. But we have to make these practices intentional. And I hope that we all really have a deep respect for the ecosystem we're creating and for each other, because even at the end of the day, if there's disagreement, in order to have movement forward, we have to really model the outcomes we're trying to achieve. And we can't do that if we're following the same pattern of behavior that we're trying to heal from. And so my hope is that we all find a deep, profound respect for each other, and this ecosystem, and that people really understand that this is a severe time in our history in a time, that's really exciting. And we need everyone's voices to make this happen successfully, and to make sure that no one's being left out. Alex 49:54 Thank you, Angie, thank you for the work that you're doing. Speaker 1 49:56 Yeah. And so I would extend that from One 510 years and beyond and my hope, kind of in the short term really is that we can create more access more affordability, budget system and sustainability overall. And that really, we can innovate ways to center at the equity and access in Oregon and beyond as we continue moving this model forward. So but yeah, I mean, it. Thank you for the question. I think, again, I could continue going on and on. But I'm always happy to talk more anytime you want me to come back? Alex 50:32 Absolutely. Yeah, absolutely. Well, we'll definitely check in to see maybe in 2025 of be curious, but you know, once more data is collected and things like that, you're you're always welcome back. And for people that are interested in the work that you're doing, about, they want to learn more about, you know, the Oregon Health Authority, and it's, you know, the Oregon psilocybin services. And, you know, maybe they live in Oregon, they want to be a facilitator or manufacturer, get a worker permit, something like that. Where can people go to learn more about this program? Yes, Speaker 1 51:12 thank you, I'm not going to spell out our extremely long email address or website address, but I will say if you go to oregon.gov, which is G O V, forward slash psilocybin, typically, it will route you to our website, you can also Google Oregon, psilocybin services, and you'll see the prevention and wellness come up. That's our website, Oregon Health Authority. And if you go to the website, I just want to invite you all to sign up for our distribution list, we have over 17,000 members now or you know, people that receive our updates, and we really want to spread the word. And that's the best way to get information. We have a calendar on our website, we will have public listening sessions this summer. And we'll have rules advisory committees convening in the fall. And then we'll also have public listening sessions, again, public hearings on our rules. And for all of those we provide Spanish and American Sign Language Interpretation, as well as cart captioning, we will also accommodate any other language or accessibility needs. So we really want you there. So sign up. And we also have web pages for each license type that will explain how to apply what you need to you know, what the requirements are, and then who to contact if you have questions. So we really, really encourage all of you to, you know, reach out to us. That's what we're here for. And just really grateful for the opportunity to share this information and chat with you today. Alex, Alex 52:45 thank you. Yeah, thank you for coming on. It's it's been super enlightening. And I think you are a very eloquent speaker and you're very knowledgeable. So I'm just really appreciative of the work that you and all your team members are doing to, to bring this program to life. I mean, it's, it's very monumental. It's, you know, first, first in the United States of this happening, and so it's it, it's huge. It's it's history in the making, and you should be proud of of all the hard work that you've been putting in is really exciting. Speaker 1 53:16 Thank you so much. And I will pass that along to the fabulous team as well. Amazing. Alex 53:20 Well, thank you so much, and, and thank you everyone for tuning in and tuning in for another episode of the mushroom revival podcast. We couldn't do without you. If you liked the show, and you want to support us, we don't actually have a Patreon or any way that you can donate directly but we do have a brand mushroom revival. We have a whole line of organic functional mushroom products from gummies capsules, powders, tinctures. And we have a special coupon code just for listeners Haad treat for a surprise coupon code. And if you don't want to buy anything, we have a giveaway going on link is in the bio we pick one winner a week and if you want some free stuff, some educational resources, we have a ton of blogs on our website and free ebooks from you know recipes to education about psilocybin to the ecology of mushrooms as a whole and so many other resources on there as well as my newest book, The Little Book of mushrooms if you want to check it out. It's a cute little coffee table book. Covering 75 different mushrooms and pretty pictures in there as well. And you know if you learned something today or just in general you're hyped about mushrooms. Spread the word. Tell your friends tell your family. If you're at the checkout at the grocery store, tell, tell this cashier a little mushroom fun fact to keep spreading the mycelium and get people passionate about nature and mushrooms and you know, have have the love spread about mushrooms. So with that, thank you everyone again much love and may this force be with you Transcribed by https://otter.ai
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